Core Faculty

The Ellis Unit Genoa Team

Massimiliano Pontil

Unit Director, ELLIS Fellow
Bio

Lorenzo Rosasco

Unit co-Director, ELLIS Fellow, 
ELLIS Research Programme Director
Unit Directors

Cristina Becchio

Unit Member

Nicolò Cesa-Bianchi

Barbara Caputo

ELLIS Fellow

Alessio Del Bue

Unit Member

Ernesto De Vito

Unit Member

Lorenzo Natale

Unit Member

Luca Oneto

Unit Member

Stefano Panzeri

Ellis Fellow

Alessandro Verri

Unit Member

Silvia Villa

Unit Member

Agnieszka Wykowska

Unit Member
Ellis Fellows and Unit Members

Lorenzo Rosasco

Unit co-Director, ELLIS Fellow, 
ELLIS Research Programme Director

Lorenzo Rosasco is full professor at the DIBRIS Department at the University of Genoa, a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and external collaborator at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. He received his PhD from the University of Genoa in 2006 and has been visiting student at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago and at the Center for Biological and Computational Learning at MIT. He held a research scientist position at MIT between 2006 and 2009. He is the principal investigator of the Laboratory for Computational and Statistical Learning and a coordinator of the Machine Learning center of the University of Genova (MaLGa). In 2019 he obtained the ERC consolidator grant “Efficient algorithms for sustainable machine learning”. His research focuses on studying theory and algorithms for machine learning. He is known for his foundational work in machine learning as well as the development of sound large scale machine learning algorithms. He authored more than 100 peer-reviewed papers in international journals.

Cristina Becchio

Unit Member
Cristina Becchio is Senior Researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology (C'MON Unit), Genova, and Professor at the Psychology Department, University of Turin. After studying philosophy at the University of Turin, in 2001 she joined a PhD Program in Cognitive Science. In 2004 she moved on to a post-doctoral work on cognitive neuroscience and has since then been working on motor cognition. Her research focuses on the control and perception of complex body motion during human social interaction, specifically upon the ability to decode others' mental states from movement observation. In 2013 she started as Principal Investigator a five year project on “Intention-from-movement understanding” (I Move U) funded by the ERC, ERC-St-2012.

Nicolò Cesa-Bianchi

Nicolò Cesa-Bianchi is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Milan and affiliated researcher at IIT. His main research interests include the design and analysis of Machine Learning algorithms; algorithms for multi-armed bandit problems with applications to personalized recommendations and online auctions; graph analytics with applications to social networks and bioinformatics. He is co-author of the monographs"Prediction, Learning, and Games" and "Regret Analysis of Stochastic and Nonstochastic Multi-armed Bandit Problems". He served as President of the Association for ComputationalLearning, and is the recipient of a Google Research Award, a Xerox Foundation UAC Award, a Criteo Faculty Award, and a Google Focused Award. He is co-director of the ELLIS thematic program on interactive learning and interventional representations.

Barbara Caputo

Ellis Fellow
Barbara Caputo leads the newly founded IIT Division on Artificial Intelligence. She is also a Full Professor at the Politecnico of Torino. Her main research interest is to develop algorithms for learning, recognition and categorization of visual and multimodal patterns for artificial autonomous systems. These features are crucial to enable robots to represent and understand their surroundings, to learn and reason about it, and ultimately to equip them with cognitive capabilities. In 2014, she was awarded an ERC Starting Grant for the project ‘RoboExNovo’, that is building the theory and algorithms necessary to teach robots how to learn autonomously from the Web. She serves on the ELLIS board. She is on the steering committee for the creation of the first Italian PhD program on AI, and of the French group of experts ‘Chairs AI 2019, Agencie National de la Recherche, France.

