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March 2022


World Quantum Day and Weeks in Italy and Beyond

Quantum mechanics, the set of laws that govern the world of atoms and elementary particles, has revolutionised our way of conceiving reality with its fascinating and sometimes bizarre properties. World Quantum Day will be observed for the first time this year, on 14 April, as a way to celebrate this fascinating field of study. The Italian Quantum Weeks aims at raising awareness of the quantum world and the opportunities that the quantum revolution can bring. A rich programme of initiatives, organised in cities and universities across Italy, runs from on March 26, organised in cities and universities across Italy until Quantum Day. Find out more

European Research Council Grants for ICTP Researchers

Congratulations to Ali Hassanali and Joan Elias Miró! The two ICTP scientists have won prestigious European Research Council (ERC) grants. Hassanali, of ICTP's Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics section, has been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for mid-career scientists, while Elias Miró, a physicist in the High Energy, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics section, has received an ERC Starting Grant for early career scientists. ERC grants are highly competitive: only 12% of grant proposals are approved. Interdisciplinary investigation is key to the work of Hassanali. His ERC grant, called "Hydrogen Bond Networks as Optical Probes", or HyBOP, focusses on fluorescence in biological materials, challenging the conventional wisdom about how light interacts with biological matter. Elias Miró investigates physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics: his ERC grant, titled "Exotic High Energy Phenomenology", or X-HEP, aims to explore models that describe physics at the frontiers of high energy, that is, the phenomena that occur at the limits in which current particle collider experiments are carried. Read more...

Second Annual Climate Seminar Series Starts

An international seminar series co-organised by ICTP on weather and climate will launched into its second season on 15 March, offering a rich agenda of talks by leading climate experts. The series, titled "Weather and Climate: From Fundamentals to Applications", is organised jointly by ICTP, the University of Trento (UniTN) and the University of L'Aquila (UniAQ). Drawing on the broad expertise of 10 researchers, the seminars will span basic theory and idealized and realistic modelling, as well as applications of climate and weather in sectors such as health, agriculture, energy, and the economy. The seminars are open to all who are interested, and the seminars are scheduled on Tuesdays at 15:30 UTC+1 (CET/Rome). Read more...

Supporting Sustainability: New Grant and Collaboration

A new initiative on human ecology and sustainability has been announced, supported by the U.S. Department of State and led by the Fondazione Internazionale Trieste (FIT). Other institutions involved include ICTP, the Trieste-based SISSA (Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati), and the Santa Fe Institute in the United States. The support will enable the collaboration of experts in human, economic, and environmental sustainability; the first meeting under the grant takes place this summer at ICTP. "ICTP is grateful for the support from the US State Department, which will ensure that our summer workshop on Quantitative Human Ecology attracts the best scholars in the field," said ICTP's Director Atish Dabholkar. "We anticipate that the summer workshop will be the foundation for creating stronger networks, particularly with the Santa Fe Institute." Read more...

The Basic Science Behind the Future of Energy Storage

With rising gas prices, war, and the increasingly pressing need to rapidly transition away from burning fossil fuels, new ways of storing energy are getting a lot of attention. Batteries are a key puzzle piece in that transition, and are the focus of an upcoming workshop organised by ICTP condensed matter scientists Nicola Seriani and Ralph Gebauer. Entitled "Workshop on Electrochemical Energy Storage: Theory, Experiments, and Applications," the event gathers both theoreticians and experimentalists to dive into one of the main challenges of switching to renewable energy. "Renewable energy sources like photovoltaic energy from the sun, electricity from the wind, are absolutely at competitive prices right now. The real problem is that they are intermittent sources," says Gebauer. "We need better ways to store energy." The workshop focus on the basic science underlying this challenge , looking towards the future of batteries. Read more...

Don Zagier Awarded Ramanujan International Chair

Mathematician Don Zagier, Emeritus Scientific Member and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics, has been named the first holder of ICTP's newly-established Ramanujan International Chair. Zagier, a number theorist who has also done work in topology, algebraic geometry, and mathematical physics, first visited ICTP more than 10 years ago. He has built strong connections with the Centre as a Distinguished Staff Associate, and collaborated on numerous research papers with ICTP scientists, both within and outside the Mathematics section. In addition to his ICTP affiliation, Zagier is also a distinguished affiliated member of the Trieste-based Institute for Geometry and Physics, run jointly by ICTP and SISSA. Read more...

