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PHYSICS OF COMPLEX SYSTEMS, Laurea Magistrale (Master of science-level of the Bologna process)
Academic Year 2016/17
DEPARTMENT OF APPLIED SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Collegio di Ingegneria Elettronica, delle Telecomunicazioni e Fisica (ETF)
Campus: TORINO/TRIESTE/PARIGI
Program duration: 2 years
Class LM-44 Degree: MATHEMATICAL MODELLING FOR ENGINEERING
Reference Faculty
PELIZZOLA ALESSANDRO   alessandro.pelizzola@polito.it
Program held in English
 Educational objectives

The aim of the Master program in Physics of Complex Systems is to shape a professional capable to apply both knowledge and methodologies from modern (statistical and quantum) physics and engineering, especially in the information area, to modeling and simulation of complex systems, that is systems made of many interacting degrees of freedom. Graduates of this program will be able to develop and solve, by means of analytical and computational to... More...

The aim of the Master program in Physics of Complex Systems is to shape a professional capable to apply both knowledge and methodologies from modern (statistical and quantum) physics and engineering, especially in the information area, to modeling and simulation of complex systems, that is systems made of many interacting degrees of freedom.
Graduates of this program will be able to develop and solve, by means of analytical and computational tools, and interacting with experts of specific fields, models of complex systems and problems which are relevant for several disciplines: first of all physics (e.g. simulation of the behaviour of new materials) and information engineering (e.g. reconstruction of information corrupted by noise), but also biophysics (simulation of biomolecules and rational drug design), bioinformatics (genetic sequence alignment, inference of interaction networks among biomolecules), medicine (analysis of expression profiles and support to diagnosis), socio-economic disciplines (modeling and simulation of traffic, analysis of data from web economy).
Specific objectives of the training will then consist in provide the following competences:
- being able to propose a model of a system with many interacting degrees of freedom, using tools from physics and information theory;
- being able to estimate (infer) the parameters of a model by analyzing large amounts of data;
- being able to analyze (solve) a model, using analytic and computational tools (especially simulations);
- being able to interact with experts of related fields (e.g. biologists, information theorists, engineers, economists).

 Career opportunities

Graduates from this master program will be experts in modeling and simulation of complex systems. They can look forward to careers as researchers in development labs or computing centers, senior software engineers, biological physicists, financial analysts and more. Thanks to their strong methodological skills, they will also profit of new career opportunities offered by the most advanced companies and research institutes operating in multidiscip... More...

Graduates from this master program will be experts in modeling and simulation of complex systems. They can look forward to careers as researchers in development labs or computing centers, senior software engineers, biological physicists, financial analysts and more. Thanks to their strong methodological skills, they will also profit of new career opportunities offered by the most advanced companies and research institutes operating in multidisciplinary contexts.


The Study program qualifies the following professional profile/s: Roles and skills:
Expert in the simulation of new materials   JOB ROLES:

This professional figure contributes to the design process of new materials and to the optimization of their characteristics. She/he collaborates with experts on the specific applications to define the expected characteristics of the studied material and to optimize its properties, based on the results of appropriate simulation models.

SKILLS RELATED TO THE ROLE:

This professional is able to:
- interact with experts on specific applications
- maintain knowledge of state-of-the-art academic research in the field
- based on a deep understanding of the physics of matter, develop new computational models, or suitably adapt already known models, identifying the relevant degrees of freedom and the appropriate spatial and temporal scales
- simulate the proposed models, coordinating if necessary an appropriate working group, analyse the results of the simulations and consequently optimize the properties of the materials considered
- communicate the results, sometimes in an international setting, to counterparts with expertise in different disciplines

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES:

- Public and private Research centres and laboratories
 
Expert in inference and optimization problems   JOB ROLES:

This professional figure contributes to the determination of optimal and/or suboptimal solutions to problems defined as "intractable" in the language of computational complexity, because they are characterized by the presence of a large number of constraints or interactions which are often competing with each other, thus creating a frustrated problem. Now, problems of this sort are encountered in a wide variety of disciplines that need to process vast amounts of information (like, for example: compressed sensing; satisfiability and reconstruction of information damaged by noise in electronics and telecommunications; alignment of biological sequences; reconstruction of phylogenetic trees and of macromolecular interaction networks in biology).

