International School for Advanced Studies

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International School for Advanced Studies
Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati
Logo of SISSA
Motto ...ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza (...to follow virtue and knowledge)
Type State-supported Graduate Institute
Established 1978
Director Prof. Stefano Ruffo
Administrative staff
88
Location Trieste, Italy
Website www.sissa.it/
The SISSA building

The International School for Advanced Studies (Italian: Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati, SISSA) is an international, state supported, post graduate teaching and research institute with a special statute, located in Trieste, Italy.

Instituted in 1978, SISSA's aim is to promote science and knowledge, particularly in the areas of Mathematics, Physics and Neuroscience. SISSA has moreover professional master programs. Each year about 70 Ph.D. students are admitted to SISSA based on their scientific qualifications. SISSA also runs, in collaboration with the University of Trieste,University of Trento, University of Udine, and ICTP master programs (Laurea magistrale) in mathematics, neuroscience and physics.

SISSA has the following research groups:

  • Astroparticle Physics[1]
  • Astrophysics[2]
  • Condensed Matter[3]
  • Molecular and Statistical Biophysics[4]
  • Statistical Physics[5]
  • Theoretical Particle Physics[6]
  • Cognitive Neuroscience[7]
  • Neurobiology[8]
  • Molecular Biology[9]
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Geometry[10]
  • Mathematical Analysis[11]
  • Mathematical Physics[12]

In addition, there is the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Natural and Humanistic Sciences (now LISNU - Laboratorio Interdisciplinare Scienze Naturali e Umanistiche)[13]

SISSA enjoys special teaching and scientific links with the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and the Elettra (Synchrotron Light Laboratory).[14] SISSA is an essential component of the Trieste System, the grouping of national and international scientific institutes that make Trieste the "City of Science."

The School provides the following services to students and members of other scientific institutions in the Trieste area:

  • Specialised Mathematics and Physics Library;
  • Parallel Calculus Centre;
  • Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory;
  • Neurophysiology and Confocal Microscopy Laboratory;
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory.

In 1986 SISSA was endowed with an Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Natural and Human Sciences, which has the task of exploring new research fields and links between scientific disciplines. It has the autonomy of a department and is organised in various research sectors. It currently offers a master's degree in Scientific Communication.

According to the last aggregate data issued by ANVUR - the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research Systems -  SISSA ranks:
  • first among medium-sized universities in physical science, in consideration of number of products, with a 22% positive variance compared to the Italian average;
  • first among small-sized universities in biological science, owing to the activity carried out in neuroscience, with a remarkable 64% positive variance;
  • second among small-sized universities in mathematical and computer science. With reference to the latter, the positive variance in the scientific production corresponded to 46% compared to the national average, placing SISSA only 1% away from the Scuola Normale of Pisa.

Since July 13, 2010 the campus has been located near Opicina, in the site of the former Santorio Santorio center for pneumology (Ospedale Pneumologico Santorio Santorio), where it is easily accessible by Opicina tramway.

Up to 2010 SISSA administrative offices and all research sectors were located near the Miramare Park, about 10 kilometres from the city of Trieste. The Miramare scientific still hosts the ICTP (International Center for Theoretical Physics) and the Department of Theoretical Physics[15] of the University of Trieste.

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