The School's research agenda is decidedly interdisciplinary, and is characterized by the complementarity and discourse between methodologies drawn from economics, engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, physics, archeology, cognitive and social neuroscience, art history and the analysis and management of cultural heritage. IMT is characterized therefore by the simultaneous presence of multiple analysis methodologies, able to interact at both the educational and the research level. We believe that surpassing the limits of any given discipline is only possible by combining solid and rigorous disciplinary competency with an aptitude for interacting with other disciplines.
The interdisciplinary identity of the School translates into four scientific macro-areas:
ECONOMICS, MANAGEMENT SCIENCE, AND COMPLEX SYSTEMS
This area deals with both theoretical and applied research in economics, with a special focus on the analysis of the evolution of institutions, markets and socio-economic networks. The distinctive competences of our research groups at IMT are in economics, management science and analytics, computer science, political economy, applied mathematics, network theory and operation research. Specific fields of study are economic networks and network industries; healthcare and pharmaceuticals; systemic risk analysis; economics and finance; organization, entrepreneurship, and technology; strategy; marketing science; critical infrastructures; systems modeling and optimization; stochastic systems; production and operations.
COMPUTER SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
Under the broad topic of "cyber-physical" systems, the area covers competences of: computer science (languages and formal specification of systems), with emphasis on the development of methodologies, languages and tools that guarantee correctness, trustworthiness, efficiency and safety of "intelligent" software systems; control engineering, focusing on data-driven modeling and optimization-based control of dynamical systems; structural engineering, specialized in the analysis and simulation of structures and materials in non-linear and multi-physics materials; image analysis, addressing algorithms for identifying patterns in multidimensional and multimodal imaging data arising in several natural and life science applications.
This research area deals with cognitive, social and computational neuroscience. The main field of interest focuses on the in vivo study of the neurobiological correlates of cognition, emotion and behavior in healthy individuals and in patients with psychiatric diseases. In particular, the lab’s main theme of research focuses on the development of the morphological and functional architecture of the human brain in the absence of visual experience, providing evidence for a supramodal cortical organization. The lab integrates multiple research approaches and experimental methodologies in a multidisciplinary manner.
This area incorporates: historical and art historical disciplines; legal disciplines related to art history and landscapes; economic and managerial aspects of cultural heritage; disciplines related to applied technology for the analysis and valorization of cultural heritage; museology; philosophical disciplines related to visual phenomena; the philosophy of languages; and the psychology and neurophysiology of the perception of images.
The School’s activities are further organized into distinct yet multidisciplinary research units (RU). Most RUs are characterized by a pyramidal structure where the vertex is occupied by a prominent senior researcher, junior faculty members constitute the intermediate level, and the base is formed by a small group of doctoral students, actively contributing to the research as part of their studies. Other RUs instead are structured in a multipolar fashion, with highly specialized research centered on thematic nuclei and the contribution of diverse methodologies. There are currently 7 RUs at the School:
- AXES - Laboratory for the Analysis of Complex Economic Systems (Director: Prof. Massimo Riccaboni)
- DYSCO - Dynamical Systems, Control, and Optimization (Director: Prof. Alberto Bemporad)
- LYNX - Center for the interdisciplinary Analysis of Images (Director: Prof. Maria Luisa Catoni)
- MOMILAB – MOlecular MInd LABoratory (Director: Prof. Pietro Pietrini)
- MUSAM - Multi-scale Analysis of Materials (Director: Prof. Marco Paggi)
- NETWORKS - Complex Networks (Director: Prof. Guido Caldarelli)
- SysMA - System Modelling and Analysis (Director: Prof. Rocco De Nicola)
The research carried out within the RUs is closely connected to the School’s PhD program. In fact, every PhD student is affiliated to a Research Unit and contributes to the research and projects carried out therein. Several RUs are affiliated with highly-specialized laboratories, and the entire School relies on the computation power and cloud-based facilities of the IMT Computer Lab.
Research Projects and Areas
The School is currently home to a substantial and increasing growing number of national, European and international research projects. The funds received for these projects constitutes nearly half of IMT’s yearly budget and translates into (for example) researcher and PhD salaries, laboratory equipment, and the international dissemination of research through publications and conferences.