Chittagong University organized a daylong international conference in observance of fourth death anniversary of world famous scientist and founder of Physical Science Research Centre Prof Dr Jamal Nazrul Islam on Thursday.
Vice-chancellor Prof Dr Ifthekhar Uddin Chowdhury was present at the program as chief guest while Pro-VC Prof Dr Shirin Akhter, Dean of Science Faculty Prof Dr Mohammad Shafiul Alam, Director of Physical Science Research Centre of Chittagong University Prof Dr M A Mansur Chowdhury, and Suriya Islam, the wife of Jamal Nazrul Islam were present at the program as special guests.
Addressing the function, Ifthekhar Uddin Chowdhury termed Jamal Nazrul Islam as a great scientist, a fantastic teacher, and a great human being. “His death is a huge loss to the nation, and to me personally.”
He said Dr Jamal Nazrul Islam worked with the famous scientific writer and astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, having switched to astrophysics, which remained his life-long passion. He was a victim of Cambridge University politics and had to find a job in London.
Iftekhar Uddin said those were hard days, commuting daily by train. They loved their home in a peaceful suburb of Cambridge and did not want to leave it. “Eventually, he decided to come back to a free Bangladesh, and became a Professor at Chittagong University which he preferred to Dhaka, as their huge family home complex was atop of a series of hills at the heart of Chittagong.”
Chowdhury said Dr Jamal Nazrul Islam’s works have been translated into dozens of languages. Some of his books, including much cited “The Ultimate Fate of the Universe”, are used as texts in very respectable institutions.
“His list of publications may be one of the most varied in the world. But he had curious idiosyncrasies. He always worked out all long calculations by hand and disliked using even a simple calculator. He never converted his car to CNG and did not mind paying the high octane prices, which he could ill afford. We sometimes joked about these preferences, but he only smiled.”