Each year, ICTP offers a wealth of opportunities and activities for researchers and students from around the world. Looking ahead to 2024, a particularly significant year for the centre as it celebrates its 60th anniversary, ICTP has announced its Scientific Calendar of conferences, workshops, and schools for the coming year.
In the spirit of its 60th anniversary, ICTP has curated an extraordinary variety of activities that promise to foster global connections. This milestone year not only signifies the remarkable journey of ICTP but also serves as an opportunity to contemplate the future, to envision where ICTP may set its sights in the years to come. Within each of the Centre's research sections, a multitude of events have been organized, aimed to attract the foremost experts in their respective fields.
ICTP’s Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics (CMSP) section continues its tradition of offering a wide spectrum of activities, spanning from quantum technologies and quantum complex systems to topological phenomena and computational physics and machine learning. “Training PhD students and postdocs will be central in the three schools this year,” says Rosario Fazio, head of the CMSP section. “These include the School and Conference on Frontiers at the Intersection of Quantum Simulation and Machine Learning, the School and Workshop on Frontiers of Nanomechanics, and the African Biophysics School on Experimental and Computational Sciences.” These events will delve into quantum nanomechanical systems, quantum simulators, machine learning, and innovative computational and experimental tools in biophysics. Notably, the latter activity will take place in Ethiopia. In addition to numerous conferences, the programme will also feature online events. These include the School on Synchrotron Light Sources and their Applications, as well as the Workshop on Quantum Machine Learning for Condensed Matter Physics, which will delve into machine learning.
The Earth System Physics (ESP) section contributes to ICTP’s 2024 Scientific Calendar with a variety of events covering themes like water resources, extreme climate, and solid Earth physics. “In May there will be the 6th edition of the Workshop on Water Resources in Developing Countries: Hydroclimate Modeling, Information Tools and Simulation Techniques, a biannual workshop focusing on modeling the Earth’s water cycle, also in response to global warming, with a particular emphasis on extreme events and associated flood risk. It is one of our important regular workshops,” says Filippo Giorgi, head of the ESP section. In July, there will be a Summer School on Theory, Mechanisms, and Hierarchical Modelling of Climate Dynamics: Convection and Clouds, while in August, a Summer School on Modelling Tools for Sustainable Development. The last one is a regular school covering a wide range of modeling subjects going from climate to impacts, ecosystem, and socioeconomic modeling. “Among the other activities, there will be an annual workshop on solid Earth physics and a workshop taking place in Mexico on the American monsoons,” concludes Giorgi.
The High Energy Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (HECAP) section is set to kick off 2024 with a dynamic lineup of activities. In March, HECAP will join forces with the Mathematics section to host the School of Physics and Mathematics Without Frontiers in Havana, Cuba. “This interdisciplinary event will be a unique opportunity to combine mathematics and physics, aiming to support the educational growth of university students,” says Paolo Creminelli, head of the section. In April, the annual Spring School on Superstring, a cornerstone of ICTP since 1985, will delve into the intricate world of superstrings. One of the highlights in HECAP’s calendar for 2024 is the Summer School on Cosmology, scheduled for June at ICTP's campus. This long-standing event, spanning over twenty years, attracts hundreds of students, especially from developing countries. June will also feature another significant event in collaboration with the Mathematics section: the String Math 2024 conference. “It's a conference that travels the world, and in 2024, it will be held in Italy for the first time, right here at ICTP,” states Creminelli. “The conference will bring together mathematicians and string theorists for a profound exchange of ideas.”
The upcoming summer months hold significant importance for the Mathematics (MATH) section at ICTP, featuring two prestigious conferences: the School and Workshop on Number Theory and Physics in June, and the School and Workshop on Dynamical Systems in July. The latter holds a special place in ICTP’s history since the inception of its mathematics section. “Both of these conferences attract influential personalities, including Fields Medalists and renowned figures, along with a substantial number of participants,” says Claudio Arezzo, head of the MATH section. Beyond Italy, the MATH section continues to extend its influence. In July, the 2024 EAUMP-ICTP School on the Mathematics of AI will take place in Kampala, Uganda. This annual event in Africa is held in partnership with the Eastern Africa Universities Mathematics Programme (EAUMP), making a partnership of great importance.
The Quantitative Life Sciences (QLS) section’s year begins in February with the Spring College in the Physics of Complex Systems, a collaborative effort involving SISSA, the University Consortium of Paris, and the Master of Complex Systems. This annual event, spanning over a decade, delves into complex systems from a biological perspective. In June, the Workshop on the Biophysics of Fungal Spore Dispersal and its Relevance to Plant Disease will be held in Pretoria, South Africa. “This workshop aims to advance biophysics in developing countries by introducing theoretical and quantitative tools to address practical problems of local concern,” states Antonio Celani, head of the section. “Specifically, the workshop focuses on the dispersion of fungal spores, crucial in plant disease transmission and crop yield.” The same month, QLS will also host the second edition of the Niš School 2024: Information Noise and Physics of Life in Niš, Serbia, aiming for stability and local scientific collaboration. Looking ahead to November, the Hands-on Quantitative Biology School will be in Havana, Cuba. “The Physics Department at the University of Cuba is an ICTP affiliated center. This activity will provide hands-on biology experiments, marking a novel approach for us.”
Last but not least, the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) unit has an ambitious agenda for 2024 that includes a notable increase in activities outside ICTP and growing partnerships with United Nations agencies. In April the STI unit will host the ICTP-UNU Workshop on TinyML for Sustainable Development in Macao, SAR of China. This workshop, conducted in partnership with the United Nations University, is designed to foster sustainable development through technology. In October, the African Capacity Building Workshop on Space Weather and Ionospheric Research will take place. “This workshop is a follow-up to two previous activities carried out in Africa and will now be held at ICTP,” says Marco Zennaro, head of the STI unit. “This initiative is in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), a UN agency that actively supports many of our activities.” The calendar also includes the Workshop on Open Hardware Solutions for Sustainable Development in Stellenbosch, South Africa. This workshop, in collaboration with UNESCO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), marks its inaugural edition. Beyond these highlighted activities, the STI unit's reach extends to several other locations outside of ICTP, spanning not only China and South Africa but also Qatar, Brazil, and Kenya. This expansion underscores the unit's commitment to promoting science, technology, and innovation on a global scale.
In 2024, ICTP is set to embark on an extraordinary journey, celebrating its 60th anniversary with a diverse array of scientific activities. We invite you to explore the full program by visiting https://www.ictp.it/home/scientific-calendar.