Over the last fifteen years we have witnessed a tremendous progress in our understanding of gauge and string theories. This process has created a consistent gap between the standard education offered by Italian
Universities and the actual frontiers of modern research in the field. The fast development of the subject does not allow theoretical courses throughout Italian PhD schools to provide an introduction to advanced aspects of gauge and string theories. Therefore, interested students do not get the necessary mathematical and theoretical background to profit of the vast literature.
As a consequence, the amount of time devoted to original researches is considerably reduced (within the strict three-years deadline to accomplish PhD studies), often resulting in a limited number of publications as compared to their colleagues abroad. This last feature clearly affects their chances to obtain a good
post-doctoral position from leading Institutions.
The Advanced Lectures on Fields and Strings
The aim of the school is to bring together every year PhD students with interests in supersymmetry, supergravity, string theory and gauge theories from graduate schools all-over Italy. We offer to them intense courses on the relevant basics, on the recent advances of gauge and string theories, and on the necessary mathematical tools. Clearly, this will help students to interact in a stimulating environment among themselves and with active scientists. In addition, it provides a solid and more specialised background in theoretical physics to get a grasp on the literature, to benefit from conferences and advanced international schools and, last but not least, to carry on successful research during the short period of their graduate studies.
We plan to offer, within the academic year, six different courses of 20 hours each, to be held at the Galileo
Galilei Institute, accordingly with its current activities. The first set of three courses should take place in late winter/early spring (February/March) and should be devoted to consolidate the mathematical background and to introduce basic concepts in rigid supersymmetry and perturbative string theory.
We believe that splitting the lectures in two different periods of the year not only will comply with the activities of the GGI but, more importantly, will allow students to assimilate the basic material of the first lectures
before they are exposed to more advanced topics. This sensibly distinguishes our proposal
from other similar advanced international schools were students are subject to an intense consecutive teaching with little time to metabolise the topics.
Lectures are delivered essentially in the morning. Students are expected to work on problems in the afternoons and some time will be devoted to collective discussions and working groups. A final test will be also considered.
Florence, February 14, 2008