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University of Florence

The University of Florence (Università degli Studi di Firenze) is an Italian public research university located in Florence, Italy.  One of the largest and oldest universities in the country, it comprises 12 schools and 24 departments, and has about 60,000 students enrolled.

The Centre for the Study of Complex Dynamics (CSDC) is an inter-departmental structure of the University of Florence.  It has the goal of promoting and coordinating research among the departments of Physics, Mathematics, and Biology, all types of Engineering, Computer Science, Psychology, Neuroscience and Brain Medicine. The director of the department is Prof. Roberto Livi, and the administrative aspects are managed by the department of Physics.  The main research topics of the CSDC are: genomics and proteomics, drug design and famaco-kinetics, dynamics and synchronization of neurons and neural networks (in collaboration also with the Institute for Complex Systems (ISC) of the Italian Research Council (CNR)), modelling of evolutionary systems, experiments and modelling of psychological and sociological dynamics, tools for distance teaching via web.  It belongs to the Consortium ARCO, formed by the departments of Complex Systems of the three universities of Tuscany, and that of the University of Bologna.  The CSDC has offered several PhD and post-doc grants though national and international funding. There is a close relationship between the CSDC and the PhD school in "Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Systems", department of Computer Science, which hosts students from the disciplines concerning the CSDC.  The CSDC promotes also the scientific popularisation, mainly supporting (together with the ISC) the activity of the cultural association "Caffè-Scienza" that organises “Cafés Scientifique” and similar meetings in Florence.  The CSDC has recently participated in the EU project SciCafe: The Science Cafes Network, and is participating in the EU project RECOGNITION about development of self-aware information systems through adaptation of human heuristics to the field of computer science.  It is also appointed for the projects of the Italian Science cafe network (Communicating science through the network of Italian Science Cafés, Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, Progetti annuali (L.6/2000) D.D. 369/Ric. del 26/06/2012 - PANN12_01122)

Key Personnel

Dr. Franco Bagnoli

Dr. Franco Bagnoli holds an MSc in Physics from the University of Florence, and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University Paris VI (France).  He worked as a private consultant in a software house for three years, as a laboratory technician (system manager and distance teaching developer) in the Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Florence, from 1991 to 2001. After that date, he worked as researcher on material physics, first at the department of Energy (till 12/2012) and then at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Florence.  He teaches general physics in the Civil and Environmental Engineering courses, and statistical physics and theory of information in the Computer Engineering course.  He belongs to the board of the PhD school in Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Systems. He directed several master and PhD thesis and is local coordinator of the experiment TO61 of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) He participated to several national and international projects and is the local coordinator of the UE SciCafé and RECOGNITION projects. He is the author of 50 publications on international journals (97 publications in total).

He is also the designer of the web-based tools used (1995-2010) in the Engineer Faculty in Florence (5000 students and 300 teachers) for web-based distance support, and president of the association "Caffè-Scienza".

Prof. Roberto Livi

Prof. Roberto Livi has been a full professor at the University of Florence since 2004. Research fields: equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, theory of dynamical and complex systems.  He produced more than a hundred publications in refereed international journals.  He has been an invited speaker in several international conferences and meetings.  He collaborates also with many research groups all over the world (EPFL Lausanne, CPT Marseille, Weizmann Institute Rehovot, INLS San Diego, ENS Paris, MPIPKS Dresden, etc.).  Since 1976 he has been member of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare and since 1987 of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica della Materia, where he was the national representative for the area of Statistical Mechanics and Complex Systems.  In between 1993 and 1996 he was Deputy Director of the Forum of Theoretical Physics of INFM; from 1995 to 1997 he was the general coordinator of the EU Network "Complexity and Chaos" (contract n. ERBCHRXCT940546); from 1999 up to 2004 he was the coordinator of the Italian node of the EU Network "LOCNET" (contract n. RTN1-1999-00370).  Since 2007 Professor Livi has been the Director of the CSDC Centro Interdipartimentale per lo studio di Dinamiche Complesse, University of Florence.

Dr. Lapo Casetti

Dr. Lapo Casetti received his Masters degree in Physics from the University of Florence, Italy, and his PhD in Physics from Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), Politecnico of Turin (Italy), "Sapienza" University of Rome (Italy) and a fixed-term research staff scientist position at INFM, Florence unit (Italy).  He was a visiting scientist at several universities and research institutes including the Rockefeller University in New York (USA), BiFi in Zaragoza (Spain), University of Bayreuth (Germany) and EPFL in Lausanne (Switzerland).  Since 2004 he has been Assistant Professor (Ricercatore) in Theoretical Physics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Florence.  He teaches statistical physics classes for the Master in Physics and Astrophysics as well as general physics and laboratory classes for undergraduates, and is part of the PhD school in Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Systems.  He directed several MSc and PhD theses, was the principal investigator of the Italian unit of the FP6 EC research project EMBIO and is the local coordinator of the experiment MI41 of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN).  He is author of 43 refereed publications on international journals.  He is part of the board of the association "Caffè-Scienza".