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COST Action 22113 – Kick-off meeting

This is the first official meeting of the COST Action (no. 22113) “Fundamental challenges in theoretical physics”. The meeting provides a chance for participants of this program to meet, to get acquainted with the topics they are working on, and to learn from the lectures and discussions with prominent invited speakers.

Dates: May 13-15, 2024
Place: University of Padova


Public talk

Stanislav Smirnov (University of Geneva)
“Tiles and puzzles”

Monday, May 13, 17:30  – Aula Magna, Palazzo del Bo

Abstract: Suppose we are given  (an infinite supply of) a few different tiles (puzzle-pieces). Can one tile the whole plane? How many tilings will there be for a given area? If there are many, how a random one will look like? We will discuss how even for simple tiles, like two different polygons, these problems become very interesting and relate to many areas, from logic to statistical physics.

Speakers and talk titles

  • Zoltan Bajnok (Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Budapest)
    Tracy-Widom distribution in four-dimensional super-Yang-Mills theories
  • Jan de Boer (University of Amsterdam)
    Some open questions in quantum gravity
  • Ruth Britto (Trinity College Dublin)
    Constructing Amplitudes
  • Alejandra Castro (Cambridge University)
    Engineering Gravitational Theories in AdS/CFT
  • Lorenzo di Pietro (University of Trieste)
    Taming Mass Gap with Anti-de Sitter Space
  • Ben Hoare (Durham University)
    Integrable sigma models and the string worldsheet
  • Grigory Korchemsky (IPhT, CEA Saclay)
    Probing quark confinement through energy correlations
  • Magdalena Larfors (Uppsala University)
    Machine learning tools for string theory: a brief survey of recent developments
  • Emanuel Malek (Humboldt University)
  • Marcos Mariño (University of Geneva)
    Resurgence and non-perturbative effects in quantum field theory and string theory
  • Vasilis Niarchos (University of Crete)
    Non-perturbative Quantum Physics and Deep Learning
  • Niels Obers (Niels Bohr Institute)
    Non-Lorentzian geometry in field theory, gravity and string theory
  • Jan Rosseel (Institut Ruđer Bošković, Zagreb)
    Non-Lorentzian Supergravity
  • Jacob Sonnenschein (Tel Aviv University)
    Chaos in string scattering
  • Dmitri Sorokin (INFN Padova)
    Recent developments in non-linear electrodynamics and TTbar deformations of field theories
  • Irene Valenzuela (CERN)
    The Road Towards Precision Swampland
  • Konstantin Zarembo (Nordita)
    Integrable D-branes
  • Michele del Zotto (Uppsala University)
    Generalized Symmetries and Dynamics of Quantum Fields



You can also watch the talks online!

Click to enlarge


Poster session and best poster prize

Participants presenting a poster may be eligible for a best poster prize, of the amount of 600 Euro before tax (unless they opt out). The eligibility criteria are 1) being a member of the Action 2) not holding a tenured or tenure-track position and 3) not being a member of the Action Management Committee or Core Group. The posters will be evaluated during the event by a panel consisting of members of the Action Core Group who are present at the meeting. The best poster prize will be announced on Tuesday evening during the gala dinner.


