June 2, 2004
Scholar gets visa; makes it to meeting
By Dawn Levy
Postdoctoral fellow Siming Liu, whose story was told last week in a Stanford Report article about the effect of visa delays on Stanford's international scholars (see URL above), has received his visa.
Liu had gone to China on May 11 to attend a course on solar plasma processes at the Chinese National Astronomical Observatories. Because his work, which is funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation, utilizes satellites and space telescopes, his visa application had been flagged for extra scrutiny -- a step that bumps the average processing time to 67 days.
Luckily, Liu had to wait only 16 days. He was able to make it to the American Astronomical Society meeting in Denver on May 31, where he presented a paper, authored with physics professors Vahe Petrosian of Stanford and Fulvio Melia of the University of Arizona, describing electron acceleration around a supermassive black hole at our galaxy's center.
This is a postscript to a Stanford press release distributed May 25 titled "Stanford's international students share tales of visa hell" -- http://www.stanford.edu/dept/news/pr/2004/visahell526.html