Computer Science in Italian
Professor of the University of Pisa, Michele Pagano is a frequent guest of Petrozavodsk University. Each year he comes from far away Italy to our northern city to deliver a course of lectures on information technologies to the students of the Institute of Mathematics and Information Technologies. Michele told PetrSU journalists about his work at our university.
– When was your first visit to Petrozavodsk?
– In 2001 I took part in scientific conference in Saint Petersburg. Evsey Victorovich Morozov (Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Professor of PetrSU), my colleague and companion, invited me to come to Petrozavodsk. I enjoyed the city, especially the parks. It was summer, and the city was immersed in greenery.
Later I’ve started coming to Petrozavodsk to participate in conferences. Over time, together with colleagues from PetrSU, we’ve started developing joint projects. This was how the cooperation started between our universities. Now I come to Petrozavodsk University every year in the framework of international cooperation to carry out research and take part in seminars held by the Institute of Mathematics and Information Technologies of PetrSU
– What lectures do you deliver to students?
– My course is related to computer networks and internet technologies. So my lectures cover a wide range of topics. Students of different majors come to my lectures. Together we study traffic patterns in computer networks and the issues of event simulation.
In all the years I’ve been coming to Petrozavodsk, the topics remain the same, while the information, of course, has been updated. New technologies appear. Sometimes I find new examples, other approaches. Undoubtedly, I take into consideration the questions and comments of students. Students change too. I used to teach elder students, now I read lectures to the 3rd and the 4th year students. There are certain things they are yet to learn, so I go into details when explaining certain topics.
– Are students different in Russia and Italy?
– The difference lies in the education system. Our students pass their exams at the end of the year. This is the sole opportunity for a teacher to find out whether they have been listening to him attentively, what they have understood. This is the reason why Italian students study more diligently at the end of the year. In Russia, besides the exams, there are review works and independent work. Students have to work hard throughout the year.
– Do you like working with Russian students?
– Your students are always doing their best. So I try to engage them more. Most students are happy for the opportunity to attend lectures read by a foreign teacher. This is something different. The teaching style is different. Today one student asked me whether I will be the one to read the next course. I was pleased to hear this question.
– Do you have any difficulties with the language?
– Sometimes this can be a problem. I can’t say that I’m satisfied with my command of Russian. But I think that students have no trouble understanding me. Mathematics implies exact terms. In some cases I revert to using visual aids.
– Do you do research at PetrSU?
– I carry out my research work both in Italy and in Russia. Particularly in Petrozavodsk. The research areas are very diverse: traffic simulation, new technologies, and fundamental science. In some cases I implement large projects jointly with my former students from Russia.
– How do you spend your free time in Petrozavodsk?
– I have less free time that I wish. Here, I’m not only reading lectures, but communicating with colleagues too. With them I discuss research work and just socialize. There are many acquaintances I enjoy spending time with, just walking around the city, or sitting in a café. Besides that I like playing chess and often visit the Chess Club of Petrozavodsk.
On February 20, Michele Pagano held a seminar “Studying in Italy”. The Professor told about the system of higher education in Italy, the University of Pisa, study programs and cooperation between PetrSU and the University of Pisa.