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ICTP-SAIFR Scientific Bulletin #8, October – December 2014

ICTP 50th Anniversary

From October 6-9, the ICTP in Trieste hosted a four-day jubilee conference to celebrate its 50 years of success in international scientific cooperation and the promotion of scientific excellence in the developing world. The film “From theory to reality: ICTP at 50” has a segment on ICTP-SAIFR, and the conference program included a presentation by ICTP-SAIFR director, Prof. Nathan Berkovits.

2014 Jabuti Prize for Literature

Prof. Rogerio Rosenfeld, IFT-UNESP director and ICTP-SAIFR vice-director (second from the left in the picture), was awarded the second-place 2014 Jabuti Prize of Brazilian Literature for his book "O cerne da matéria - A aventura científica que levou à descoberta do bóson de Higgs" in the category "Natural Science, Technology and Computer Science".

New FAPESP/Simons Tenure-Track Professor

Fabio Iocco, former researcher at the Oskar Klein Centre in Stockholm and the Instituto de Fisica Teorica in Madrid, arrived at ICTP-SAIFR in December as a tenure-track fellow supported by a joint grant from the Simons Foundation (New York) and FAPESP. Dr. Iocco is a researcher in the field of Astroparticle Physics studying properties of the particles responsible for dark matter and galaxy formation in the universe.

Scientific Journalism at ICTP-SAIFR

In November, Ricardo Aguiar was awarded a Scientific Journalism FAPESP fellowship to write about scientific activities at ICTP-SAIFR and IFT-UNESP. In addition to publishing articles for the general public on these activities in the UNESP monthly newspaper Jornal UNESP, Ricardo Aguiar will also write a weekly blog which is already online at ICTP-SAIFR´s homepage.

New member of the ICTP-SAIFR staff

In October, Jaqueline Venturim joined the ICTP-SAIFR as a Technical Assistant and will record lectures and seminars for the ICTP-SAIFR webpage as well as assist our Computer Systems Manager, Danilo Ramos, in the maintenance of computers and video equipment. In the picture, Danilo Ramos and Jaqueline Venturim.

Minischool on Few-body Physics

The Minischool on Few-body Physics was held at ICTP-SAIFR from October 6–10. Organized by Profs. Marcelo Yamashita and Lauro Tomio, both from IFT-UNESP, and Prof. Aksel Jensen (Aarhus University, Denmark), this one-week interdisciplinary school presented lectures on the correlated Gaussian method, a powerful tool used to solve quantum few-body systems in atomic and nuclear physics, as well as lectures on universality properties and the relevance of dimensionality in quantum few-body systems and quantum magnetism.

School on Electronic Structure and Quantum Transport Methods

From October 13-24, the ICTP-SAIFR held a School on Electronic Structure and Quantum Transport Methods. Organized by Profs Adalberto Fazzio (IF-USP), Alexandre Reily Rocha (IFT-UNESP) and Sandro Scandolo (ICTP-Trieste), this activity included lectures, seminars and tutorials presented by researchers from several institutes in Brazil, Argentina and Europe. Focusing on the theoretical framework of computational condensed matter physics, participants learned the available computational tools, as well as the limitations of these tools and current approaches to overcoming the limitations.

Workshop on Complex Systems

Organized by Profs. Marcus Aguiar (IFGW-UNICAMP), Nathan Berkovits (IFT-UNESP/ICTP-SAIFR) and Roberto Kraenkel (IFT-UNESP), this two-day workshop on October 22-23 discussed applications of nonlinear dynamics to interdisciplinary research areas involving biology, ecology, economics, linguistics and physics. In addition to seminars by experts from Brasil, Argentina, Portugal and the USA, the workshop included a colloquium by Eduardo Altmann (MPI Dresden) entitled “A Complex-Systems View on Language Dynamics”.

South American Workshop on the Foundations of Quantum Theory and Cosmology

The South American Workshop on the Foundations of Quantum Theory and Cosmology was held at ICTP-SAIFR from November 3–7 and organized by Profs. Mario Castagnino and Susana Landau (U. of Buenos Aires), George Matsas (IFT-UNESP), Nelson Pinto Neto (CBPF), Daniel Sudarsky (UNAM) and Hector Vucetich (U. of La Plata). The purpose of the workshop was to bring together researchers working in the application of quantum theory to cosmology, and those working on foundational aspects of quantum theory. Prof. George Ellis (U. of Cape Town) presented a colloquium entitled “Quantum Mechanics, Unitarity, and Determinism”.

Program on Integrability, Holography and the Conformal Bootstrap

During the period of November 1, 2014 – February 28, 2015, Prof. Pedro Vieira (Perimeter Institute) is organizing a program on Integrability, Holography and the Conformal Bootstrap at the ICTP-SAIFR. The program is partially funded by the Perimeter Institute (Waterloo) and includes 25 visiting researchers from institutions such as Cambridge U., King´s College, Yerevan Institute, U. La Plata, Jagiellonian U., ENS, CEA, U. Porto, SUNY Stony Brook, Tel Aviv U., IAS Princeton and CERN. In addtion, Pedro Vieira is giving a Minicourse on Advanced Quantum Field Theory for PhD students.

IFT/ICTP-SAIFR Prize for Young Physicists

Every November, the IFT-UNESP and ICTP-SAIFR organize an exam competition for physics students younger than 21 years old on the topics of classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, electromagnetism, special relativity and mathematical physics. This year, the top student was Rodrigo Andrade e Silva (USP - São Carlos) who obtained a score of 49.5 out of 60 points. In the nine years that the exam competition has been organized, this is the all-time top score.

ICTP-Trieste/ICTP-SAIFR School and Workshop on Observational Cosmology

Jointly organized by researchers from ICTP-Trieste (Profs. Paolo Creminelli and Ravi Sheth), ICTP-SAIFR (Prof. Rogerio Rosenfeld) and USP-São Paulo (Prof. Raul Abramo), this school and workshop were held at ICTP-SAIFR from December 1 – 12. The School provided students with both theoretical background and hands-on lectures concerning the different cosmological probes that are currently in use. In a one-day workshop on December 7, recent work in this field was presented. Profs. Paulo Creminelli (ICTP-Trieste) and Scott Dodelson (Fermilab) presented colloquia entitled ”B-mode Cosmology” and “The Power of Cosmic Surveys” respectively.

Forthcoming events:

IV Southern-Summer School on Mathematical Biology (January 5-11, 2015)

School on Pathogen Dynamics, Climate and Global Change (January 12-24, 2015)

3rd Joint Dutch-Brazil School on Theoretical Physics (February 2-6, 2015)

2015 Meeting of Scientific Council and Steering Committee (February 9-10, 2015)

Onuchic Minicourse on Energy Landscapes in Biophysics (March 8, 2015)

Minischool on Biophysics of Protein Interactions (March 9-13, 2015)

Rawitscher Minicourse on Numerical Spectral Methods (March 19 – April 14, 2015)

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