SanD members presented a total of 18 papers covering several topics in theoretical and computational physics at the 35th Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas Physics Conference held in Cebu City last 6-10 June 2017. A total of 154 contributed papers and 15 invited talks were presented at the conference, which was attended by participants from ten countries including the Philippines. SanD hosted four invited speakers, Constantinos Constantinou, Manas Kulkarni, Shawn Pollard, and Raul Santos. SanD physicists Cristine Villagonzalo and Francis Paraan played important organizational roles as the SPP President and Secretary General, respectively. SanD alumnae Karla Belisario-Rivero and Marienette Vega also contributed much to the success of SPP 2017 as members of the Conference Secretariat.
SanD DOST-ASTHRDP scholars Jan Philippe Sambo and Raymart Jay Canoy presented their work at the 2nd International Science Graduate Scholars' Conference at the PICC last 24-25 May 2017. This annual conference is organized by the Department of Science and Technology Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) to provide a venue for its scholars to share their thesis and dissertation research with other scholars, business and industry partners, and other stakeholders of the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program (ASTHRDP). In the conference poster session Jan presented his results on the time evolution of correlation functions in the ground state of a quenched XY model spin chain and Raymart presented his calculations of block purity in Kitaev chains with long-range interactions.
Last 24-26 May 2017 three SanD students presented their MS thesis research at the 12th Siam Physics Congress in Rayong, Thailand. The conference is jointly organized by the Thai Physics Society and Kasetsart University. Meliton Chiong III was cited as one of the best student presenters for his talk on a density functional theory study of bonding between carbon dioxide molecules and cobalt salen complexes. Amancio II Manceras presented his research on the advantage of genetic diversity in a Penna model of populations and Jan Fronimarc Villoria discussed his molecular dynamics simulations of the mechanical properties of copper-silver alloys.
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.