History of department
The Università degli Studi di Milano’s Dipartimento di Informatica, officially named
"Computer Science Department" in English, was founded on April 27, 2012, but its
roots date to the late nineteen-sixties and run through a series of transitional
moments. Its changes and growth have involved both informatics research and
the teaching of information science, in part because of the increased availability of
human resources and logistics. This has gone hand in hand with the size and
makeup of a student body that has been large from the outset.
Major dates in departmental history include:
1969: The GEC, or “Electronics and Cybernetics Group,” headed by Giovanni
Degli Antoni, was founded at the Istituto di Fisica (in essence, the university’s
physics department) and housed in Via Viotti 5 in Milan.
1977: The Istituto di Cibernetica was founded with Giovanni Degli Antoni as
1980: The four-year laurea degree program in information science was inaugurated.
1983: The institute moved to new quarters in Via Moretto da Brescia 9.
1984: The doctoral research program in informatics was founded, originally a joint
project with the Università di Torino and later as an independent initiative, which
grew into the Doctoral School in Informatics.
1986: The Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Informazione, or DSI, was founded (chaired
by: Giovanni Degli Antoni 1986-1991, Giancarlo Mauri 1991-1997, Mario Italiani
1997-2000, Elisa Bertino 2000-2003, Alberto Bertoni 2003-2009, and Massimiliano
1988: The department moved to new headquarters in Via Comelico 39.
1995: The five-year laurea degree program in informatics and the three-year diploma
in informatics were inaugurated.
1996: The extension facility for teaching and research in Crema (Province of
Cremona) opened in Via Bramante 65.
2001: The Dipartimento di Tecnologie dell’Informazione, or DTI, was founded at
Crema (chaired by: Nello Scarabottolo 2001-2007 and Vincenzo Piuri 2007-2012).
2001: Degrees were synchronized with other university plans as three-year programs
followed by two-year specialization courses.
2003: The Dipartimento di Informatica e Comunicazione, or DICo, was founded in
Milan (chaired by: Elisa Bertino 2003-2004, Goffredo Haus 2004-2010, and
Giovanni Pighizzini 2010-2012).
2006: The informatics research facility on the university’s School of Sciences campus
in Via Celoria 20, Milan, was opened jointly by the DICo and the DSI.
2012: The Dipartimento di Informatica was founded (chaired by Goffredo Haus).
2014: The Via Comelico headquarters is scheduled to be moved to Via Celoria 18.
Also worthy of mention is the contribution of the historic group of informatics faculty
and researchers to the founding of new departments in this field at the Università
degli Studi di Milano Bicocca in 1989 and at the Università dell’Insubria in 2002.
The Evolution of Informatics Teaching
The teaching program in the information sciences has undergone major changes on
several occasions due to new standards set out by the Italian Parliament and the
ministry of education. Starting in the 1995-96 academic year, the laurea degree
program in information science underwent reorganization on the basis of experience
during its first few years. Initially, a five-year degree program in informatics was set
up, alongside a university diploma program (similar to an associate’s degree) lasting
three years. Beginning in the 2001-2002 academic year, in step with Italy’s new
three-plus-two-year structure for university careers, three-year degree programs were
opened in informatics (at both the Milan and Crema campuses), in digital
communication, in informatics for telecommunications (later closed), in the science
and technology of music communication (which later became music communication),
in technology for the information society (at the Crema campus, later closed), and in
information-network security systems (at the Crema campus).
During the same period, specialization programs were inaugurated in informatics, in
information and communication technology, and in information and communication
technology (at the Crema campus). These later grew into today’s master’s degree
programs in informatics, in communication informatics, and in information security
(at the Crema campus). Finally, in 2009, the three-year degree program in science
and technology for the study and preservation of cultural heritage was inaugurated,
with the Dipartimento di Informatica as its guiding force.