About Me
Brief Academic Biography

After having spent eight years in United States I returned to Italy in Fall 2007 due to U.S. Visa requirements. Between 2007 and 2009 I started my own company and worked as independent consultant in the renewable energy market with special focus on photovoltaics. In 2008 I spent ten months working full time as executive manager for a software corporation. During this period I kept a foot in the academic environment working in my spare time on eigensolver applications in quantum physics with specific focus on organic semiconductors. In 2009 I was hired as postdoctoral researcher by AICES/RWTH thanks to the funding of a JARA-SIM project. The work on eigensolvers in DFT produced during this year lead me to write a research proposal that was funded by the VolkswagenStiftung in early 2011. Funding from the grant allowed me to be hired as Research Associate by the Jülich Supercomputing Center (JSC) wher I am currently employed.

Before developing a passion for scientific computing and computational physics, I primarily worked on theoretical aspects of quantum field theory and String Theory models. From fall 2005 until fall 2007 I was a postdoctoral associate at the University of North Carolina. During this period of time my interest veered towards topics borderline between cosmology and high energy physics. I worked on modeling cosmological consequences of Grand Unified Theories (GUT) theories. Soon after I endeavored in the hard task of computing potentials in supergravity that would lead to inflationary scenarios in String inspired models. Due to the complicated nature of the problem I started conceiving the use of computational methods for its solution. In fall 2005 I was a guest of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. The time spent there allowed me to greatly expand my interests and enabled me to establish important collaborations with researchers both inside and outside the institute. These collaborations resulted in several original papers published during the following two years.

In August 2005, the University of Texas at Austin awarded me a Ph.D. in Physics. Research pursued in 2002 and 2003 under the supervision of Prof. Vadim Kaplunovsky constituted the core of my dissertation. In, 2002 I became strongly interested in the interplay between gauge theory and random matrices and studied closely the numerous developments of the topic. The next year I studied the ring of chiral operators of a rather general quiver gauge model and developed a random matrix model dual to it. After completing my dissertation, I diversified my interests looking at other aspects of String Theory with possible phenomenological implications. I was involved in an ambitious project trying to account for the finiteness of Hilbert space in deSitter quantum gravity. The work in this direction produced significant novel results.

Before being awarded a Fulbright fellowship in 1999 to pursue a graduate degree in the United States, I worked on expanding my undergraduate thesis under the encouragement of Prof. Massimo Bianchi, extending the formalism to supersymmetric models. Two years earlier, in 1997, I had completed my degree (Laurea) at the I Universita` agli studi di Roma "La Sapienza" under the supervision of Prof. Francesco Guerra with an original work on the applicability of the Nambu-Jona Lasinio mechanism to dynamical breaking of the electroweak symmetry in the Standard Model.

Extra Academic Activities

Among my several interests outside the academic environment the main ones are

  • Fulbright Activities - In 1999 I became a Fulbright Scholar. Since then I have been quite active in the Fulbright community. In 2001 I served as president of the Fulbright scholars association of the University of Texas. After returning in Italy I was involved in reactivating the Italian Fulbright community with the intention of playing a central role in its networking initiatives. In early 2011 I became the national coordinator of the newly created Fulbright Alumni Italia chapter of the Amerigo association. I am also founder and member of the Marketing and Communication group of the recently established European Network of American Alumni Associations (ENAM)

  • Renewable Energy - Energy is the next big crisis that is going to hit hard on our lives within the next 20 years (once the oil peak on the Hubbert curve will be reached for the middle east oil reserves). And this time it won't last only a couple of years but it will have a much deeper impact on our lives if we don't do something NOW. This is unfortunately very poorly understood. I think everybody should make a major effort to save energy and push for more alternative energy resources. Renewables are particularly enticing since, as their name suggests, are not destined to be exhausted in the future. I have strong feeling about this issue and I am personally involved in practical initiatives in which I put my knowledge to serve private customer as well as the community.

  • Rock Climbing - I started climbing in 2000 while pursuing my Ph.D. degree in Texas. I first practiced this sport indoor for about a year. I eventually abandoned the indoor practice and dedicated my spare time to short outdoor climbs so abundant in Central Texas. I don't currently climb on a regular basis but I am ready to jump on the rope anytime is possible.

  • Cycling - I love to go biking on the road or on trails. In U.S. I had a awesome Gary Fisher that I had to unwillingly sell once I moved back in Italy. Now I have a not so good NSR that I use on my excursions in the metropolitan parks in Rome.

  • Mounteneering - I started hiking the Alps since I was a child. I have a walked on almost any trail in the Dolomites, and I consider that region of the Alps as my second home. I brought several friends to hike in the region and all of them loved it at the first sight. If you need advise or guidance do not hesitate to ask me.

  • Musician - Since I was thirteen years old I have been playing an instrument. I started with clarinet and switched to Alto sax in my twenties. I still seldom play it even if I would like to do it more regularly especially within a band.