Alessio Del Bue

Unit Member
Alessio Del Bue is a tenured senior researcher leading the PAVIS (Pattern Analyisis and computer VISion) research line of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genova, Italy. Previously, he was a researcher in the Institute for Systems and Robotics at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisbon, Portugal. Before that, he obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Lourdes Agapito in the Department of Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London. His current research interests are related to 3D scene understanding from multi-modal input (images, depth, audio) to support the development of assistive Artificial Intelligence systems. He is co-author of more than 100 scientific publications, in refereed journals and international conferences, member of the technical committees of important computer vision conferences (CVPR, ICCV, ECCV, BMVC, etc.), and he serves as an associate editor of Patter Recognition and Computer Vision and Image Understanding journals. Finally, Dr. Del Bue is an IEEE and ELLIS member.

Lorenzo Natale

Unit Member
Lorenzo Natale is Tenured Senior Researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology. He received his degree in Electronic Engineering (with honours) in 2000 and Ph.D. in Robotics in 2004 from the University of Genoa. He was later postdoctoral researcher at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He was invited professor at the University of Genova where he taught the courses of Natural and Artificial Systems and Antropomorphic Robotics for students of the Bioengineering curriculum. Since 2020 he is visiting Professor at the University of Manchester. Lorenzo Natale has contributed to the development of various humanoid platforms. He was one of the main contributors to the design and development of the iCub platform and he has been leading the development of the iCub software architecture and the YARP middleware. His research interests range from vision and tactile sensing to software architectures for robotics. He is author of more than 130 papers in international journals and conferences. He was principal investigator and co-principal investigator in several EU funded projects. He was general chair of IEEE ARSO 2018 and served as Program Chair of ICDL-Epirob 2014 and HAI 2017. He has been in the program committee of international conferences including ICRA, Humanoids, RSS and RO-MAN. He is associate editor for IEEE-Transactions on Robotics, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, the International Journal of Humanoid Robotics and Humanoid Robotics specialty of frontiers in Robotics and AI.

Luca Oneto

Unit Member
Luca Oneto was born in Rapallo, Italy in 1986. He received his BSc and MSc in Electronic Engineering at the University of Genoa, Italy respectively in 2008 and 2010. In 2014 he received his PhD from the same university in the School of Sciences and Technologies for Knowledge and Information Retrieval with the thesis "Learning Based On Empirical Data". In 2017 he obtained the Italian National Scientific Qualification for the role of Associate Professor in Computer Engineering and in 2018 he obtained the one in Computer Science. He worked as Assistant Professor in Computer Engineering at University of Genoa from 2016 to 2019. In 2018 he was co-funder of the spin-off ZenaByte s.r.l. In 2019 he obtained the Italian National Scientific Qualification for the role of Full Professor in Computer Science and Computer Engineering. In 2019 he became Associate Professor in Computer Science at University of Pisa and currently is Associate Professor in Computer Engineering at University of Genoa. He has been involved in several H2020 projects (S2RJU, ICT, DS) and he has been awarded with the Amazon AWS Machine Learning and Somalvico (best Italian young AI researcher) Awards. His first main topic of research is the Statistical Learning Theory with particular focus on the theoretical aspects of the problems of (Semi) Supervised Model Selection and Error Estimation. His second main topic of research is Data Science with particular reference to the problem of Trustworthy AI and the solution of real world problems by exploiting and improving the most recent Learning Algorithms and Theoretical Results in the fields of Machine Learning and Data Mining.

