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Educational activities

The Catalogue of specialist courses for all students enrolled in the PhD programmes of the Department of Engineering can be accessed from here.
Practical information (e.g. course schedule, syllabus, and delivery mode) is available. The course offering mainly refers to the 2022/23 academic year.
The course enrolment deadline is usually a week prior to the start date.

Doctoral courses 2023


We offer specific training modules and seminar cycles, with the help of internal and external professors. This year, we will mostly consider lectures organized in remote mode. We will re-organize the module on Fundamentals of Big Data, while other thematic seminars are still in phase of definition and scheduling.

2019 modules:

Fundamentals of Big Data - Aula 7 and Aula 3, DMI

Prerequisites: Basic courses in Information and Communication Technologies, e.g., programming, information and coding theory, databases. Basic knowledge of probability theory.

Instructors: Prof. Raffaele Giancarlo and Prof. Simona Rombo.

24 Gennaio, 2019 - Via Archirafi 34, Aula 7
10:00/13:30 (Rombo)
1 Introduction to Big Data and Data Mining
1.1 What are big data, where they are, related problems
1.2 Ploblems and solutions on data mining
1.3 Problems and solutions on data cleaning

25 Gennaio, 2019 - Via Archirafi 34, Laboratory 3
10:00/13:30 (Rombo)
2 Technologies and practical implementation
2.1 MapReduce, Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark
2.2 Data cleaning with the module Kettle of Penthao

30 January, 2019 - Via Archirafi 34, Laboratory 3
10:00/13:00 (Rombo)
3 Working with Spark
3.1 Spark libraries and tools
3.2 Implementing a recommendation system in Spark

31 January, 2019 - Via Archirafi 34, Aula 7
10:00/13:00 (Giancarlo)
4 Searching in Small Space
4.1 Universal Hash Function
4.2 Bloom Filters

1 February, 2019 - Via Archirafi 34, Aula 7
10:00/13:00 (Giancarlo)
5 Counting in Small Space
5.1 Hyperlogaritmic counters
5.2 Frequent Elements in Streams
5.3 Frequency Moments (outline)


Seminars 2019/2020:

1. Title: Machine-learning for 5G Mobile Networks: a pragmatic essay on where, how and why.

Aula Savagnone, edificio 9, Dipartimento di Ingegneria

Venerdì 21 febbraio 2020, ore 15:00-18.00.

Speaker: Prof. Michele Rossi, University of Padova, Italy

Abstract: In this talk, I discuss some selected applications of Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to modern mobile systems. I follow a pragmatic approach, leveraging my recent research work, which encompasses algorithms for energy efficiency, Quality of Service (QoS) enhancements and the use of inference tools for the analysis and prediction of context information (traffic, mobility, etc.). My objective is to show where (which applications), how (in combination with which techniques) and why (the benefits) ML may be useful, with an emphasis on the how, i.e., what may be good usage models for ML (e.g., open- vs closed-loop) in conjunction with optimization and control algorithms for wireless networks, and on the adopted learning strategies (e.g., supervised vs unsupervised).

Short Bio: Michele Rossi is an Associate Professor with the Department of Information Engineering at the University of Padova, Italy. His research interests lie in wireless sensing, green mobile networks, edge and wearable computing. In the last few years, he has been actively involved in EU projects on IoT technology (IOT-A, FP7-ICT- 2009-5, project no. 257521) and has collaborated with SMEs such as Worldsensing (Barcelona, ES) in the design of optimized IoT solutions for smart cities and with large companies such as SAMSUNG and INTEL, developing technologies within the wireless health and IoT domains. In 2014, he has been the recipient of a SAMSUNG GRO award with a project entitled ``Boosting Efficiency in Biometric Signal Processing for Smart Wearable Devices''. In 2016-2018, he has been collaborating with INTEL on the design of IoT protocols exploiting cognition and machine learning, as part of the INTEL Strategic Research Alliance (ISRA) R&D program. His research is currently supported by the European Commission through the H2020 ITN SCAVENGE project (project no. 675891) on "green 5G networks" and by the H2020 ITN MINTS (project no. 861222) on "millimeter-wave networking and sensing for beyond 5G networks". Dr. Rossi has been the recipient of six best paper awards from the IEEE, currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing and of the IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society (OJ-COMS). He is a Senior Member of the IEEE. Web:


2. Title: The End of the Line is Over There: Assuring Compliance with Rules in Distributed Environments

Aula Savagnone, edificio 9, Dipartimento di Ingegneria

5 febbraio 2020, ore 15:30-18:30.

Speaker: Prof. Szymon Szott, AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland

Abstract: A key issue in distributed networking environments (i.e., those lacking a central authority) is ensuring that everyone follows the rules when accessing shared resources. I will present the results of my post-doctoral research, which encompasses QoS, cybersecurity, game theory, Wi-Fi networks and ... psychology. The topic will be covered using a high-level approach to welcome a broad-ranging audience and, perhaps, inspire the identification of new research challenges. Finally, I would like to ask some open questions about distributed networks - I look forward to an interesting discussion!