  • Stefano Baiguera (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
    The Panorama of Spin Matrix Theory
  • Bercel Boldis (HUN-REN Wigner RCP, BME)
    Strong coupling expansion of determinant observables in N=4 SYM
  • Davide Bonomi (City University of London)
    Analytic bootstrap for defect CFTs
  • Nihal Buyukcizmeci (Selcuk University)
    Modelling of nuclei formation in heavy ion collisions
  • Stefania Caggioli (University of Florence)
    Holographic thermal entropy from geodesic bit threads
  • Soumyadeep Chaudhuri (Université libre de Bruxelles)
    Perturbative analysis of finite cut-off JT gravity coupled to conformal matter
  • Zhaohui Chen (University of Würzburg)
    Eigenstate entanglement in SYK Lindbladians
  • Riccardo Ciccone (University of Haifa & Technion)
    Anomalies and Persistent Order in the Chiral Gross-Neveu Model
  • Ana Climent (ICC – University of Barcelona)
    Universal construction of black hole microstates
  • Lewis Cole (Swansea University)
    Integrability, Twistors, and Chern-Simons theories
  • Ariunzul Davgadorj (Masaryk University)
    Gauge field theories in Projective Superspace
  • Matheus Fabri (UNIPD)
    One-loop elastic amplitudes from tree-level elasticity in 2d
  • Stefano Gregorio Giaccari (University of Padua)
    Topological defects in K3 sigma models
  • Mauro Giliberti (UniFi, INFN)
    Simulating the HQCD phase diagram
  • Jessica Hutomo (INFN Padova)
    Hyper-dilaton Weyl multiplet of conformal supergravity
  • Jasper Kager (Técnico Lisboa)
    Resurgence of Multicritical Strings
  • Jani Kastikainen (University of Würzburg)
    Quantum information geometry of driven CFTs
  • Dennis le Plat (Wigner Research Centre for Physics)
    Lagrangian insertion in the AdS5/CFT4 integrable system
  • Chengcheng Liu (Queen Mary University of London)
    Kaluza-Klein model from non-commutative geometry
  • Quim Llorens (ICCUB)
    Pathologies of brane-induced higher-curvature gravity – and their resolution
  • Francesco Mignosa (Technion)
    symTFT for ABJ theories from holography
  • Javier Moreno (Universidad de Concepción)
    Conformal Bounds in Three Dimensions
  • Sophie Müller (Università degli studi di Parma)
    Constraints of Superconformal Symmetry
  • Ángel Jesús Murcia Gil (INFN, Sezione di Padova)
    Fantastic higher-curvature gravities and where to find them
  • Carlos I. Perez Sanchez (University of Heidelberg)
    The Spectral Action on quivers
  • Davide Polvara (UNIPD)
    Dressing Factors for Mixed-Flux AdS3 x S3 x T4 Superstrings
  • Lado Razmadze (Forschungszentrum Juelich)
    Functional Representation of the S-Matrix in Liouville Theory
  • João Rodrigues (Instituto Superior Técnico)
    Resurgence of Multicritical Strings
  • Andrew Rolph (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, VUB)
    Chaotic black hole evaporation
  • Torben Skrzypek (Imperial College London)
    Probing string corrections with AdS/CFT orbifolds
  • Alessandro Testa (University of Parma)
    Supersymmetric Wilson loop in non-conformal N=2 gauge theories and localization


Venue and accommodation

The meeting’s activities will take place in the city centre of Padova (for reference, close to Piazza Antenore). Participants (including speakers) are requested to arrange their own accommodation. A few hotels in the area are:

Hotel Majestic Toscanelli **** – An elegant hotel in the city centre (5 min walk)
Albergo Verdi *** – A comfortable hotel in the city centre (10 min walk)
Hotel Donatello *** – A comfortable hotel in a nice area of town (10 min walk); we have a 15% discount code for reservations made before April 13
Hotel Giotto *** – A budget hotel in a nice area of town (10 min walk)
Hotel Casa del Pellegrino *** – A budget hotel used by pilgrims of St Anthony (10 min walk)
Hilton Garden Inn **** – A modern hotel just outside the center (15 min walk)

Tip: in Padova it is easy to get a good simple breakfast in a cafe for 3 Euro or so (coffee and pastry, and 3 Euro more for some fresh juice); it’s usually not worth paying for hotel breakfast unless you are very keen on having eggs and bacon.

Arrival information

Padova is well-connected to long-distance trains through a high-speed line. The closest airport is Venice Marco Polo Airport. The cheapest way to reach Padova (station) from Marco Polo airport is the public operated bus service, which costs 10 Euros, see here for the schedule. The fastest way is a chauffeur service which takes about 40-45min and costs around 90 Euro; you can book by emailing for instance this service landomas@landomas.it. Shared transportation (shuttle) costs around 40 euros, see for instance here.

Here is a map of the conference venues and other useful locations:


Gala Dinner

All participants are invited to the conference gala dinner, which will take place on the evening of Tuesday, May 14, starting at 19:30, at the ground floor of Caffè Pedrocchi, a historic venue in the centre of Padova famous for its architecture. The dinner is included in the registration fee; participants who would like to bring one or more guests to the dinner should inquire with the organisers at cost@math.unipd.it



Click for the full size



Scientific committee: Riccardo Borsato, Nihal Buyukcizmeci, Nils Carqueville, Martin Cederwall, Saskia Demulder, Sibylle Driezen, Boris Pioline, Predrag Dominis Prester, Diego Rodriguez-Gomez, Paolo Rossi, Fiona Seibold, Alessandro Sfondrini, Piotr Sułkowski, Nicolaos Toumbas

Local organizers: Alessandro Sfondrini, Andrea Guerrieri, Elvira Pedone (secretariat)


This meeting is organised under the patronage of the Mathematics Department and of the Physics and Astronomy Department of Padova University. The meeting is organised in the framework and  with the financial support of COST Action CA22113 and with additional  financial support by Padova University under the MSCA Seal of Excellence @UniPD 2022 program, project CluES (Guerrieri / Sfondrini).