From Artificial Intelligence to Quantum Technology

ICTP, SISSA renew strategic research collaborations
From Artificial Intelligence to Quantum Technology
ICTP Director Atish Dabholkar (right) and SISSA Director Andrea Romanino
Mary Ann Williams

How can the powers of Artificial Intelligence be harnessed for new scientific discoveries? In what ways could quantum technologies, with their promises of speedier and more complex computing--change our world?

ICTP and SISSA are joining forces to investigate these questions and more. The two institutes have signed a five-year agreement to conduct joint research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science, and in quantum technology. The goal is to develop new projects and research lines by combining their significant expertise in the basic science behind these fields.

The new agreement also underscores ICTP and SISSA's long-term commitment to developing the advanced computing resources needed to drive advances in AI and data science: the two institutes will continue their joint Master's programme in High Performance Computing (MHPC). The MHPC combines lectures with hands-on and applied projects to prepare future HPC specialists for academia and industry.

"Artificial Intelligence and quantum technologies are exciting frontiers in science today," said ICTP Director Atish Dabholkar, adding, "I am confident that our joint explorations with our SISSA colleagues will lead to important advances in these rapidly evolving fields."

Equally important to those explorations is the training of High Performance Computing specialists who will play an important role in harnessing the computing power needed to drive advances in Artificial Intelligence. The joint ICTP-SISSA MHPC programme does exactly this. "With ICTP's mission of nurturing science in disadvantaged countries, we are pleased to continue offering MHPC fellowships to students from those countries to ensure that geographic barriers do not interfere with innovation," said Director Dabholkar, highlighting one of the benefits of the renewed programme agreement.

“SISSA and ICTP are sister institutions since their founding, with strong ties in the fields of physics and mathematics,” commented SISSA Director Andrea Romanino. “This agreement represents a further step in nurturing new common interests, building on successful initiatives like the Master's program in High Performance Computing.”

ICTP's Quantum Research

ICTP's quantum research is highly regarded by the international community. ICTP senior research scientist Rosario Fazio, head of the Centre's Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics (CMSP) section, was among the recipients of the 2019 Google Faculty Research Awards for quantum computing.

Fazio's CMSP colleague Marcello Dalmonte was among the recipients of a €1 billion European Commission initiative called the Quantum Flagship that funded quantum technology. Dalmonte is co-principal investigator of a research project that will focus on quantum simulation, one of five of the Quantum Flagship's research themes. 


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