Category Archives: Italy

Presidente della Repubblica

today election of the new President of Italy. I post one of my old poems (sorry in Italian), in which I mention Pertini who was the president in the 80’s. The first president I remember is Saragat, in Tuscany people were calling him Zaragatte!

once Italian always Italian. Wish Italy all the best!!! We should never loose hope.

Pensa avevo anche i bisnonni, un’allegra confusione

la mia mamma col pancione

Palla Pallina la Pavone canta

siamo negli anni 60

Nel 70 leggo e nuoto

Aldo Moro hanno rapito

ho scoperto la Fallaci

quasi quasi i primi baci

Arrivan gli anni dei motori

feste vespe e calcolatori

l’Italia e’ campione del mondo

con Craxi e Pertini non si va a fondo

Il 90 inizia funesto

si son portati via Agusto

io mi impegno a lavorare

nessuno mi potra’ fermare

Zero e’ l’anno

oh che affanno

dal passeggino alla bicicletta

i bimbi sciano gia’ in fretta

 in rete tutti collegati

 ma il babbo e la nonna se ne sono andati

 Ho le rughe intorno agli occhi

 mi fan male anche i ginocchi

 niente e’ dato per scontato

 l’anno dieci ormai e’ passato

 gli studenti irrispettosi

 noi non resteremo oziosi

 ho imparato a respirare

 e gli altri provo a ascoltare

 guardo e spero anche in Obama

 e c’e’ anche il Dalai Lama

Pisa 1966-1967

I see this picture on facebook and this is my first memory. My father who says – let us drive to see the flood. But it is not possible to drive there. Too much water too much rain and the bridge Solferino has falled down. I was not even 2 years and during the years I have heard the feedback – no it is not possible that you remember. Fortunately my memories are mine and no feedback’s or reviewers can doubt about what I remember.

Habemus Papam

“Please do not post jokes about the new Pope” is my first reaction when my son who is looking at Norwegian News, shouts in Italian “Mamma mamma fumata bianca”. He has noted the text below the TV image. Norwegian TV keeps on talking about something else. We switch to RAI. I take the mobile and update my status “Please do not post jokes about the new Pope”. Somebody of my 700 Facebook friends has already managed to post the picture of the pink smoke. It follows one hour of RAI 1, comments on facebook. The Italian journalist Bruno Vespa, I do not know why, is again at RAI 1 and exchange the Italian National song with the Vatican song. People, thousands of people are standing, praying and crying in Rome.

It is my fourth conclave. I think of an Autumn of more than thirty years ago, when the first new Pope was elected, and I, 14 years old, travel alone to Rome, by bus, starting from Pisa station at 01.30 in the night to see the new Pope. It is the day I smoke my first Malboro cigarette, on a bus full of young people singing and playing guitar.

I look at my mobile, I look at my past. Roberto is again more concentrated than me and shouts again “Mamma la tenda si muove”.

It is when the Pope says “Buonasera” and I see that one of my colleagues has written “Congrats to my Catholic friends on the election of a South American Pope! (Just heard live on CNN :-)» that I first cry a bit. It was my fourth conclave. The first on social media for me and for the Pope. But with physical tears.


Special 8.03 this year in Norway since there are 100 years since women have vote rights. According to my friend Laura Giarre’ in Italy first time in 1946, but in Tuscany (at the time Grand Duchy of Tuscany, where we come from) women could vote since 1848. But only “rich” women. I want to mention that my grandgrandmother Maria Pia Castelli Jaccheri (born 1878 in Barga) studied at the University in Nice. So we Italians are, as usually in a way in advance and in a behind.

Thanks also to my grandmother Isabella for being a teacher for 40 years even if she did not need to work being the wife of a medium/small company owner.

Thanks to my mother Fernanda who does not work outside the house but has always owned screwdriver, hammer and drill and still teaches Latin and math to his grandchildren at an age of 76!

Rita Levi Montalcini

Italian Neurobiologist Rita Levi-Montalcini , born in Torino in 1909 died today. Montalcini had lived 30 years in US and in 1986 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine.

Montalcini has lived through anti-Semitic discrimination and Nazi invasion. One of the big women in science and role model for Italian (and not only) women. A big proudness for all Italians.

“Do not think of your self think of the others!”
Dico ai giovani: non pensate a voi stessi, pensate agli altri. Pensate al futuro che vi aspetta, pensate a quello che potete fare, e non temete niente. Non temete le difficoltà: io ne ho passate molte, e le ho attraversate senza paura, con totale indifferenza alla mia persona.

