We are in the era of large, centralized or distributed environments where the amount of devices and data, and the heterogeneity thereof, is getting out of control.  At the verge of 2000, the Web era had already started the escalation to a very high number of   variously structured  data sources, but nowadays citizens and organizations produce and consume billions of bytes of data through their everyday operations, large scientific experiments rely on data management for progress, and  people create data fragments by massive use of social media and smart devices, so that the users themselves contribute in the Internet of Things both as sensors and actuators. However, out ability to collect, manage and interpret this information could be an obstacle to its use.

The Italian economic landscape, in a delicate phase where all the energy of the country should be collected to front the challenges of the world state of affairs, requires tactical and strategic  decision-making, which in its turn must be based on information, whose appropriate manipulation generates knowledge. Only the availability of such accurate knowledge gives competitive advantage to companies. Therefore processing, organizing, and analyzing data in order to derive knowledge from them acquires paramount importance. 

These needs are also observed in domains different from the purely economical and political ones. For instance physicists, doctors, and biologists need to integrate and analyze the results of their observations with other data sources such as PubMed or Grants, and Clinical Trials to build scientific databases. These huge datasets must be accessed in an efficient way, and human feedback should be supported during their manipulation.

In  the past four years Politecnico di Milano  has already been supporting   the introduction and development of disciplines related to Big Data and Data Science:

  • The Big Data and Data Science Track is offered by the Master Degree in Computer Science and Engineering to provide guidance for students in choosing among the great variety of the available courses. The effort has been to offer a bouquet of courses that allow students to face the above-mentioned information overload with the support of the appropriate conceptual and technical instruments.
  • In 2018 Politecnico di Milano plans to renew the Collaborative Innovation Centre created in 2013 together with IBM.  This has been the first of its kind in Europe, dedicated to Big Data and Business Analytics, whose purpose is the recognition of their importance, both in academia and in business , through specific programs of skills training.
  • The PoliCloud Lab is the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud designed, managed and deployed by the Electronics, Information and Bioengineering (DEIB) researchers made possible by donations by Yahoo (YSTAR – Yahoo Servers To Academic Researchers Program) and supported also by Politecnico di Milano. The PoliCloud Lab is a joint initiative of three departments of Politecnico di Milano – namely DEIB, Mathematics (DMEC) and Design - to create a cloud infrastructure for research and experimentation on Big Data, distributed computing, cloud architectures and Internet of Things (IoT). Coordinated by DEIB, the PoliCloud Lab brings to researchers and students the flexibility and scalability of cloud-computing infrastructures and at the same time the potential of big data and IoT. The PoliCloud Lab aims to become a test-bed for the development of research on various topics.

 

·           Contact Professor: Prof. Tanca

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