The first item on the SanD 2017 research agenda was the 8th Jagna International Workshop held last 4-7 January 2017 at the Research Center for Theoretical Physics (RCTP) in Jagna, Bohol. Subtitled Structure, Function and Dynamics from nm to Gm, the workshop was organized to celebrate the 60th birthday of RCTP co-founder Prof. Christopher Bernido. SanD physicist Cristine Villagonzalo, a former advisee of Prof. Bernido, co-organized the workshop and lectured on the effects of spin-orbit coupling on the heat capacity of two-dimensional electron gases. SanD coordinator Francis Paraan was also invited to give a talk on simple ways to improve the performance of deep neural networks on classification tasks. Finally, PhD student Neris Sombillo presented a research poster on measurement-enhanced quantum searches.
Members of SanD recently attended the Joint 13th Asia Pacific Physics Conference and 22nd Australian Institute of Physics Congress that was held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 04-08 December 2016. Jade Mendoza delivered a short talk on her research on fluctuations and entanglement in a matrix product state representable quantum spin chain and Jan Sambo presented a poster on his work on dynamically generated phase transitions in a quenched XY model. Their research work is supervised by SanD physicist Francis Paraan, who also represented the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas in the triennial AAPPS meetings.
In a recent issue of Cell that highlights groundbreaking research from the International Human Epigenome Consortium, SanD alumna Louella Vasquez and her collaborators in the EU Blueprint Epigenome project present a detailed study on the complex relationships among genetic and epigenetic factors and disease-causing phenotypes in human immune cells. Louella is a staff scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge.
SanD member Alexandra Santos-Putungan (Materials Science and Engineering Program) is one of 15 doctoral students supported by an OFID Postgraduate Fellowship operating within the Sandwich Training Educational Programme (STEP) of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). Alex is the first ICTP-OFID supported STEP fellow from the Philippines and she recently completed her first ICTP visit from 16 February to 15 July 2016. Her current research involves the use of computational ab initio methods to study the physics of atomic clusters.
SanD members attended the 2nd Workshop on Theories in Quantum Phenomena and Condensed Matter Physics at UP Los Baños last 18-19 April 2016. The workshop was organized by physicists from the UPLB Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics and the National Sun Yat-sen University Department of Physics. Invited speakers gave lectures on several topics in quantum physics such as topological insulators and superconductors, ab initio modeling of novel materials, quantum information and computing, and non-equilibrium quantum mechanics.
SanD graduating student Rafael dela Rosa is one of the thirty BPI-DOST Science Awardees for 2016. For his BS thesis project Rafael quantified entanglement and coherence in a model of electron spins interacting with an environment for quantum computing applications. Some of his results have been published in the European Journal of Physics as part of a larger project describing effective thermodynamic models for entangled quantum systems.
SanD scientist Cristine Villagonzalo and graduate student Gene Itable attended the Annual Meeting of the Physical Society of the Republic of China (PSROC) at National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU), Kaohsiung, Taiwan last 25-27 January 2016. The conference covered topics ranging from quantum physics to astrophysics, and was highlighted by plenary sessions on advancements in magnetism, superconductivity, metamaterials and photonics. In a nanophysics presentation, Cristine discussed her joint work with former student Carlos Baldo III on how spin-orbit interactions can be engineered to produce multi-functional spintronic devices. Meanwhile, Gene presented his research on the effects of disorder on the properties of topological Anderson insulators in a poster session.
Graduate students Neris Ilano and Aura Villaruel attended the 15th Asian Quantum Information Science Conference (AQIS2015) at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) last 24-30 August 2015. This is the second AQIS Conference attended by SanD researchers. In the poster sessions, Neris presented her research on optimizing a damped quantum search algorithm while Aura shared her results on using polarization fluctuations as an entanglement measure. Tutorial sessions and talks were given on quantum complexity, spin resonance spectroscopy and imaging, quantum correlations, superconducting quantum computers, and other advances in the field of quantum information. In the awarding ceremony on the last day of the conference, Neris earned a bronze award as one of the best poster presenters.