Aim of the School

The investigation of physical phenomena generally implies a measurement of the relevant quantities through the detection and the processing of a physical signal, and the development of an interpretative framework of such measurements that allows to model the physical system and predict its evolution. The former process represents the experimental side of the investigation, and is based on the deep knowledge of the mechanism of interaction between a sensing device and the physical system, the design of the acquisition device and of the data handling strategy, as well as the pre-processing and post-processing of the data into a final scientific measurement. The latter represents the theoretical/interpretative side of the investigation, and amounts to develop a physical model and compute its predictions for other measurable quantities. Due to the complexity of the models and/or of the physical systems, this step often requires the use of sophisticated computational methods. With a focus on the big data complexity and the computational aspects, the School aims at discussing this pipeline across various Physics subdomains.


The school will be held from July 5th through July 9th. Due to the COVID health emergency, the school will be 100% online and open to everyone. It will be entirely steered through videconferencing systems by a team of professors and researchers from the Department of Physics and Astronomy (DIFA) of Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, Italy.


This event in the series of DIFA International Schools is aimed to provide a broad overview of how the general methodologies that characterise experimental data acquisition and data handling as well as the numerical modelling of complex systems can be applied in a variety of different physics subdomains. In particular, the physics areas covered in the present edition of the school will be:

  • The mystery of Dark Matter in the Universe
  • The detection and modelling of an epidemic breakout
  • The prediction of the Earth's climate evolution
  • The use of X-ray tomography for the 3D reconstruction of anatomic structures


The School will also cover aspects related to the communication of scientific results through a series of cooperative work sessions

The School is addressed at Master, PhD students, early-career scientists, but it is also suggested to undergraduate students. Due to the 100% online format, anyway, it is open to anyone interested, with no fees applied.


Due to the COVID health emergency, the school will be 100% online and open to everyone

The School hosts international speakers and the official language is English.

The program is articulated in front lectures in the form of seminars (1.5 hours each) - including a session for questions and discussions - and a series of special presentations aimed at providing the vision for the future developments of the experimental and computational techniques discussed in the school. On the former, we will host speakers from University of Bologna, from CNR (National Research Council), MIT (Massachusset Institute of Technology), Princeton University, Flinders University, Edinburgh University, UCLA (University of California Los Angeles), Granada University, and Radboud University. On the latter, we will host speakers from University of Bologna and from the national supercomputing centre Cineca. Cooperative activities are planned to support the creative thinking on the content of the school and the development of transversal, soft and social skills. All attendants who will actively participate to the collaborative activities of the school will be granted a certificate attendance to the School.

For the detailed activities of the school, please check the detailed program.