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Aspiring quantum physicists gather in Rome

Up and coming: Fulvio Flamini (left) and Mario Ciampini (right) with Alaina Levine (Courtesy: Alaina Levine)

Up and coming: Fulvio Flamini (left) and Mario Ciampini (right) with Alaina Levine. (Courtesy: Alaina Levine)

By Alaina Levine

Recently I had the pleasure of travelling to La Sapienza University of Rome, to serve as the keynote speaker for the first ever Young Italian Quantum Information Science Conference. I was invited as part of a visiting lectureship programme run by the International Society of Optics and Photonics (SPIE), which supports SPIE student chapters around the world by providing travel funds for speakers.

The conference was a satellite of the annual Italian Quantum Information Science Conference (IQIS) and involved 95 students and postdocs from Italy and beyond. The day-long event was a great opportunity for the up-and-comers of quantum information to shine – and their technical talks demonstrated their expertise and passion.

After my talk on “Networking for nerds”, I caught up with PhD students Fulvio Flamini and Mario Ciampini who work in the Quantum Optics and Quantum Information Lab in the Department of Physics at La Sapienza. The pair organized the satellite conference and I asked them about the experience.

What were your goals and expectations for organizing Young IQIS?

FF and MC: The conference goal was to bring together many researchers from Italy and other countries to share and discuss the most recent topics in the field of quantum information. Young IQIS is completely funded by SPIE and was the first conference organized by the Rome Association of Young Scientists. Our goal was to establish a parallel event [to IQIS] that would provide professional development for young researchers in Europe.

Was the conference a successful addition to IQIS?

FF and MC: Yes. When we began organizing the Young IQIS, we expected about 60 people to attend. At the event, we counted more than 90. The scientific content of the contributed talks was of a very high level. The invited speakers provided an unusual take on the usual conference talks, which differentiated Young IQIS from other conferences. We have received much positive feedback from the students, especially for the programme as a whole and for the social event in the centre of Rome. In other words, we really couldn’t hope for a greater success!

What’s next for Young IQIS?

FF and MC: Given the outstanding success of the Young IQIS, we hope it will become an annual event. Next year the IQIS will take place in the wonderful Florence and we invite all our colleagues to contribute to the future of the Young IQIS.

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