Facebook selected ten Italian talents, when, some time ago, Facebook launched a competition for new ideas in software. Participation for the event allowed everyone in the world to join in. Thousands of studies arrived, and the experts from Menlo Park skimmed them. 23 of them were selected. Well, the surprise to see ten of the winners are Italian boys and girls. A sign that our schools are still churning out competent technicians and engineers.
In fact the personal computer got invented by Olivetti of Ivrea. Then the significant industrial development, the funds to develop that sector in depth are lacking. Perhaps it may be true that our country produces excellence. But without a base behind it, that can create the work of these geniuses, bringing them to fruition.
But some of our institutes and university centers train computer scientists capable of competing and winning at an international level. Among others, the CNR, the Polytechnic of Milan, the University of Salerno, the Gran Sasso Science Institute of L’Aquila. Here the names of the Italian winners: Antonia Bertolino, Emilio Cruciani, Mattia Fazzini. Also Filomena Ferrucci, Alessio Gambi, Alessandra Gorla, Alessandro Orso. Lastly Pasquale Salza, Valerio Terragni, and Roberto Verdecchia.
Some of them appear in London’s Facebook office, on November 21. They will receive a prize with a cheque of fifty thousand dollars. The “Software Test and Verification Award.” has decided to award the ten best projects, as a donation to the institutions that host the winning researchers.”
Of the Top Ten projects awarded, four bears the signature of Italian scholars. In most cases, our researchers have worked together. One group formed by Ferrucci, Salza, and Terragni, another by Fazzini, Gorla, and Orso, a third by Bertolino, Cruciani, and Verdecchia with the contribution of the Brazilian Breno Alexandro Ferreira de Miranda. Alessio Gambi, on the other hand, participated with a project presented together with his Austrian colleague Gordon Fraser.
Now let’s come to the painful notes. Six of the ten winners already work abroad: Gambi in Germany at the University of Passau, Gorla in Madrid at the IMDEA Software Institute, Salza, and Terragni in Switzerland, respectively at the University of Zurich and the University of Lugano, Fazzini, and Orso in the USA: University of Minnesota and Georgia Tech. Even the two students who obtained their doctorate at the GSSI in L’Aquila already have a plane ticket, Cruciani has a research post waiting for him in Nice, Verdecchia will soon fly to Holland. The only ones to have a stable role in Italy are Bertolino and Ferrucci (CNR and University of Salerno), the most adult of the group, and that, for family reasons, will remain in Italy.
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