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ICTP-SAIFR Scientific Bulletin #5, January - March 2014

Award Agreement with Simons Foundation

In January, the Simons Foundation (New York) awarded funding of 60,000 US dollars per year for five years to ICTP-SAIFR that will be used to supplement FAPESP fellowships and allow the creation of two ICTP-SAIFR tenure-track positions.

New hiring at ICTP-SAIFR

Following the recommendation of an international search committee, a tenure-track position was offered to and accepted by Fabio Iocco. Currently working at the Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmoparticle Physics (OKC) in Stockholm, Dr. Iocco is a renowned researcher in the field of Astroparticle Physics, with significant contributions to Dark Matter and Big Bang Nucleosynthesis.

III Southern-Summer School on Mathematical Biology

The III Southern-Summer School on Mathematical Biology was held at ICTP-SAIFR from February 3-15. It was the third version of this school organized by Marcel Clerc (Univ. de Chile, Santiago), Roberto Kraenkel (IFT-UNESP) and Paulo Inácio Prado (USP-São Paulo). The course discussed topics in population biology, ecology and epidemiology.

Distinguished lecturer Simon Levin

From February 11-15, ICTP-SAIFR received the visit of distinguished lecturer Simon Levin (Princeton University). Professor Levin works on mathematical models and empirical studies that aim at understanding macroscopic patterns of ecosystems and biological diversity. He gave a series of three seminars on the main challenges in Mathematical Ecology.

Presentation by Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz

On February 17, Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz (Scientific Director of FAPESP - São Paulo Research Funding Agency) gave a presentation about science and technology in São Paulo to an audience which included 6 candidates being interviewed for the ICTP-SAIFR tenure-track position. He discussed FAPESP’s mission, as well as its current programs and international collaborations.

Steering Committee and Scientific Council meeting

The ICTP-SAIFR Steering Committee and Scientific Council met on February 18-19 and were chaired by Fernando Quevedo (ICTP Director) and Peter Goddard (IAS Princeton) respectively. Topics discussed included the selection of activities for 2015, the appointment of ICTP-SAIFR director and vice-director, the hiring of tenure-track faculty and a new executive manager, and the discussion of future plans.

Cosmology Workshop

Organized by Raul Abramo (USP-São Paulo) and Rogério Rosenfeld (ICTP-SAIFR/IFT-UNESP), the Cosmology Workshop was held February 20 and 21 at ICTP-SAIFR. There were 17 invited speakers who discussed various topics in Cosmology such as inflation, CMB, dark matter and gravitational waves.

Visit of A. Aharony and O. Entin-Wohlman

From February 24 - March 25, ICTP-SAIFR received the visit of Amnon Aharony and Ora Entin-Wohlman (Ben Gurion University and Tel Aviv University). These renowned condensed matter physicists performed research and gave a colloquium on mobile qubits and thermopower, and also organized the Nanophysics and Spintronics Workshop.

Nanophysics and Spintronics Workshop

Organized by Aharony and Entin-Wohlmann, the Nanophysics and Spintronics Workshop was held at ICTP-SAIFR on March 13 and 14. Invited speakers included ICTP-SAIFR Associate Members Carlos Balseiro (Bariloche), Belita Koiller (UFRJ), Caio Lewenkopf (UFF) and Sergio Rezende (UFPE), and the main topics of discussion were qubits, thermopower and the use of graphene for the study of spin-orbit effects and electronic transport.

Itamar Procaccia Colloquium

On March 19, Itamar Procaccia (Weizmann Institute, Israel) gave a colloquium on physics of amorphous solids. Prof. Procaccia is the president of the International Advisory Council of the Internacional Institute of Physics (IIP) and a renowned physicist in the field of Statistical Mechanics. In this colloquium, he discussed plasticity in the mechanics of amorphous solids and shear localization.

FAPESP-CNRS Fellowship

In March, Riccardo Sturani (ICTP-SAIFR) was awarded a FAPESP-CNRS fellowship. This fellowship will allow the exchange of researchers between São Paulo and France during the next two years. His research project aims to use gravitational waves to gain information about the fundamental physics processes taking place in the interior of neutron stars.

Forthcoming events:

Mini-School on Dynamical Systems in Biology (May 5-9)

II Workshop on Perspectives in Nonperturbative QCD (May 12-13)

Workshop on Particle Physics (August 11-15)

School on Random Geometry and Random Matrices (August 25 - September 5)

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