From software to art: a personal journey

Abstract for Keynote at O Simpósio Brasileiro de Fatores Humanos em Sistemas Computacionais (Human Factors in Computing Systems) 5-9 November 2012

Is it ok? I need feedback please!

Computer based art has existed since the 60’s with artists like Michael Noll and Frieder Nake. The first computer art exhibition was held in 1965 in New York. The CEP, standing for “Pisan Electronic Computer” had been inaugurated in 1961 and was the first computer designed in Italy. I was born in Pisa in 1965 and I started to study computer science in early 80’s when software still was a phenomenon for computer specialists.

During the 90’s, when I was a PhD student at Politecnico di Torino, studying problems of software engineering process support, the world experienced the advent and the evolution of the personal computer, the web, software tools like Adobe Photoshop, and electronics tools such as cameras and mobile telephones. Software governing multimedia, the web, search engines, mobile computing, games, and social media, was penetrating the life of citizens and was changing the way people work, experience culture, communicate with each other, and learn.

At the beginning of the new millennium, the world was assisting to an explosion of both production and sharing of digital content, by engineers, artists and also common people. I became professor in software engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in early 2000 and I established an interdisciplinary project course and a research project about art and software.

As a software engineering scholar, the concrete goal is that of producing new knowledge about software engineering technology that support artistic projects for which software plays an important role. How can we characterize the development process of software dependent artwork and projects in terms of software development, maintenance, upgrade and usability of the artwork? How can we gain an increased understanding about software by borrowing concepts from the arts? These are the main questions that guide our research. These queries are dealt with systematic literature reviews and case studies.

As a teacher and project facilitator, I am motivated by the inner joy of creation with software and I am fascinated by the idea of open source art as the new frontier of artistic creation. In my talk, I will provide examples of participation to art projects with focus on Open Source Software, documented by pictures and videos.

As a disseminator of software issues to the broad audience, my agenda for participating in software intensive art projects, is to increase interest in software by exposing it to a broad audience, to make software visible in the public space and raise public engagement about software and its potential to be used in creative activities.

The main contributions of this piece of work are the conceptualization of themes at the intersection of software and art and identification of the issues that contribute to the success or failure of a software dependent art project. Moreover, we make proposals on how the software discipline can be improved by borrowing concepts from art. Increased knowledge about the intersection of software and art benefits cultural industries, which produce media for publishing enterprises, museums, and entertainment with better technology platforms for cultural and entertainment industries and better conceptual models for decision makers.

How do you say “spread” in Italian? In Italian we say “spread” (lo spredde)

Italian newspapers and TV always mention the “spread” (read “lo spredde” since Italian words starting with “sp” need the article “lo” and not “il”.). I understand that “spread” measures a relation between the Italian BTP and the German Bund. Since I heard the word spread for the first time some months ago, this value has been in a range between 300 and 500, for example this article of the 12th August reports a spread of 431.  Can it be that the German Bund is 400 times more valuable than the Italian BTP? I do not understand properly but I understand that I do not understand exactly what the spread is as I tried to explain to a Spanish friend yesterday and I did not manage. She said she has not heard this concept in Spain.

Now I have not been living in Italy for at least 15 years. I have no formal education in economy. So it may be my fault. But why do Italian media have to use words and concepts I do not understand? How many Italian persons do understand “(lo spredde)” and the economic situation of the country?

about the Italian education system

On a Sunday morning I read Corriere della sera and my attention – surprise surprise – goes to this article about the Italian University system.  It takes on average a lot of years to an Italian student to finish his studies. And little is done to control and solve this problem.

In these days I observe another phenomenon that worries me a lot. Daughters and sons of my friends in Italy of age 14 are choosing latin School (Liceo classico), the same school I started in late ’70 and finished in 1983. Without knowing the detailed changes that may have been implemented in the recent years, I can report of my studies which included 5 hours per week of Latin, 4 hours of Greek for five years; two hours of math for five years; two hours of German for two years, no English. We studied philosophy which may be useful if you are intelligent and mature enough to map Plato concepts into your life challenges – I was not at least at the age of 15.

So, even if I cannot complaint about my life and job, I can say that it has been extremely difficult to study computer science on English books without Math and English knowledge. But even more difficult, to learn how to behave in meetings and in the working world in general without any formal education about social skills and alike. “cartago delenda est” “Repetita iuvant” “errare humanum est” “Hic sunt leones”. Sometimes Latin phrases come to my mind and even help me at least to take my attention away from negative phenomenons, that is true 🙂

To conclude, Italy must invest and revise its education systems. Parents and youth have to look forward and abandon snobbish and romantic ideas about Latin schools and alike. Teachers and administrators have to be constructive and look at what is done outside the country in year 2012.