SanD researchers presented 23 papers at the 36th Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas Physics Conference in Puerto Princesa City last 6 to 9 June 2018. This international conference was one of the largest organized by SPP with 369 participants coming from 11 countries. The sessions were highlighted by talks on frontier topics by 30 invited speakers coming from strong academic and research institutions, several of whom have ties with SanD members. The online Proceedings of the SPP published 214 open-access articles and another 50 extended abstracts were presented as posters. SanD physicists Francis Paraan and Cristine Villagonzalo played crucial organizational roles in the conference and SanD alumni Marienette Vega and Rona Barbarona actively participated as SPP Councilors.
The poster presentation of Daniel Marquez was recognized as the best technical poster at the recently concluded DOST-SEI ASTHRDP Graduate Scholars' Conference held last 18-19 June 2018. His presentation on the magnetic interaction in a two-dimensional electron gas is part of his MS thesis work supervised by Cristine Villagonzalo. Five other MS Physics students from SanD also presented their research in this annual conference: Jan Viloria (molecular dynamics simulations of alloys), Raymart Canoy (quenched Kitaev chains), Amancio Manceras (Penna model and genetic diversity), Mykhal Mangada (tensor network image classifiers), and Jammy Guinid (Penna model with mutations). In line with this year's theme of Big Data for Big Science, talks were given on the applications of data science in industry, agriculture, medicine, climate change, and other fields.
The ICTP Asian Network on Condensed Matter and Complex Systems links scientists of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste and several research groups in Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. The network node in the Philippines is coordinated by SanD faculty Cristine Villagonzalo and involves physicists from MSU-IIT, UP Diliman, and UP Los Baños. SanD members were actively involved in three network activities this year and look forward to further participation in the following years.
Materials Science and Engineering masters student Meltion Chiong III was one of the poster presenters in the 9th Electronic Structure and Processes at Molecular-based Interfaces (ESPMI9) Coneference held last 8-10 November 2017 at the National University of Singapore. His research employs density functional theory to describe the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide by the metalloorganic molecule cobalt-salen. The conference was jointly organized by the the Department of Chemistry and Department of Physics of the National University of Singapore. The conference was devoted to frontier topics in the field of molecular and contact interfaces, charge transport, morphology, and the spectroscopy of organic semiconductors, perovskite photovoltaic cells, and two-dimensional materials.
SanD graduate student Alexandra Santos-Putungan participated in the 9th Conference of the Asian Consortium on Computational Materials Science (ACCMS-9) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last 8-11 August 2017. Alex presented a research poster highlighting her studies on first-principles simulations of carbon monoxide bonding on boron atomic clusters. The ACCMS was organized to promote research and development among scientists in the region who work on computational studies of novel and advanced materials.
Graduate student Meliton Chiong III completed the 2017 ILE-NIP Summer School in Physics and Laser Engineering held last 24-30 July 2017 at the Institute of Laser Engineering (ILE) of Osaka University in Japan. The summer school is a seven-day program and the participants attended several lectures on laser technologies and nuclear fusion. The program also included a two-day laboratory immersion experience in which the students were accommodated at one of the ILE Research Groups on Laser Advanced Materials, Laser Plasma Radiation, Target Materials, and Theory for Laser Plasma.
SanD PhD student Neris Sombillo presented her research at the 6th Adiabatic Quantum Computing Conference (AQC 2017) held in Tokyo, Japan last 26-29 June 2017. This is the first time that the AQC conference was held in Asia. The conference attracts researchers who work on the frontiers of adiabatic quantum computation and quantum annealing and this year's key panelists include Seth Lloyd, Daniel Lidar, Edward Farhi, Helmut Katzgraber, Norio Murakami, Hartmut Neven, and Paul Warburton. Several companies that do research and development in quantum computing such as D-Wave, Google, and NASA also participated in the conference. In the conference poster session Neris presented her dissertation research on the simulation of fixed-point quantum searches in an Ising spin system.
Last 25 June 2017 SanD students Cleofe Ayang-ang, Paul Ang, and Ian Felismino attended the first event of the "How To Be You Po?" series of talks organized by Women Who Code Manila at the National Museum Planetarium. The series invites women from the science and technology industry to share their experiences and success stories to inspire others to pursue careers in science and technology. This first iteration of the series celebrates women who work in the space sciences and keynote talks were given by data scientist and astrophysicist Reinabelle Reyes and Diwata microsatellite engineer Kaye Verjel.
Photo credit: Reno Cerbolles 2017.