IFT Alumni: Beyond the Standard IFT

The IFT is a world-wide top-class research center in the field of Theoretical Physics, whose results have a strong impact in the scientific community, the academia, and also the greater society through different outreach programs.

However, in recent years, there has been mounting evidence for the existence of a new portal of influence, mediated by a hidden sector whose components were originally confined within the IFT but eventually propagated freely or maintaining only weak interactions with the original source. This dark sector extends the influence of the IFT activities at a level greater than the naively visible IFT, and constitutes an incipient structure Beyond the Standard IFT: The IFT Alumni.

IFT Alumni

The IFT has a strong emphasis on training master and PhD students. The IFT participates in the UAM Master of Theoretical Physics, with a mention of excellence from the Campus of International Excellence UAM+CSIC. IFT members also supervise PhD students initiating them into research in the field, but more generally into independent thinking and problem solving. Many of these PhD students continue their research careers, either in Theoretical Physics, or in other areas of Science or Education. Others move away from Academia, transferring their expertise to bank and investment companies, software development, engineering, etc. In addition to this coverage of surprisingly different activities, they also have a substantial spread at the geographical level.

Activities carried out by IFT Alumni stem at least partially from seeds instilled during their PhD years at the IFT, and therefore IFT Alumni can be regarded as natural ambassadors of the main IFT characteristic features: a thirst of knowledge and understanding up to the most fundamental levels, pursued by independent and novel ways of thinking, and supported by hard-work and professional integrity.

Alumni Association

The IFT Alumni are an important part of IFT history (specially for the PhD supervisors), just as the IFT is an important part of each former student’s history. It makes sense to keep a joint memory of these common roots.

By setting up the IFT Alumni Club, we plan to strengthen the links between our former PhD students and today’s IFT. The IFT Alumni Association is thought of as a structure to shape up this network of connections, by upgrading them from occasional personal contact to a more institutional level.

Contact with Alumni via email distribution list or social network contacts will be used for invitations to participate in special IFT events, update of IFT general interest activities, or even for collaboration or partnering in specific projects. This contact can also be specially useful for present day IFT students, to learn about career development of their predecessors in different areas, and to instill the feeling of belonging to something bigger than the IFT building boundaries.

Although initially motivated by the network of former PhD students, the IFT Alumni can eventually extend to include former IFT postdocs, Ramón y Cajal researchers, and other IFT-related collectives.

Credit: Fernando Marchesano