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Press release | 03/12/2021
The Digital Challenge at Bocconi University

The Digital Challenge at Bocconi University


Digital transformation is changing every aspect of society and today is the basis of its development. Like electricity in the nineteenth century, it is the harbinger of a true industrial revolution. But if on the one hand digital impacts every sector, not all sectors are always ready to welcome its innovations. We need new transversal skills, and that means education which opens the social sciences to new input from big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
In this spirit, the new Department of Computing Sciences was announced, which, starting from the spring of 2022, will bring together teaching and research on which an international and diversified faculty already works today.  They are studying the most advanced fields of data and computer science, theoretical physics, computational mathematics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Bocconi research on these issues is also conveyed through BIDSA, the Bocconi Institute for Data Science and Analytics directed by Igor Pruenster, as well as through the activity of Chairs created with the contributions of Bocconi supporters. Three Chairs were endowed in recent years: the Amplifon Chair in Customer Science entrusted to Gaia Rubera and inaugurated this year; the Vodafone Chair in Machine Learning and Data Science given to Riccardo Zecchina (2018) and the BNP Paribas Chair in Marketing and Service Analylitcs held by Andrea Ordanini (2018).
In addition, there are three research projects funded by ERC (European Research Council) Grants hosted by Bocconi and related to digital topics (the total number of grants hosted is 40):
  • SAIM, A Scientific Approach to Innovation Management by Alfonso Gambardella
  • CoDim Competition in Digital Markets by Francesco Decarolis
  • INTEGRATOR, Incorporating Demographic Factors into Natural Language Processing Models, by Professor Dirk Hovy.
The work of Bocconi scientists and researchers busy on these fronts has already produced an initial result. Bocconi, together with Milan Bicocca, Milan Polytechnic and University of Milan, has been selected to form a Unit of ELLIS, the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems, in Milan. ELLIS brings together the best academic resources to promote the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning in Europe. The creation of the new ELLIS Unit, which at Bocconi is coordinated by Riccardo Zecchina, professor of theoretical physics, therefore makes our city a center of excellence for study and development in this sector.
From research to teaching: in parallel with the introduction of coding (Python) for all students from 2017-18, Bocconi has proposed new specific study programs. These are: the Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Economics, Management and Computer Science directed by Emanuele Borgonovo; the MSc (Master of Science) in data Science and Business Analytics directed by Alessia Melegaro; the MSc in Cyber Risk Strategy and Governance entrusted to Greta Nasi; the LLM Master in Law of Internet Technology directed by Oreste Pollicino; the BSc in Mathematical and Computing Sciences for Artificial Intelligence led by Riccardo Zecchina and the Phd in Statistics and Computer Science led by Antonio Lijoi.
Finally, innovation on the available teaching methods, tools and structures. The leader in this is BUILT - Bocconi University Innovations in Learning and Teaching, whose activities under the guidance of Leonardo Caporarello culminated in the launch of Bocconi Elearning 2022 (BEL22), the didactic and learning innovation program that prepares and supports Bocconi in the evolution of its teaching model. That model already today includes the creation of a special Faculty Training Hub - a knowledge base where teachers can find resources and training opportunities to support classroom work (in person and hybrid). Continuous technological updating of the classrooms proceeds in parallel, with the latest innovation being the creation of an immersive room. Starting from the idea that even after the pandemic, teaching can benefit from blended teaching methods (both in person and remote), this new classroom with a circular design features video walls and 12 screens thanks to which the 24 students and the teacher can interact with those at a distance and with any guests thanks to a Hologram space.
Andrea Celauro
Press Room
Universita' Bocconi
Phone +39-02.5836.2467
Mobile +39-366.6245.835
E-mail andrea.celauro@unibocconi.it
Barbara Orlando
Head of Press Office
Universita' Bocconi
Phone +39-02.5836.2330
Mobile +39-335.123.1716
E-mail barbara.orlando@unibocconi.it
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