Philosophy, artificial intelligence, software and financial technology: USI launches four new Master degree programs


Institutional Communication Service

6 June 2017

In September 2017, the new academic year at USI will open with four innovative graduate-level study programs, in different subject areas but with one thing in common: a prevailing critical focus on human thought and technological developments. The all-new Master curricula are in Philosophy, offered by the Faculty of Communication Sciences; in Artificial Intelligence and in Software & Data Engineering, both offered by the Faculty of Informatics; and in Financial Technology and Computing, jointly offered by the Faculty of Economics and the Faculty of Informatics.


Analytical approaches and critical thinking

The new Master in Philosophy, directed by renowned philosopher Prof. Kevin Mulligan, combines the Anglo-Saxon analytical approach with the continental European historical-philosophical tradition, providing students with the logical, argumentative and cultural elements increasingly required in the job market. With a clear international footprint, the Master offers two minors, one in Mind, Language and Society, the other in Mind, History and Literature – which are part of the project to broaden the activities of the Faculty of Communication Sciences. Students will be given the opportunity to attend lectures and discuss with leading philosophers, including Kit Fine (NYU), Achille Varzi (Columbia University) and Francesco Berto (University of Amsterdam).


The first Master in AI in Switzerland

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become ubiquitous: search engines use it to improve their analytical capabilities, to respond to vocal commands, and to translate text; it is used by e-mail programs to filter spam mail, by doctors to identify tumours, by banks to predict exchange rates, by smart cars to locate and manage their own motion. All major technology companies are investing massively in this sector, in which the need for specifically trained professionals is growing steadily. For this reason the USI Faculty of Informatics, building upon the skills developed over the past thirty years at the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence Research (IDSIA, USI and SUPSI) co-directed by professors Luca Maria Gambardella and Jürgen Schmidhuber, has decided to launch the first graduate degree program in Switzerland entirely focused on AI. The program, taught entirely in English, includes a wide range of subjects, from intelligent robotics to artificial deep neural networks, from machine learning to meta-heuristics optimization.


Sofware architects and data engineers

Much of everyday life is to some extent bound to software programs, which in turn perform by processing large amounts of data. Transportation, communications, businesses, and healthcare: confidence in the proper functioning of these activities and systems depends on the level of reliability of the software used and its ability to manage the exponential growth of available information. The combination of data and programs that can handle them is the core element of the digitisation processes that organisations and companies are implementing. From September 2017, the Master in Software & Data Engineering, offered by the new Software Institute at the USI Faculty of Informatics, aims at training specialists capable of designing and constantly improving the complexity of IT systems. The courses will be given by some of the most influential researchers in the field of software worldwide.


A master for financial engineers, a first in Switzerland

Portfolio management, risk management, financial transactions, market forecasts, bitcoin and online payments: most major financial activities today are managed by sophisticated digital technologies. Start-ups, banks, insurance companies and hedge funds could virutally no longer exist without advanced and cutting-edge IT skills. This important, dynamic and complex professional sector requires experts capable of combining the rules of Finance with those of programming languages, in the context of an increasingly ubiquitous presence of artificial intelligence technologies. The Master in Financial Technology and Computing, which is taught entirely in English, is the result of joint effort between the USI Faculty of Informatics and the USI Faculty of Economics, aiming to offer students with solid IT training all the elements required to address the needs of today’s financial sector.


The application deadline for all four Master programs is June 30, 2017.
For further information: