Computer Science and Engineering Track: Specialized Tracks

To provide guidance for students in choosing among the great variety of the available courses for the composition of the Study Plan T2A, the Council of the Study Programme has defined ten specialized Tracks, which help them in filling their T2A study program in a coherent way. Students are strongly advised to choose a single track, even if they are allowed to fill the T2A programme in a more personal way.

The Council will try to keep the course schedules both for lessons and exams, as compatible as possible with these choices, but students must be advised that absence of overlapping in lesson schedules cannot be fully guaranteed due to the huge offering of courses provided by the Programme.

Some courses are provided by the Doctor of Philosophy School, supplied by Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria (DEIB); students can check the full list of such courses on the web site of the Doctorate at the DEIB .

Click on a track name below to show the description of the track and the table of the related courses.

Ambient and Data Intelligence

The field of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) envisages a digital environment where humans interact with multiple smart electronic devices, that are aware of the context they operate into and are capable of adapting their response to the users' requirements, anticipating their behaviour and responding to their presence. Processing power is embedded and distributed in all the devices located in the environment. This scenario is becoming feasible thanks to the evolution of computer engineering, electronic and communication technologies, which allow to connect large numbers of devices through wireless networks and can handle large amounts of data and information. Data processing methodologies are the other fundamental pillar, including all the processes that are behind generation, analysis, manipulation/processing, coding, modelling and understanding of data and signals. Different application areas are currently being pursued depending on the specific environment considered (smart homes, smart buildings, smart cities, smart transportation systems). Particularly interesting are the applications of AmI in such areas as people well-being (e.g., healthcare, services and support, assistive technology), commerce and marketing, leisure and entertainment, arts and culture, tourism, environmental management, and agriculture. The track focuses on both the software and hardware architectures and technologies required to develop AmI applications, as well as on methodologies for processing and analyzing large amounts of data, signals, and information, such as multimedia information retrieval, pattern recognition, data mining, model identification, fault detection, knowledge management and business intelligence.

Note: the second year of the Ambient and Data Intelligence track will be activated for the first time during A.Y. 2019-20, consequently the schema provided below must be considered as a preliminary version. In particular, we cannot guarantee that the first three courses listed at second year (those with no code) will be actually offered.

Contact: Prof. Fabio Salice

Courses of the track:

Big Data & Data Science

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: Prof.ssa Letizia Tanca

Courses of the track:

Bioinformatics and e-Health

Contact: Prof. Marco Masseroli

Courses of the track:

Business Informatics, Analytics and Intelligence

Information technology has a disruptive impact on the way business is organized, both within and across companies. The purpose of this track is to understand the organizational role of IT and the consequent mutual relationship between technology and strategy. The track provides the student with the conceptual, analytical and technical knowledge necessary to play an active role in the effective design of the computer infrastructure enabling the most competitive modern business strategies. In particular, in recent times the information systems are not only managing data, but provide functionalities also to analyse them, integrating the analysis to steer the activities of the company. For instance, in the emerging Industry 4.0 sector, information gathered from the analysis of sensor data from the production departments are driving and supporting the processes at the business level, particularly in the interaction with the customers. In this track, coding, data analytics and technology design capabilities are strongly encouraged and leveraged as part of the set of key competences that are needed in modern companies to enable innovation and to be future leaders in the transformation from traditional to data-centric business.

Contact: Prof.ssa Barbara Pernici

Courses of the track:


The purpose of this track is to provide students with a holistic view of cybersecurity issues, from a software, hardware or management point of view (according to the chosen methodological area).

In addition to the mandatory basic course of "Computer Security", the track includes an advanced course in cryptography and its hardware/software implementation (along with the "logic and algebra 2" course, which is complementary to it), a course on legal implications of IT and computer forensics, and the doctoral course "Advanced Topics in Computer Security"”", which includes a broad overview of the most current challenges in security research.

At least one course in Artificial Intelligence is included, and others are advised (as AI and ML methodologies are often applied in cybersecurity). Similarly, courses on embedded and distributed systems (typical targets of evaluation for cybersecurity specialists) are suggested.

Contact: Prof. Stefano Zanero

Courses of the track:

Interactive Applications

Interactive applications are pervasive in every aspect of our lives, and influence the way in which we learn, work, acquire information, play, or socialize. They are rich in content and services, and more and more innovative in terms of interaction devices and paradigms. Developing a high-quality interactive application is a multidisciplinary activity, requiring a mix of competences: high technical expertise, understanding the specific application domain, and creativity. To train engineers with this profile, this track aims at developing two kinds of skills: transversal skills, concerning technological aspects (about modern interaction devices such as smart phones, tablets, large displays, wearable visors, sensing technology to detect movements, gestures, and touch, and related software frameworks) and theoretical/methodological aspects (interaction paradigms, techniques for UX quality evaluation, methods for user data gathering and analysis); vertical skills on specific application domains, such as: interactive TV, games, shopping and retail, learning and education, culture and tourism, health and well-being.

Contact: Prof.ssa Franca Garzotto

Courses of the track:

Internet Engineering

Internet is shaping today's society. Being connected everywhere and at all times is a must; lack of connectivity leaves citizens unable to be informed, communicate, move, and shop. Internet technology is the enabler of applications that embrace physical and social sensors as terminals, various networking layers as channels, data repositories for storage, and Web sites and apps for capturing users' interactions. The “Internet Engineering” track provides the opportunity to study these four aspects (sensors, channels, repositories, and interfaces), in order to master the design and development process of a vast number of applications, which are needed by any organization or enterprise, regardless of its size and mission.

Contact: Prof. Gianpaolo Cugola , Prof. Antonio Capone

Courses of the track:

Pervasive Systems

The availability of devices of very small size, with low energy consumption and low cost, often connected by wireless networks, allows a reversal of the paradigm of traditional computing: instead of sitting in front of a computer, people can be surrounded by a set of smart devices, often “​​invisible”, that support them in carrying out their activities. These devices cover a wide range, which extends from RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identifiers) to Data Loggers, to sensors with processing power and transmission, to modern smartphones and handheld devices. In their turn, the latter may be endowed with NFC (Near Field Communication) and GPS capabilities.

This phenomenon has led to the emergence of a new "vision" of computation, so-called "pervasive", which includes sensors and mobile devices (interconnected by one or more networks) able to react in a transparent way to users, current circumstances and changes in the operating environment.

Examples suggestive of pervasive applications can be: (a) the monitoring of geophysical phenomena, in which the geological and environmental parameters are continuously recorded by one or more wireless sensor networks, making it possible to collect and process statistical data, generate alarms, etc. ; (b) the continuous monitoring of the physical condition of a person with a BSN (Body Sensor Network) - something that may be of interest to elderly or sick people as well as athletes, for whom, in addition to the physiological parameters (blood pressure, heart rate, etc. ), it will be possible to track performance correlated to the specific situation (start of stroke, the tenth mile, etc.); (c) the case of intelligent networks that support private or public transport drivers in the everyday traffic, indicating preferential routes, obstacles and exceptional occurrences, and possibly allowing the exchange of information with other drivers or monitoring devices; (d) the distribution of "intelligence" in habitats (from the city to the individual building or apartment) in order to ensure safety, optimize the energy consumption, improving the response in the face of unforeseen events (eg. earthquakes), and in general ensure a better "quality of life".

Contact: Prof. Manuel Roveri

Courses of the track:

Robotics and Vision

We now use many robots in everyday life, for tasks such as cleaning, physical and cognitive support, telepresence, entertainment, maintenance, transport, support in manufacturing activities, and surveillance; new applications are continuously being proposed and developed. This specialized track treats the topics necessary to develop autonomous robots and to interface them with their users. Among the computer science topics of the subject, we mention robot architectures, sensor data analysis, planning, and interfaces. Computer vision has a great importance; it also has many applications that go beyond the scope of robotics, such as: measures without contact, video-surveillance, visual analysis of gestures, automatic event annotation, visual interfaces in entertainment and in device control, support to rehabilitation, and the automation of home processes such as distance monitoring. Technologies that were developed in robotic challenges are now adopted in other areas: route planning is also used in industrial and chemical design, and visual perception systems are used in surveillance and monitoring quality control.

Contact: Prof. Vincenzo Caglioti

Courses of the track:

Software Engineering for Complex Systems

The goal of this track is to train engineers able to design, develop and operate complex software systems in a controlled and repeatable way. Software engineer is one of the most in-demand jobs in Italy and world-wide and, according to several studies, the demand will continue to grow significantly in the medium term future. Besides the mandatory courses for the degree on Computer Science and Engineering, the courses suggested for this track concern:

  • software design issues, investigated through the courses Distributed systems, Principles of programming languages, Advanced algorithms and parallel programming;
  • technological aspects, which will be presented in the courses Technologies for information systems, middleware technologies for distributed systems, Design and implementation of mobile applications;
  • methods and approaches to the software development process, offered thanks to the courses Formal methods for concurrent and real-time systems, Computer systems performance evaluation, Distributed software development, Dependable systems, Model identification and data analysis, Machine learning;
  • aspects as well as peculiarities of specific application areas. For this last point students are suggested to select one or two application areas of their preference by attending some of the following course: business information systems, embedded systems, videogame design and programming, Robotics and design, Internet of things, E-health methods and applications.

Contact: Prof.ssa Elisabetta Di Nitto

Courses of the track: