Specialisation in Computer Systems

Think of the interconnected data management systems of a global institution: a bank, an airline, or a national government. Think about the large clusters of computers used by scientists to map the human genome. Think about a networked massively multiplayer game. Think of a telecommunication network such as the Internet or the 3G mobile network. Think about computers that help drive your car safely and efficiently. These are all distributed computer systems and, like them, many others are being developed and used pervasively in our modern society. Needless to say, computers and networks play a central role within these systems. They process, store, and transmit information to support a wide variety of tasks, ranging from the safety-critical operations of a transportation system to the business-critical functions of a bank, to the performance-critical computations of the scientific models studied by physicists or molecular biologists. The specialization in Computer Systems provides students with an in-depth perspective on advanced topics of dynamic, dependable, distributed computer systems. The specialization focuses on the design, implementation, and performance analysis of reliable, secure, and scalable computer systems. It combines the study of fundamental aspects of distributed systems with a hands-on approach, preparing professionals both for working in the industry and continuing towards a PhD.

The Computer Systems specialization of the Master of Science in Informatics prepares professionals capable of designing and developing modern distributed computer systems. In particular, the emphasis of the design taught is on dependability, which means that systems are engineered to withstand failures of system components and to gracefully sustain heavy workloads and/or intense communication traffic. The knowledge and technical expertise acquired in this specialization is an ideal basis for a career as a system engineer, with employment opportunities in virtually any company whose business depends on computing systems. Moreover, the analytical skills that characterize this specialization make up a versatile professional profile, as they are more generally applicable to a range of diverse problem-solving tasks.

Across the two years students must acquire:

  • 30 ECTS out of 36 ECTS of core courses
  • 18 ECTS of “Computer Systems” tagged courses and write their thesis in the same area

6 ECTS can be acquired from non-INF Master programmes at USI.

Course ECTS Sem
Computer Aided Verification  6 Autumn
Distributed Algorithms 6 Autumn
Edge Computing in the IoT 6 Autumn
Mobile and Wearable Computing 6 Autumn
Advanced Computer Architectures 6 Spring
Advanced Networking 6 Spring
Security Aspects of Machine Learning 3 Spring