The 111th Professorial Inaugural Lecture Delivered by Professor Dr Nor Haniza Sarmin Shows Research Sinergy in Biology, Computer Science and Mathematics

Contributed by  Prof. Dr. Nor Haniza Sarmin, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nor Muhainiah Mohd Ali, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fong Wan Heng, and Dr Ibrahim Gambo

JOHOR BAHRU, 25 August – The 111th Professorial Inaugural Lecture at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia was delivered by Professor Dr Nor Haniza Sarmin on 24 August 2022 at Dewan Senat Ainuddin Wahid for physical attendance and also streamed live at Faculty of Science, UTM Facebook page. “The Journey of DNA Splicing System – from Biology, to Computer Science, to Mathematics” was the Professorial Inaugural lecture’s title, attracting more than 1500 participants and viewers.

Professor Dr. Nor Haniza Sarmin, popularly known as Prof Niza, is a Professor of Mathematics at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia. She received her BSc (Hons), Master and PhD in Mathematics from State University of New York (now known as Binghamton University), Binghamton, New York, USA. Her research specialisation is in Group Theory, Graph Theory, Fuzzy Group Theory, Formal Language Theory, Splicing Systems, and Their Applications.

She has written more than 500 research papers in national and international journals and proceedings, mainly in the area of group theory and splicing systems.

She has also supervised and graduated 39 PhD students, 25 master’s students and 84 undergraduate students. This includes the Youngest PhD Holder in Malaysia Book of Record 2014, Dr. Hazzirah Izzati Mat Hassim. Prof Niza has secured more than 20 research grants as the Leader and more than 25 as a collaborator. She is currently the Acting Director of UTM International, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. As a Higher Education International expert, she has presented many talks and seminars at many {international conferences and exhibitions.

In UTM, the Professorial Inaugural Lecture Series (or Syarahan Perdana Profesor in Bahasa) is a special event anticipated by every professor. It aims to share the scholastic stateliness and the achievements of established professors, particularly in the areas contributing to the dissemination of knowledge, expertise and innovative explorations and findings. It is also an auspicious occasion for the University to acknowledge, celebrate, and provide a platform for a professor to share their expertise and achievement as established full professors while introducing them to the academic and non-academic community of the University. This event allows an engagement with the greater community.

The 111th Professorial Inaugural Lecture, chaired by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nor Muhainiah Mohd Ali, starts with the do’a lead by Mr. Muhamammad Salehuddin Baharudin, then an introduction of the speaker by the Dean, Faculty of Science, Professor Dr. Chm. Zaiton Abd Majid.

Prof Niza delivered her inaugural lecture by synthesizing her scholarship contribution through the journey of DNA splicing system in a simplified manner that makes individuals who doesn’t even come from her field to have understood what she has delivered. She has explained how the research started, her major contributions in the field, and the advancements so far as a leading researcher in Malaysia and Southeast Asia and at the global level.

Prof Niza has instilled in the audience’s minds, especially the upcoming younger colleagues and researchers, that interdisciplinary research is the best way to solve problems in the 21st century. In her presentation, she portrays how collaboration can result in beautiful discoveries, innovation, and exploration, like how she collaborates with biotechnologists to verify her findings through experiments. She has demonstrated how DNA can be regenerated using mathematical models of deletion and insertion of splicing and stickers systems. It was obvious that the audience enjoyed the lecture on how biology and mathematics can be combined to come up with exciting yet fascinating results in the most complex nature of DNA without going into the laboratory.

The presented Inaugural Professorial lecture also touched on how understanding and harmonious working relationships between administrator, lecturer, co-workers, and students can boost the productivity and effectiveness of a Professor while maintaining a mutual understanding with international partners through her experiences.

Following the lecture, a review was given by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fong Wan Heng. She presented a recap of the lecture with elaborative messages and information on the delivered topic in more detail.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fong Wan Heng shared some points in the lecture.

The lecture was concluded within two hours with responses of the questions and answers. For the slides and FB Live Video link, please visit