Short Bio: SzymonSzott received his MSc and PhD degrees in telecommunications (both with honors) from the AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland in 2006 and 2011, respectively. Currently he is working as an associate professor at the Department of Telecommunications of AGH University. In 2013, he was a visiting researcher at the University of Palermo (Italy) and at Stanford University (USA). His professional interests are related to wireless local area networks (channel access, quality of service, security, inter-technology coexistence). In the past, he has been a member of ETSI’s Network Technology Working Group Evolution of Management towards Autonomic Future Internet (AFI), a senior member of IEEE, an IEEE 802.11 Working Group member, and on the management board of the Association of Top 500 Innovators. He is a reviewer for international journals and conferences. He has been involved in several European projects (DAIDALOS II, CONTENT, CARMEN, MEDUSA, FLAVIA, PROACTIVE, RESCUE) as well as grants supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the National Science Centre. He is the author or co-author of over 70 research papers.


3. Title: An Efficient Screening Method for Identifying Parameters and Interactions that Impact Wireless Network Performance

Aula Savagnone, edificio 9, Dipartimento di Ingegneria

10 Luglio 2020, ore 12:00:13.00 – 15:00-18:00.

Speaker: Prof. Violet Syrotiuk, Arizona State University, USA

Abstract: Wireless networks rely on a protocol stack to provide connectivity. Not only are the protocols at each layer reconfigurable, potential interactions arise among parameters of the protocol stack, operating system, hardware, and operating environment. Hence, there is a vital need to quickly determine the parameters and interactions that significantly impact the performance of a wireless system. We introduce a new combinatorial design --- a locating array (LA) --- to efficiently identify the parameters impacting audio quality and RF exposure in the w-iLab.t wireless network testbed in Belgium. Different from many conventional techniques, the size of LAs grows logarithmically in the number of parameters. This makes LAs practical for such identification in complex engineered networks, such as w-iLab.t. Existing software tools, such as JMP, cannot be used to analyze the measured performance data directly as they assume a balanced structure in experimentation. Therefore, using a framework from compressive sensing, we propose a new algorithm for the analysis that also provides robustness to noise in the wireless network.  Using our analysis technique, we identify the significant parameters impacting audio quality and exposure and separately validate the results. This is joint work with Charles J. Colbourn of Arizona State University, and Michael T. Mehari, Eli De Poorter, and Ingrid Moerman of Ghent University - imec.

Short Bio: Violet R. Syrotiuk earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo in Canada. She started her academic career in 1999 with the University of Texas at Dallas, and joined Arizona State University in 2002 where she is now an Associate Professor. Her research interests are diverse, though primarily in wireless networks. These include: applications of designed experiments, statistical analysis, time-series analysis, anomaly detection, and monitoring to cross-layer protocol design and optimization, and protocols adaptive to dynamic network conditions; applications of combinatorics to networking, including topology-transparent scheduling, compressive sensing, and traffic grooming; contention and scheduled medium access control protocols; experimentation on GENI and FIRE testbeds. Dr. Syrotiuk is a Senior Scientist in Sustainability.


4. Title: Attacchi Cross-Site RequestForgery sul Web: Tecniche e Contromisure

Webinar, 18 Maggio 2020 ore 15:00

Speaker: Prof. Gianluca Lax, Dipartimento di Ingegneriadell'Informazione,delle Infrastrutture e

dell'Energia Sostenibile,Università degli Studi “Mediterranea”di Reggio Calabria, Italy

Abstract: La Cyber Security, ed in particolare la Sicurezza del Web, offre numeroseopportunità di lavoro in quanto è molto ampio il divario fra domanda eofferta di professionisti in questo settore. Gli attacchi di tipo Cross-SiteRequestForgery rappresentano una vulnerabilità di cui possono soffrire i siti web che non utilizzano meccanismi per verificare l’autenticità dellerichieste ricevute. Il seminario presenta il modo in cui questi attacchivengono realizzati e casi reali in cui hanno successo. Vengono anche presentate le necessarie contromisure che il progettista del sito deveprevedere per contrastarli.


5. Title:Quantum Correlations: From Foundations to Technology

Aula Capitò, Scuola Politecnica, Viale delle Scienze, Edificio 7

28 Maggio 2018 ore 15:00

Speaker: Prof. Andreas Winter, ICREA, Universitat Autònoma de Barcellona, Spain.

Abstract: The aspect in which quantum mechanics departs fundamentally from classical physics is its probabilistic nature. Indeed, the theory no longer predicts deterministic values of its variables based on dynamical laws, as it had been in physics until 1900, nor indeed of the possible observations, but probability distributions. This means that every knowledge about a system comes in the form of correlations between the system and another system, ephemeral probability relations between different possible measurements.

