A school where training means research
SISSA, the International School for Advanced Studies, was founded in 1978 and is a scientific center of excellence within the national and international academic scene. Located in Italy, in the city of Trieste, it features 67 professors, about 130 post-docs, 245 Ph.D. students and 95 technical-administrative staff. Situated on the scenic Karst upland, the School is surrounded by a 25-acre park and offers a stunning view of the Gulf of Trieste. The three main research areas of SISSA are Physics, Neuroscience, and Mathematics. All the scientific work carried out by SISSA researchers is published regularly in leading international journals with a high impact factor, and frequently in the most prestigious scientific journals such as Nature and Science. The School has also drawn up over 150 collaboration agreements with the world's leading schools and research institutes. The quality level of the research is further confirmed by the fact that within the competitive field of European funding schemes SISSA holds the top position among Italian scientific institutes in terms of research grants obtained in relation to the number of researchers and professors. Such leadership should also be seen in terms of SISSA's ability to obtain funding, both from the private and public sectors, such as SIR and PRIN. As for the National assessment of research quality involving all Universities and scientific institutes, SISSA got top marks in mathematics and neuroscience and came first among medium-sized departments in the field of physical science.
Thanks to its outstanding setting in the unspoiled countryside of the Trieste Karst, the wonderful park around the School is a lovely place to go for walks and to enjoy the view over the town and on the Trieste Gulf. On the SISSA campus, you can find some amenities, such as the theater/auditorium, the gym and much more, which will make your stay in the School even more pleasant. All students and researchers are also entitled to use facilities which are extremely important for their work. One of those facilities is the library, which gives access to all the most important scientific publications covering all research fields at SISSA. On the campus, journals are also freely accessible online in their electronic version.
For their research activities, the experimental groups of SISSA can use several laboratories. The Neurobiology laboratories use advanced tools for physiological research, DNA sequence analyzer, and molecular biology instrumentation. This Area also uses advanced computers and software for molecular modeling, and for the study of hybrid bio-electronic devices. Advanced types of software for the study of biology-inspired machine vision are in use. The microscope facilities of the Neurobiology Area are an electron microscope, two confocal microscopes, and numerous fluorescence microscopes. The facilities of the Cognitive Neuroscience laboratories are test cabins for psycholinguistic experiments with adults and children using sophisticated artificial speech; a virtual theatre for presenting visual scenes to test reasoning processes in children; high-density evoked potential recording to carry out neuroimaging on children and adults; a neuropsychology laboratory equipped for transcranial magnetic stimulation. Other methodological highpoints include the tactile perception laboratory, which examines the neuronal basis of sensation using a 100-microelectrode matrix implanted in the cerebral cortex; this group also monitors neuronal activity underlying perceptual decisions in behaving animals.
Information Technology and Computing Services
Huge resources for scientific computing are available at SISSA. Services include e-mail, web hosting, distributed file systems, wireless and remote Internet access, courseware and research and high-performance computing facilities. SISSA maintains a large number of interconnected number-crunching servers that communicate with each other. SISSA is connected to GARR, the Italian research network, and communicates with the main national and international super-computing centers.