Get a Master's Degree in Informatics with a Specialisation in Intelligent Systems (IS)!
A Master's in Computer Science, with a Focus on Artificial Intelligence.
Taught by award-winning
experts of the Swiss AI Lab, IDSIA,
and the Faculty of Informatics at the
University of Lugano (USI).
In the scenic southern part of
the world's leading science nation!
Why Study Intelligent Systems?
1. Bombastic Answer:
Because IS will change the world more fundamentally than anything else - more on this below.
2. Pragmatic Answer:
Because top Information Technology (IT) companies (Apple, Google, many others)
are eagerly seeking IS experts - more in the column to the right.
IS/AI research may not only be the most exciting field in computer science,
but of science in general. In fact, the best scientists of the future might even be AIs themselves.
Hardware soon will have more raw computational power (CP) than human brains,
since CP per cent is still growing by a
factor of 100-1000 per decade.
And there is no reason to believe that general problem solving software
similar to that of humans will be lacking:
there already exist mathematically optimal (though not yet practical)
universal problem solvers
developed at our Swiss AI Lab, IDSIA,
And existing highly practical (but not quite as universal) IS already learn from experience,
outperforming humans in more and more
For example, our biologically plausible deep / recurrent
artificial neural networks are learning to solve pattern recognition tasks
that seemed infeasible only 10 years ago.
images, handwriting, traffic signs,
lately even with superhuman performance
no end in sight.
Even creativity has been formalized such that it can
now be implemented on machines.
developments in IS may soon lead to the end of history as we know it
and as an IS master student you can become part of this revolution.
Copyright notice (2012):
Fibonacci web design by
Last update 2013.
According to Computer World (2009), expertise in Machine Learning (ML) is the top
skill sought by IT employers. And of course, ML is an essential ingredient of our IS specialisation.
Today ML is everywhere: search engines use it to improve answers to queries, email programs use it to filter spam, banks use it to predict exchange rates and stock markets, doctors use it to recognize tumors, robots use it to localize themselves and obstacles, video games use it to enhance the player's experience, adaptive telescopes use it to improve image quality,
smartphones use it to recognize objects / faces / gestures / voices / music,
etc etc... After the first few lectures of the basic IS course on ML,
IS master students will already know how to train self-learning artificial neural
networks to recognize the images and handwritings to the right
better than any other known method
- students will rapidly gain familiarity
with state-of-the-art algorithms developed at IDSIA and other AI labs.
Optimization is a closely related central topic of the IS specialisation. Intelligent computational systems optimize their behavior in changing, unpredictable and usually incompletely known environments. They often take inspiration from nature, using concepts from neuroscience, biological evolution, cognitive science, and physical systems. Numerous applications include the design of more efficient
boats / airplanes / cars,
traffic management, chip design, internet and smartphone routing.
Intelligent Systems are also becoming more and more important for engineering and
Currently we are living through a robot population explosion. In 1980 there were just 30,000 robots; in 2002, already 1,000,000, almost half in Japan, one third in Europe. The robot population explosion might eventually overtake the human one,
once cognitive robots no longer have
to be hardwired, but instead learn by themselves.
Self-driving robot cars already use
IS to automatically recognize pedestrians, traffic signs, dangerous situations, etc.
As an IS master's student you will be able to take robotics courses
and get hands-on experience in the
IDSIA Robot Lab.
To summarize: Students graduating from the IS program will be able to solve
many complex problems in interdisciplinary and commercially relevant areas. Examples include
probabilistic reasoning, intelligent search, planning and scheduling, control, robotics,
optimized wireless routing, business forecasting, financial forecasting, health forecasting,
video game creation, recognition of objects & faces &
handwriting & speech & gestures & music,
artificial music composition, automatic answering and diagnostics.
Coursework material, software tools and robots reflect the latest state of the art. Opportunities for collaborating on exciting research projects will arise during the course of the thesis, with chances of eventually continuing as a PhD student.
Your IS teachers are from IDSIA, one of the world's top 10 Artificial Intelligence Labs, according to the Business Week X-Lab Survey.
They are renowned in their field, and have won many best paper awards and international competitions
in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence.
Basic IS/ML courses are given by Prof.
(news), supported by
expert Dr. Faustino Gomez.
The IS Robotics course is taught by RoboCup World Champion
Dr. Alexander Förster,
the course on Simulation and Optimization by
Prof. Andrea Rizzoli,
the IS Heuristics course by
Dr. Roberto Montemanni
and Dr. Gianni Di Caro
(see Swarm Robotics),
the IS Uncertain Reasoning and Data Mining course by Prof.
The Scientific Director for the Specialisation in IS is
Prof. Luca Maria Gambardella,
pioneer of Swarm Intelligence and Artificial
Ant Colony Optimization.
The IS master is taught at USI in the beautiful city of Lugano in Ticino,
the scenic southern Swiss province
(here a few pics by JS).
Milano, Italy's center of fashion
and finance, is 1 hour away, Venice 3 hours.
English is the official language at both
and USI's Faculty of Informatics.
Switzerland in general is a great place for science students.
It is the origin of numerous breakthroughs such as
special relativity (1905)
World Wide Web (1990),
is associated with 105 Nobel laureates, and
boasts far more
Nobel prizes per capita
than any other nation.
It also has the world's highest number of publications per capita,
the highest number of patents per capita,
the highest citation impact factor,
the biggest and most expensive machine ever,