Events

Honorary Doctorate

The doctorate honoris causa (Honorary Doctorate) is conferred as a way of honouring a distinguished person’s contributions to a specific field or to society in general. The awardee is nominated by the University Council based upon a proposal from one of the Faculties (article 38, USI statute). The Honorary Doctorate is awarded during the Dies academicus or – in certain cases – on other special occasions.  

 

USI Honorary Doctorates

Thus far, USI has conferred the Honorary Doctorate to the following persons (the indicated affiliations refer to the year of the honorary doctorate):

Shriram Krishnamurthi

Professor at Brown University

Honorary Doctorate in Informatics “for the innovations in the field of programming languages and for the extraordinary contributions to the teaching of informatics, from middle school to the university”.

Awarded on May 13, 2017, during 21st Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Richard Blundell

Professor at University College London

Honorary Doctorate in Economics “in recognition of his fundamental and pioneering contributions to micro-econometrics and empirical analysis for the study of the labour market, consumption, taxation and pension systems”.

Awarded on April 23, 2016, during 20th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

David Lyon

Professor at Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada)

Honorary Doctorate in Communication Sciences to “acknowledge his pioneering research dedicated to the challenges of information society and his active involvement in key issues in contemporary sociology such as, privacy, electronic surveillance, and ethics of identification”.

Awarded on April 23, 2016, during 20th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Franco Farinelli

Professor at the Università di Bologna

Honorary Doctorate from in Architecture “for his superior studies dedicated to the theory and history of Geographical Thought, the dimensional foundations of Western culture and the genesis of the modern concept of landscape”.

Awarded on April 18, 2015, during 19th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Jean-Pierre Danthine

Professor at the University of Lausanne and former Vice President of the Swiss National Bank

Honorary Doctorate in Economics “for his outstanding contributions to the study of the interaction of macroeconomics and finance”. 

Awarded on April 18, 2015, during 19th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Gilles Brassard

Professor at the Université de Montréal

Honorary Doctorate in Informatics “for his outstanding contributions to cryptography, in particular for his pioneering role in the development of quantum cryptography”.

Awarded on April 18, 2015, during 19th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Jimmy Wales

Co-founder of Wikipedia and founder of Wikimedia

Honorary Doctorate in Communication Sciences “for his role in the promotion of knowledge online, and for making an open encyclopedic platform available to different cultures and in different languages”.

Awarded on May 17, 2014, during 18th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding

Mimmo Iodice

One of most influential names in Italian photography

Honorary Doctorate in Architecture “for his ability to combine reality and imagination, through careful visual and photographic elaboration, skilfully interpreting the history and culture of the Mediterranean”.

Awarded on May 4, 2013, during 17th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

John D. Sterman

Professor of Management and Engineering System at the MIT Sloan School of Management (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston)

Honorary Doctorate in Economics “his pioneering contributions to system dynamics, organisational dynamics and dynamics of behavioral decision-making process”.

Awarded on May 12, 2012, during 16th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Barbara H. Liskov

Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The first woman in the US to obtain a PhD in Computer Science

Honorary Doctorate in Informatics “for her pioneering contributions to the definition of programming languages and software engineering”.

Awarded on May 14, 2011, during 15th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Werner Oechslin

Internationally renowned theorist and historian of architecture

Honorary Doctorate in Architecture “for his innovative contributions to the theory and history of architecture, an expression of his broad humanistic and intellectual conviction, which prominently elevated the debate at an institutional and professional level even beyond the Swiss context”.

Awarded on May 14, 2011, during 15th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

 

Frans H. van Eemeren

Professor at the University of Amsterdam. Founder of the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation

Honorary Doctorate in Communication Sciences “for his decisive contribution to the study of argumentation, understood as a critical and reasonable method for settling differences of opinion, which led to the formulation of an argumentation model that reconciles argumentation and rhetoric, specifying the criteria for validity of the process of argumentation and communicative conditions for its effectiveness”.

Awarded on April 17, 2010, during 14th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Ernst Fehr

Director of the Institute for Empirical Research in Economics at the University of Zurich

Honorary Doctorate in Economics “for having significantly contributed, with his research, to the understanding of the behaviour of economic agents beyond the neoclassical theory of the rational agent”.

Awarded on May 9, 2009, during 13th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

 

David Lorge Parnas

Pioneer in software engineering

Honorary Doctorate in Informatics “for his rich and profound contributions to the software design and for his promotion of social responsibility in the engineering sciences”.

Awarded on April 19, 2008, during 12th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Mimmo Paladino

Well-known and innovative Italian artist

Honorary Doctorate in Architecture “for the lucidity with which he investigates spatial issues without losing sight of  the specifics of their own figurative language, and for his continuous research capable of conferring an evocative and poetic dimension to spatial analysis, which is certainly a reference point for architects”.

Awarded on April 19, 2008, during 12th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Bernard Miège

Professor Emeritus of Informatics and Communication at Stehdahl University (Grenoble III)

Honorary Doctorate in Communication Sciences “for having provided, with his research, a fundamental contribution to the understanding of the relationship between industrial development of the media, technological innovation and the transformation of society”.

Awarded on May 12, 2007, during 11th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Leslie Lamport

Scientific researcher at Microsoft Research in California

Honorary Doctorate in Informatics “for his pioneering contributions to theoretical fundamentals of distributed informatics systems”.

Awarded on May 13, 2006, during 10th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Stephen A. Ross

Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Honorary Doctorate in Economics “for his fundamental contribution to the theory of valuation of financial activities and corporate decisions”.

Awarded on May 13, 2006, during 10th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Giuseppe Panza di Biumo

One of the greatest and most innovative contemporary art collectors

Honorary Doctorate in Architecture “for having promoted artists and movements inspired by poetic space with intensity and efficacy, and in doing so having shown architects new pathways that have enriched the references and principles of their discipline and encouraged the development of aesthetic research on spatiality from a contemporary perspective”.

Awarded on May 14, 2005, during 9th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

Robert F. Engle

Professor at New York University

Honorary Doctorate in Economics “in recognition of his role as pioneer in the elaboration of mathematic models for the measurement between economic and financial variables, with particular regard to co-integration analysis of prices and the volatility of returns”.

Awarded on October 21, 2003, during 7th Dies academicus.

Photo of the awarding.

John R. Searle

Professor at University of California, Berkeley

Honorary Doctorate in Communication Sciences “for his extraordinary contributions to the understanding of the foundations of Communication Sciences, with particular regard to relationships between the mind, action, language and processes of construction of social reality”.

Awarded on May 23, 2003, during the series of keynote lectures The philosophical foundations of the Communication Sciences.

Photo of the awarding.