Over 300 physicists and students gathered in the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in sunny Lugano for the 2016 annual meeting of the SPS. In fact, it has been a long time from the last SPS annual meeting in Ticino, as Piero Martinoli, president of the USI remembered us at the opening of the conference (Locarno 1933 and 34, Lugano 1953 and 1973, and in the frame of the ASSN/SANW meeting in Airolo in 1998).
Being in Lugano has allowed to realize the impressive development of USI, which has now faculties in Architecture, Economics, Communication Science, Informatics, and since recently even a faculty of Biomedical Science, in collaboration with ETHZ. It counts nearly three thousand students and three hundred PhD students. It is also the most international university of Switzerland. The growth of the USI can also be seen in its budget, which roughly rose by a factor of 9 between 2002 and 2014. USI researchers have also been awarded two Starting/Consolidator and five Advanced Grants from ERC, the European Research Council.
The conference started on Tuesday early afternoon, preceeded by the CHIPP meeting and a visit to the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (Centro Svizzero di Calcolo Scientifico CSCS) in the morning. USI offered sufficient rooms in a new building for the 11 parallel sessions, held from Tuesday to Thursday.
The General Assembly was very well attended with more than 60 participants. Apart from the recurring topics like elections, it was the occasion to learn about a new award , the IPhO and some other news from the SPS. We could this year also welcome two new honorary members. We would like to thank again Christian Rüegg who reached his term as board member and section head for his extraordinary engagement for our society.
The conference dinner on Wednesday evening was a good opportunity to enjoy a sunny Lake Lugano with its wonderful mountain scenery and to walk through the Swissminiatur in Melide where about 180 participants gathered for an apéro offered by the USI and followed by a nice dinner.
A detailed report can be found in the SPG Mitteilungen No. 50.