In the early days of quantum mechanics, Einstein and Schrödinger (1935) asked whether these probabilistic laws might not be reducible to an underlying deterministic physics, with the probabilities only being an expression of our ignorance of these hidden variables. In the course of this debate, quantum entanglement was first noted, and not just as a quirky possibility of the new physics, but as a ubiquitous phenomenon. Later, Bell (1965) discovered that because of entanglement, quantum mechanics is incompatible with local hidden variables and indeed leads to experimentally testable different predictions, which have since then refuted Einstein's dream of a "realistic" description of nature, under increasingly rigorous standards, in the experiments from Aspect (1982) to the recent "loophole-free" Bell tests (2015-2017).

Quantum entanglement is the paradoxical situation in which we may have perfect knowledge of the whole of a composite system, yet perfect ignorance (=unpredictability) about its parts, although they are, necessarily, highly correlated. Entanglement can thus explain why we tend to find systems of many degrees of freedom in thermal equilibrium, solving a puzzle in statistical physics since Boltzmann (1876). But it is since the 1990s that a fundamental shift in our appreciation of entanglement has occurred, with the realization by Bennett, Wiesner, Ekert, to name only the pioneers, that we can use these strange correlations to achieve unprecedented tasks in information processing: private communication, dense coding of classical information and teleportation of quantum systems. Entanglement is also at the heart of the super-classical speed-ups in certain computational tasks, such as Shor's algorithm for the factorisation of integers into their prime factors (1995).

At the same time, the quantum state became acknowledged as a kind of information in itself, a radical departure from the old information theory which conceptualised information only as reproducible, copyable, in one word "classical".  We now see information theory as a much wider game in which many different resources interact intricately, among them classical information, quantum information, entanglement, etc. I will try to show an outline of this modern quantum information theory and its nascent technology.

Short Bio: See Andreas Winter webpage here:


6. Title: Breaking boundaries: A quantum journey

Aula Capitò, Scuola Politecnica, Viale delle Scienze, Edificio 7

28 Maggio 2018 ore 16:30

Speaker: Prof. Gerardo Adesso, University of Nottingham, UK.

Abstract: Why should young talented scholars devote their life to science? There are plenty of better paid jobs, with 9-to-5 timetables and less pressure than what found in the academic world. Yet a thirst for knowledge remains in some of us, which cannot be quenched in any other way than by embracing the “dark side” of graduate school, and the highly uncertain path to an established research career.

My science journey has been and is driven by a genuine curiosity to discover the ultimate limits of the quantum description of the world. It turns out that, by understanding at a deeper level the physics of the fundamental constituents of matter, one also gains blueprints to design disruptive information and computation technologies, which are about to spark a new industrial revolution. This is a fascinating byproduct, which is attracting interest and huge investments from a multidisciplinary community of scientists and engineers, even though it is not the crucial goal or motivation for me.

In this talk I will take you on a tour to the elusive border between the quantum and our familiar classical world. While venturing in such uncharted land, I will talk about my own struggles and flukes, and hopefully relate with yours. Despite a lot of “no” days (which certainly happen in any job or personal relationship), after more than a decade I have the luck to be extremely happy with my life as a researcher. This is what I love, it makes me feel alive, free, and it is – on average – a lot of fun.

There is no predetermined path to success in science. The best discoveries are unexpected, born out of errors, or chance, and certainly not predicted in a grant application. Yet a collective effort is needed to update the academic landscape in order to allow passionate and promising scientists to follow their more original ideas while nurturing their talent [see e.g. Nature 538, 451 (2016)].

I will be happy to take your feedback and fresh perspectives on this very crucial matter.

Short Bio: See Gerardo Adesso webpage here:


 Summary of Modules and training activities



N of CFUs (o N hours)

Required optional

Final verification required


Language skills

Frontal courses in English;

Training organized at University level (University Language Center Courses);

100 hours

Optional, if in possession of certification



Management of research, knowledge of research systems and funding systems

Training organized at university level with reference to the events "Training for Research".

12 hours




Enhancement of research results and intellectual property

Training organized at University level with reference to the events "Training for Research"

12 hours




Courses borrowed from master's degree programs

Typically two, to be chosen according to the research topic





Teachings borrowed from first level degree courses






Seminar cycles

Cycle of seminars organized by the College of teachers or external experts:

1)      Algorithms and Tools for Big Data Processing (30 ore), tenuto da R. Giancarlo e S. Rombo

2)      Designing and monitoring indoor physical parameters for special dwellings: the case of the heritage and museum buildings (30 ore), tenuto da M. La Gennusa

3)      Guidedoptics (30 ore), tenuto da A. Cino

4)      Time series analysis of biomedical data. Application to electrocardiographic and photoplethysmographic signals, tenuto da R. Pernice.


6 CFUs for weekly schools;

3 CFUs for 30-hour thematic seminars.

Optional, to be chosen according to the theme

Yes (possibly with report, if not provided by the school)


Research stays

yes, 6- 12 months