SKILLS RELATED TO THE ROLE:

This professional is able to:
- interact with experts on specific problems
- maintain knowledge of state-of-the-art academic research in the field
- prepare a description of the problem in terms of degrees of freedom interacting on a graph or other appropriate mathematical structure
- identify the most suitable methods and algorithms for a (typically approximate) solution of the problem
- implement these algorithms in a program, possibly by coordinating an appropriate working group
- analyse the properties of the obtained solutions, typically in probabilistic terms
- communicate the results, sometimes in an international setting, to counterparts with expertise in different disciplines

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES:


- Public and private Research centres and laboratories
- Large consulting firms
- Companies operating in the information processing industry (e.g. Telecommunications, bioinformatics, ...)
 
Expert in modelling and simulation of biological systems   JOB ROLES:

This professional figure contributes to the analysis of biological data, and the design of new drugs (rational drug design). She/he interacts with biologists and doctors to acquire large masses of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data; then she/he processes models that describe and analyse them, also collaborating with bioinformaticists. Moreover as part of the rational drug design, she/he is responsible for the processing and simulation of models of biological macromolecules, and more specifically of their folding and binding phenomena.

SKILLS RELATED TO THE ROLE:

This professional is able to:
- interact with experts in molecular and cellular biology, bioinformatics and biomedical disciplines
- maintain knowledge of state-of-the-art academic research in the field
- develop and simulate, if necessary by coordinating an appropriate working group, models of biological macromolecules and interaction networks between these macromolecules
- analyse large masses of data of biological origin (i.e. Sequences and structures of biological macromolecules, gene expression profiles, protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions,...)
- communicate the results, sometimes in an international setting, to counterparts with expertise in different disciplines

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES:

- Public and private Research centres and laboratories
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Bioinformatics Companies
 
Expert in modelling and simulation of stochastic processes   JOB ROLES:

This professional figure contributes to the solution of dynamic problems characterized by large random fluctuations, such as those encountered for example in the analysis of financial markets or in the dynamics of turbulent fluids. First she/he interact with experts on the specific problem in order to acquire large masses of data on it; then she/he draws up a description in terms of an appropriate stochastic process and characterizes the properties in probabilistic terms, thus reaching - where possible - the point of predicting and estimating its reliability.

SKILLS RELATED TO THE ROLE:

This professional is able to:
- interact with experts in specific disciplines
- maintain knowledge of state-of-the-art academic research in the field
- describe, by means of a stochastic process, a system featuring large random fluctuations
- formulate forecasts in probabilistic terms and estimate its reliability
- communicate the results, sometimes in an international setting, to counterparts with expertise in different disciplines

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES:

- Companies specialised in financial market analysis
- Insurance companies
- Banks
- Supranational financial organizations
- Public and private Research centres and laboratories
 


Qualifications for further studies Knowledge required to continue studies
PhD

 
A natural choice for the graduates of this program is the continuation of their studies with a PhD program, in physics or related disciplines, in particular those encountered during this program (e.g. engineering, in particular in the information area, cellular and molecular biology, especially computational biology or bioinformatics).
The PhD is typically carried out at one of the partner insitution of this program or at other high profile institutions, e.g. Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa), École normale supérieure (Parigi), Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielle (Parigi), Institut Curie (Parigi), École Polytechnique (Parigi), Imperial College (Londra), King's College (Londra), Rice University (Houston), Stanford University, ...
To this end the necessary knowledges, provided by this program, are:
- a strong scientific background in modern theoretical physics, especially statistical and quantum;
- a set of analytical and computational methodologies and techniques aimed to the solution, exact or approximate, of problems with many interacting degrees of freedom;
- an interdisciplinary training on applications of modern theoretical physics to disciplines within engineering, information theory and biology.  

Expected learning outcomes


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