In these days we have had the first PhD defense held on line as a consequence of the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 emergency. Even in this really strange and dramatic situation, with everybody (candidates, committee, friends and parents) remotely connected on the web, it was a great great emotion and satisfaction to hear Leonardo Galli (now in Taiwan), Giulio Galvan, Luca Tigli and Tommaso Levato defend, with success, their PhD theses. All of them come from our Global Optimization Laboratory. This emergency, hopefully soon, will come to an end. What will remain instead is the quality, both scientific and human, of these young researchers, and we will recall with emotion and proudness their presentations of today. Thanks also to the PhD Committee: Francesca Guerriero, Veronica Piccialli, Marco Di Summa. Leo, Giulio and Luca have been awarded the PhD title in Information Engineering, while Tommy got the PhD title in Smart Computing.