Strengthening Connections with Universities in the Middle East

ICTP strengthened its connections in the Middle East at two recent events in the United Arab Emirates related to the promotion of science. On 24 February, Director Atish Dabholkar signed an agreement with the University of Sharjah to promote joint research opportunities and academic exchanges. The following day, ICTP delegation members were among the speakers at a World Expo event in Dubai highlighting Italy's Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, of which Trieste is the capital. Known as Italy's 'City of Science,' Trieste hosts the highest concentration of research institutes in the country, including ICTP, SISSA and ICGEB. "ICTP has enjoyed close collaborations with countries and scientific organisations in the Middle East and in North Africa," said Dabholkar in his remarks in Dubai, as the ICTP delegation focused on reinforcing and continuing those collaborations. Read more...

ICTP Climate Models Used for Award-Winning Paper

ICTP climate scientist Adrian Tompkins developed the FOREST-SAGE model as a way of predicting deforestation patterns, as well as how those patterns might affect the local climate. Now, that model is serving the research purposes of not only Tompkins' team, but also other researchers. A Phillipino team was awarded the 2021 Outstanding Scientific Paper Award by the National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines for the paper: “Simulating National-scale Deforestation in the Philippines Using Land Cover Change Models” by ICTP Associate Charlotte Kendra Gotangco and her colleagues Jean Meir Jardeleza and Maria Aileen Leah Guzman, published in the *Philippine Journal of Science.* This project used the Forest-SAGE model, which produces distributed maps of deforestation rates taking into account proximity to roads, population density, forest fragmentation, and presence of protected areas, logging concessions and reforestation. Congratulations! Read more...

Nirmeen Elmadany Wins L'Oreal - UNESCO Award

Congratulations to ICTP alumna Nirmeen Elmadany, who has just been awarded the L'Oreal- UNESCO Women in Science Young Talents Award! Elmadany took part in the ICTP Elettra program in 2016, and is now a postdoctoral researcher at DKFZ German Cancer Research Center. Elmadany hails from Palestine, and has faced many obstacles to her research career. “Life requires courage, and success requires risk and perseverance,” she said. “I learnt this from living in Palestine.” Congratulations to Dr. Elmadany! Read more...

Artificial Intelligence for Detection and Attribution of Climate Extremes | (smr 3717)
Deadline: April 24 2022
Machine Learning in Electronic Structure and Molecular Dynamics | (smr 3702)

Deadline: April 15 2022
Spring School on Superstring Theory and Related Topics | (smr 3699)

Deadline: April 19 2022
African regional workshop on SciTinyML: Scientific Use of Machine Learning on Low-Power Devices | (smr 3708)
Deadline: 15 April 2022

Call for Nominations: ICTP Dirac Medal

ICTP is now accepting nominations for its premier physics prize, the Dirac Medal. First awarded in 1985, the Dirac Medal is given in honour of P.A.M. Dirac, one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century and a staunch friend of the Centre. It is awarded annually on Dirac's birthday, 8 August, to scientists who have made significant contributions to theoretical physics. The deadline for receipt of nominations is 17 June 2022. A committee of distinguished scientists, including Juan Maldacena, Subir Sachdev, Giogio Parisi, David Gross, and Michael P. Green, will select the winners from the list of nominated candidates. Find out more

Masters in High Performance Computing

The Master in High Performance Computing (MHPC) programme, coordinated by ICTP and the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), is now accepting applications for the 2022-2023 academic year. The MHPC is an innovative degree programme that prepares students for exciting careers in the fast-growing field of high performance computing (HPC). As in prior years, ICTP is providing scholarships for applicants from developing countries. The deadline for such candidates is 30 April 2022. Find out more

Masters in Medical Physics Open Call

ICTP is now accepting applications for its Master of Advanced Studies in Medical Physics (MMP) programme; the deadline is 30 April 2022. The MMP is a two-year advanced training programme run jointly by ICTP and the University of Trieste. The programme is designed to provide young, promising graduates of physics or related fields (mainly from developing countries) with postgraduate theoretical and clinical training so that they may be recognised as clinical medical physicists in their home countries. The programme comprises a year of basic and advanced courses (taught in English) prepared with the assistance of experts from ICTP's UN partner the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This is followed by a year of professional clinical training in a medical physics department of a hospital. More information

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