Master course in
ICT for Smart Societies
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is “ICT”?ICT stands for “Information and Communication Technology”. You will find several different definitions – here is one: the integration of communication technologies, computers and necessary software/middleware/storage/audiovisual systems enabling access, storage and retrieval, transmission and manipulation of information.
Is this an Engineering course, and will I obtain the title of “Engineer” after graduating in ICT4SS?Sure, this is a degree in Engineering awarded by the Politecnico, and it does provide the title of Engineer.
So why does the degree name not have the word “Engineering” in it?We thought the name would be too long.
I am a student with Bachelor’s degree in <degree_name>. Do I need to make up unfulfilled academic requirements (debits) in order to enroll in ICT4SS?The formal answer is that, in general, this follows the rules of the Politecnico. The short answer is that Politecnico students with any of the Bachelor’s degrees listed below (and their English counterparts) can enroll without any formal unfulfilled requirements:
    • Ingegneria delle telecomunicazioni
    • Ingegneria del cinema e dei mezzi di comunicazione
    • Ingegneria elettronica
    • Electronic and communications engineering
    • Ingegneria fisica
    • Ingegneria gestionale
    • Ingegneria informatica
    • Ingegneria dell’autoveicolo
    • Ingegneria biomedica
    • Ingegneria elettrica
    • Matematica per l’ingegneria   
It should be noted that several ICT4SS courses make significant use of notions and concepts from the field of mathematics and engineering. When we feel that a student may not have a sufficiently strong background on some topic, we usually work with them to prepare a study plan addressing this, e.g. replacing an elective course with a properly chosen foundational course.
What are the jobs one could aim at with this degree?
Consultancy (generic, but popular) in whatever field of ICT or beyond; companies in the telecom field: network operators like TIM Telecom Ita, Wind H3G, Vodafone and so on; companies like CISCO; multinationals like Google and Facebook which have their own network, satellite tv or satellite communication; satellite navigation systems; energy provider. Research institutes or R&D department of companies; software development companies; jobs which deal with network security; AI; machine learning; data analysis. 
Are there any double degree opportunities for this master degree? Where?Examples of Erasmus destinations are Barcelona (UPC), Limoges and Sophia-Antipolis (Eurecom). 
Are there a lot of lab courses in the degree?Most of the courses are composed of a theoretical part, in which the professor is a specialist of the specific application domain, and a practical/lab part in which the techniques and the models studied during the lectures are implemented to solve concrete problems. The main programming language is Python but some courses need specific software such as Matlab, ArcGis, Visum, Wireshark. 
How will those labs work if the pandemic persists?Since our activities are through Python or other software, there are assistance sessions where you can share the screen or ask questions in separate breakout rooms. 
What are the differences between this course and other courses like computer engineering or data science engineering or electronics or telecommunications?There are courses in common, however CE is more focused on signal processing and information theory, whereas circuit design and hardware analysis are found in the electronics courses. ICT4SS focuses more on learning techniques and algorithms to solve concrete tasks in the different application domains (health, transport, smart grids, geomatics, building). While other master degrees such as computer engineering or data science offer a deep knowledge of the programming languages and data analysis models.
How does the process of researching for a thesis work? Which options are there for a thesis?
There are two main options: a research thesis in a university/research center or an internship within a company. In general, the student can choose the application field in which he/she is most interested in and then evaluate whether develop the thesis in the department or in a company. A lot of opportunities are published by professors or on the career services page of PoliTo. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, a lot of foreign projects have been deleted, but we hope to resume them soon.
Which Bsc degree is needed to enroll?
A specific bachelor degree on ICT topic is not needed. Our experience shows that students coming from other engineering courses like biomedical, automotive, management, energy have no problems in successfully passing the exams. Of course, if you don't feel confident enough in your programming or telecommunication skills, some courses covering these topics are suggested by professors. 
Might there be issues for the students coming from a different university than PoliTo?Not really. Clearly at the beginning you are a bit disoriented, PoliTo is a big and crowded university in a large city (especially if you come from the countryside or a province), but the dynamics of the didactic aspects of student life (relationship with professor, type of courses, group mates, etc) are the same. The degree programs of the bachelor degrees are also likely similar, at least in Italy. If you come from abroad you might have a different feeling due to the Italian system: a more theoretical style (yet ICT4SS is already more shaped for international students than other Italian courses), mathematics and physics basics are important (yet the first courses provide a recap and every course covers all the needed basics). In any case, as long as you commit, there’s usually no issue. 
Why choosing ICT4SS? Which are the most exciting aspects?Labs and practical activities along with a strong theoretical foundation. In the end you’ll be able to carry out simulations in any engineering area and this is a skill which we believe is fundamental to improve in any field. You will learn how to understand the theory, get ideas which are not provided by the theory, chose the more suitable one, carry out you own projects. You can benefit from professors experts on the relative fields; lots of events with industries and orientation toward the job market or doctoral programs; teams, groups/associations and competitions to learn more practical stuff or investigate other engineering sectors (ICT, energy, sustainability, etc). We want to underline also the possibility to develop soft skills such as cooperation, organization, and negotiation thanks to teamwork.
Drawbacks?Sometimes the courses are not well balanced maybe due to the fact that it is a young master degree and some labs are not yet perfectly balanced. But thanks to students' feedback this is rapidly improving.
Why living in Torino?Torino has an international environment compared to other Italian cities, where people are open and curious. This is a historical Italian city with museums, historical palaces, and cultural associations, but it has also parks and activities for the free-time, innovation centers,  startup incubators, mountains around, connections with all other main Italian cities. Moreover, it is going to be a smart city.
Interdisciplinary projectIt lasts all the second year. At the beginning of the first semester several projects, covering all the application domains (transport, health, smart grid, geomatics, building) are presented.Then each student has to express his/her preferences and based on those, groups composed by 4/5 students are created. During the year the teams have to prepare presentations to show the evolution of the project and the implementation problems met during the development, according to different phases of the design review process: system requirements review (SRR), preliminary design review (PDR), critical design review (CDR), test readiness review (TRR). Each group is assigned a PhD student/professor who offers support to the students during all the phases of the development of the project.

Do you have other questions? Feel free to contact us by email.