The University of Pisa (www.unipi.it) is one of the earliest in Europe, active since the eleventh century and formally established in 1343. Today, it is a large, research-oriented university, whose faculty of 1,500 permanent scientists covers all disciplines, ranking in the top 100 world universities in physics, math and computer science. With its 50,000+ students in a city of 100,000, it offers students and scholars a unique learning and research experience. U. Pisa had a pioneering role in the international ICT scene since the 1950’s, when one of the first computers was realized in Pisa on a suggestion by Enrico Fermi, in collaboration between the university, the National Research Council (CNR) and Olivetti. The CS department, Dipartimento di Informatica (www.di.unipi.it), has a faculty of 60 permanent scholars, with pioneers and influential scientists in most traditional and novel areas of the computer and information sciences. The CS department, and the university as a whole, are pursuing many interdisciplinary research initiatives connected to the impulse that “big data” and the ICT’s are having on science, and the socio- economic sciences in particular. U. Pisa researchers are involved in many projects at global scale, and the department of computer science maintains strong liaisons with the international ICT research at the highest levels, including the research centers of the major ICT, Web and telecom corporations. U. Pisa has a long lasting partnership with CNR, the Italian National Research Council, especially between the CS department and the ICT institutes ISTI (Information Science and Technologies Institute) and IIT (Istituto di Informatica e Telematica) located in Pisa, with many common projects and laboratories. Recently the three institutions have given rise to the European Laboratory on Big Data Analytics and Social Mining www.sobigdata.eu in order to team up a critical mass of multi-disciplinary scientists that pursued pioneering work on the various facets of big data and social mining, as well as their big data and tools and systems and networks of international and interdisciplinary collaborators in academia, research and industry. The goal of this initiative is properly the one to create a European-wide research infrastructure on Big Data Analytics and Social Mining, capable of boosting research and innovation in the deployment of big data analytics, social mining and privacy/trust technologies to face global challenges. The founding labs within the CS dept are: Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Laboratory – KDD LAB, DI-UNIPI (PI: Dino Pedreschi), Advanced Algorithms and Applications Laboratory – ACUBE LAB, DI-UNIPI (PI: Paolo Ferragina)
Role in the Project
UNIPI are leading the JRA WP9 on enriching the SoBigData RI with new methods and services for social data mining and social sensing. They are also leading T4.4 on addressing gender and diversity issues in data science through training and outreach to high school students (an area where they have carried out workshops and school training events before). They also lead T5.3 on entrepreneurial skills training for data scientists, building on their EU Leonardo Transfer of Innovation project. UNIPI lead the JRA T9.2 on enriching the RI with new methods for social pattern discovery, while also contributing methods to other tasks in WP9. They are also involved in the virtual access activities and contributing to WP11 on evaluation.