DIB - Fifty years of Italian computer science history

The Computer Science Department of the University of Bari (DIB) was established on January 1st 1992, an evolution of the former Information Science Institute, founded in 1983. In this institute Computer Science had already become part of the Italian university education scene in 1969, with the degree course in Information Science, which was the second to be introduced in the whole of Italy. Supporting the Institute, the Centre of Studies and Applications in Advanced Technologies (C.S.A.T.A), with its advanced technological infrastructures, contributed to creating the first generation of Italian computer scientists. In the space of fifty years the DIB has expanded greatly and with its 48 teaching staff members, in various fields of computer science, it is now the biggest computer science department in Southern Italy.

In order to satisfy the wide-spread “digital hunger”, for many years the DIB has conducted two Bachelor's degree courses (3 years) in Bari and one in Taranto, with a 2-year Master's degree course in Computer Science conducted exclusively in English in Bari, a 2-year Master's degree course in Data Science in Bari and a 2-year Master's degree course in Cyber Security in Taranto. The number of students enrolled in these courses totals approximately 2,600 (2250 in Bari and 350 in Taranto), with more than 900 new 1st year students every year. While the Master's degree course in Computer Science promotes internationalization, the Master's in Cyber Security produces experts with multi-disciplinary skills, able to design, develop and manage secure computer systems. In fact, recent events of world-wide importance have highlighted the significance of cyber security. However, experts are still lacking (according to a report in 2015 there are only 200,000 in the United States of America). Companies all over the world are resorting to training courses for their staff, in partnership with universities. To meet these needs, the short Master's in Cyber Security has been activated by the DIB in Brindisi. The DIB is also promoting a 2-year Master's in Data Science, in executive format, with week-end lessons. In fact, there is a lack of experts in this sector too.

The university training offered by the DIB benefits from advanced research for the study and application of new methods and computer science techniques. Much research is carried out in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning and Data Mining allow knowledge to be tapped from vast amounts of data (Big Data) and to be applied in various contexts. Natural Language Processing and Semantic Systems enable the discovery and personalized filtering of the information. Computational Intelligence deals with imprecision by imitating typical human learning processes and reasoning. Another research area is Software Engineering, which focuses on processes for producing high quality software. Some prominent topics in this area are social computing (social calculation) and affective computing – a form of calculation that takes into account emotions and feelings. Other research in the DIB focuses on interaction with intelligent objects (IoT) in virtual worlds with increased reality, as well as the visualization of vast amounts of data to promote analysis and understanding. Finally, the training has become smart, making use of research in e-learning and serious games (games with an educational aim) and in multi-medial and multi-modal technological solutions.

Technological transfer is significant in the DIB, via research projects, which are also European. There is also continuous, profitable collaboration with both the social and industrial worlds in Puglia and Italy. The DIB carefully carries out the university's “third mission”.

Current Director: prof. Donato Malerba (December 2015 - )
Past Directors: Prof. Sebastiano Impedovo (1992-1998), Prof. Carlo dell'Aquila (1998-2002), Prof. Floriana Esposito (February 2003 - October 2008), Prof. Anna Maria Fanelli (November 2008 - November 2015).

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pubblicato il 04/11/2019 ultima modifica 14/02/2023