Stefano Panzeri

Ellis Fellow
Stefano Panzeri received a Laurea in Physics from the University of Torino, and a PhD in Computational Neuroscience from SISSA, Trieste, Italy. He has held personal Research Fellowship awards in both theoretical physics and computational neuroscience, including an INFN junior Fellowship in Theoretical Physics at Turin University, an EU Marie Curie postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Oxford, and an MRC Research Fellowship in Neuroinformatics at the University of Newcastle. He has held tenured Faculty positions as assistant, associate and full professor at the Universities of Manchester and Glasgow. He has been visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics and at Harvard Medical School. He served as Deputy Chair of the UK Medical Research Council panel for fellowships in Bioinformatics and Neuroinformatics; as a member of the UK EPSRC Review College, and as an editor of the journal Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience and of Journal of Neuroscience methods His research lies at the interface between theory and experiment and aims at understanding the principles of cortical information processing by developing new quantitative data analysis techniques based on the principles of Information Theory and by developing computational models of neural network function. At IIT, he works as Senior Scientist (with Tenure) and directs the Laboratory of Neural Computation. He also currently serves as Coordinator of the Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems of the IIT in Rovereto.

Alessandro Verri

Unit Member
Alessandro Verri is full professor at the DIBRIS Department at the University of Genoa. He received his PhD from the University of Genoa in 1988. He has been a visiting professor at MIT for several years, then at the Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh), at the INRIA - IRISA in Rennes and at Berkeley. He is a coordinator of the Machine Learning center of the University of Genova (MaLGa). He supervised more than 30 PhD students, and around 100 master students. His research interests are analytic methods for learning theory, learning algorithms for biomedical data analysis and image understanding, computational methods for the processing of visual information in 2D and 3D. He authored more than 130 peer-reviewed papers in international journals.

Silvia Villa

Unit Member
Silvia Villa is associate professor at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Genoa. She received her PhD in Mathematics from the University of Florence. She was previously a post-doctoral researcher at the Laboratory for Computational and Statistical learning and an assistant professor at the Department of Mathematics at Politecnico di Milano. She is a coordinator of the Machine Learning center of the University of Genova (MaLGa). She is in the international scientic committee of GdR Mathematiques de l’Optimisation et Applications ́and in the editorial board of Applied Mathematics and Computation and Journal of Non-smooth Analysis and Optimization. Her research interests are in convex optimization for inverse problems and machine learning. She authored 38 peer-reviewed papers in international conferences and journals.

Ernesto De Vito

Unit Member
Ernesto De Vito is full professor at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Genoa. He received his PhD from the University of Genoa in 1995. He has been assistant professor at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Modena, and then associate professor at the Department of Mathematics of the University of Genoa. He is a coordinator of the Machine Learning center of the University of Genova (MaLGa). His research activity focuses on machine learning theory and applied harmonic analysis. He co-authored 60 papers in international reviewed journals and more than 10 in proceedings of international conferences. He wrote two books and supervised more than 35 master students and8 Ph.D. students. Since 2008 he is a member of the panel of the PhD Program in Mathematics and Applications, University of Genoa. He is the coordinator of the focus group "Mathematics of artificial intelligence" of the Italian mathematics union.

Agnieszka Wykowska

Unit Member

Agnieszka Wykowska is PI of the Social Cognition in Human-Robot Interaction (S4HRI) research line at the Italian Institute of Technology, Genova. She is also affiliated with the Luleå University of Technology, Sweden as adjunct professor in Engineering Psychology and with University of Manchester as Visiting Professor. She obtained PhD in Psychology from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich (LMU) in 2008. Her background is cognitive neuroscience (M.Sc. in neuro-cognitive psychology, LMU, 2006) and philosophy (M.A. in philosophy, Jagiellonian University Krakow, Poland, 2001). In 2016 she has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant “Intentional Stance for Social Attunement”: InStance Her research focuses on social cognitive neuroscience and human-robot interaction. She uses behavioral measures (eyetracking, psychophysics) and EEG in HRI research. She is Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Social Robotics and an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Psychology (section Cognition). She is Core Member of the Ellis Society (European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems) and a Board Member of the Association of ERC Grantees (AERG). She has served as guest (co-)editor of a special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B titled “From social brains to social robots: Applying neurocognitive insights to human-robot interaction (2018/2019), and she repeatedly serves as Program Committee member for various conferences, such as “International Conference on Social Robotics”, or “Human-Robot Interaction”.

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