Alvaro Cassinelli was born in Montevideo (Uruguay) in 1972. In 1990 he earns both a French and Uruguayan B.Sc., and a grant to pursue his studies in France. He obtains a Graduate Engineering diploma from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécom (now Télécom ParisTech) in 1996, completing the same year a Doctoral Qualifying Degree (DEA/Master) in Physics (Laser & Matter Interaction) from the University of Paris-XI, Telecom and Ecole Polytechnique. In 2000 he receives a Ph.D degree from the University of Paris-XI Orsay.