University of Lugano
|Università della Svizzera italiana|
Faculty of informatics
|Endowment||CHF 60 million|
|Location||Lugano (main), Mendrisio (Accademia di Architettura), Ticino
|Campus||Urban 15 acres (0.1 km2)|
Università della Svizzera italiana (USI; literally University of Italian Switzerland) is a public university located in Lugano, Switzerland, founded in 1996. USI has four faculties (schools), and follows the European standard of three-year undergraduate studies and two-year master's (in Italian or English).
The Lugano campus developed around an existing neo-classical structure that was originally the city hospital circa 1996. Several state-of-the-art buildings have been added, most notably Informatics (2007), Aula Magna, Aule, Library, and LAB.
The main building consists of four floors containing: Communications and Economics offices (1-3), the Executive Centre, four computer labs (1), classrooms (1-3), the ALaRI institute (4), dining-center (2)(Q1-2007), and third-floor auditorium (3)(Q3-2007). The library is four floors tall: study tables line the interior, and a moderate collection of books and periodicals extend to the periphery; books can be requested from other libraries (e.g. ETH Zurich). The LAB has six floors: three floors dedicated as partitioned study & research space for Economics students; its name originates from its purpose as ETH Zurich's Chemical & Applied Biosciences Department.
The Aule, informally known as "Palazzo Rosso" (Red Building), hosts six classrooms on its three floors, and is commonly used by Economics and Communications faculties. The modern-looking concrete & metal Informatics building finished in 2007 contains classrooms (1), offices and study areas reserved for CS students and mentors (2-3). The university parking lot is hosted underneath Informatics and Aule.
Aula Magna is a university's convention hall and capable of seating over 1,000 people; it is used to host university conferences, speeches, and classical music concerts; and solely the entrance to the hall is visible above ground. South of the main building, the Central Services offices houses the presidency and core services of the university, and the Institutes provide offices for PhD students, assistants, and other research students.
There is an apartment building owned by the school in town (Casa dell' Accademia). Other apartments are obtained through local agencies.
Departments & Faculty
USI has four faculties, three of which are located on the main campus, namely, Economics, Communication Science, and Informatics. The faculty of Architecture is located in the nearby town of Mendrisio. The campus is also shared with a theology department which is not affiliated with the university.
The faculty/academy of Architecture is led by director Marc Collomb. With forty lecturers and twenty-five design studios (including Mario Botta, Massimo Carmassi, Valerio Olgiati), the Accademia in Mendrisio trains 712 students for 3-year bachelor, and 2-year masters degree (2011).
USI's faculty of Economics is led by dean François Degeorge. 1029 students (2011). Topics: Banking, Finance, Management, Economics and International Policies (it); Financial Communication, Marketing; in English and Italian.
The faculty of Communication Science is led by dean Lorenzo Cantoni. 865 students (2011). Topics of research and teaching include Media, new media and journalism, Marketing, Corporate Communication, Public communication, Healthcare communication, Information and communication technologies, Education and Tourism, mainly in Italian and English.
The faculty of Informatics was founded in 2004. It offers the only undergraduate program at USI, with English as the language of instruction. The founding dean founding was Mehdi Jazayeri. Since 2013 the faculty is led by Michele Lanza.
The Faculty of Informatics at Università della Svizzera italiana performs world-class research in many areas of informatics, including computational science, computer systems, geometric and visual computing, information systems, intelligent systems, programming languages, software engineering, theory and algorithms. With its award-winning, innovative curriculum, the faculty aims to train informatics experts who are interdisciplinary in approach, with abstract thinking and generalization skills, a sound knowledge in the application fields of information technologies, as well as project-management and teamwork abilities.
First year students cover mathematical topics, computer architecture, networking, and fundamental concepts of programming. A further course persists throughout the 3-year undergraduate curriculum. Called the Atelier, it has the purpose of bringing the courses together and to provide exposure to real world tools that are useful to computer scientists, including Unix, LaTeX, HTML/CSS, CVS.
Students are expected to learn about a wide variety of topics, from big O notation and calculus, through networking protocols and layers, to computer architecture. A variety of programming languages are used. Programming is introduced through Scheme and functional programming throughout the first semester, in parallel with the computer architecture course (which uses MIPS assembly). Later on, C and mostly Java are used. The curriculum puts a strong emphasis on teamwork, with a major group project happening at the end of every semester.
Institute of Computational Science
USI's Institute of Computational Science was founded in 2008 and is led by director Rolf Krause. The institute is the result of the vision of USI to become a new scientific and educational node for Computational Science in Switzerland. The instutute offers research and teaching in Mathematical Modeling, Numerical Simulation, and High Performance Computing. The ICS hosts seven research groups which focus on advanced computing in computational science, high-performance methods for numerical simulation in science, medicine and engineering, computational time series analysis, computational shape analysis, multiscale and multiphysics models in computational biology, computational modeling of cardiac electrophysiology, and the simulation of biological and physical systems.
The Applied Mathematics and Computational Science Master of Science graduate program at the ICS emphasizes a mathematical and methodological framework as well as an application-oriented education in Informatics and Software Engineering.
Student life and culture
Università della Svizzera italiana had 2852 students in 2010-2011; of these 1039 (37%) are Swiss, and 1813 (63%) are foreign - from Italy (38%) or from over one hundred other nationalities (25%). Exchange students (see Erasmus) for 2009-2010 were 104.
In leisure time, students participate in city-sponsored tourism events, school-sponsored sporting activities, and student associations, despite the town's small population. Twenty student associations have been established, with student clubs oriented around economics (AIESEC, Finance Floor USI), informatics (EESTEC, IEEE student branch), and communications (L'universo newspaper). Student clubs help orient students beyond the scope and purpose of the university orientation program, providing both professional guidance and information in career choices, and shorter-term personal experience sharing on services and entertainment within student financial means otherwise not advertised in Lugano.
|This section requires expansion. (October 2013)|
- Swiss National Supercomputing Centre
- In 2013 USI has been accredited a UNESCO chair in ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites
Notes and references
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Università della Svizzera Italiana.|
- USI Facts & Figures (Dec 2008 - IT)
- USI Università della Svizzera Italiana
- USI's Professional Photographs
- Information's about the Università della Svizzera italiana
- European Journalism Observatory