Politecnico di Milano – Multidisciplinary Project Course 2015-16

This is the webpage of the course “Multidisciplinary Project” that will be held at Politecnico di Milano from March to June 2016.

This is a 5 credits course for graduate students.


Danilo Ardagna, danilo.ardagna@polimi.it

Stefano Ceri, stefano.ceri@polimi.it


  • Provide your project interest at the following link

Course Description


This course proposes a student work of interdisciplinary nature. Students will be asked to participate to small projects that will be mentored by two tutors working on different research areas, chosen either within the Computer Engineering Area of DEIB, or across areas, or across departments; one tutor should belong to the Computer Engineering Area.

The project will focus on a multidisciplinary problem, emphasizing the  requirements specification, feasibility analysis, and the design of the envisioned solution; these will be the project outcomes.   A prototype providing the proof-of-concept of the solution is welcome but is not expected.

The aim of multidisciplinary projects is to combine the students’ (vertical) disciplinary knowledge from the MS Computer Science program with interdisciplinary (horizontal) skills that are needed to work in a truly multidisciplinary environment, which characterizes the current industry trends. In order to develop the foundations of students’ horizontal skills and the ability to work effectively in a group, lectures focusing on design methods and innovation management in a social context will be provided online.


The first two lectures of the course will be dedicated to provide an overview of the content of the course  and to the presentation of projects proposals. Project selection will be performed by students, who after project presentations will indicate their preferences. Matching will attempt to satisfy the majority of students while, at the same time, allocating students to the majority of projects and satisfying projects pre-requisites.

Projects will be developed by group of up four students and will provide the basis for an evaluation of three credits.

Lectures on interdisciplinary aspects will be provided on-line through the a dedicated ASP  YouTube channel available (http://www.youtube.com/user/asppoli). The lectures are a subset of the ASP Courses on interdisciplinary issues, methods and models of innovation provided by the ASP program. These lectures are based on seminars given by prominent international professors from Universities all over the world.  The students then will be asked to discuss in a critical way and provide their personal interpretation of the on-line lecture contents. The discussion will be based on three short papers and a presentation on a single lecture scheduled during the course.  The presentation but also the participation to the discussion of other colleagues will be part of the final evaluation, for one credit.

The projects will be monitored through a follow-up and feedback, using four follow-up sessions that will be scheduled (requirements definition, mid-term, concept selection, and final evaluation); presentation skills exhibited by the group will contribute to one credit evaluation.

Student workload will be compatible with the 5 credits. Lecturing will consists of about 4hrs dedicated to organization and management, online lectures for about 10hrs, short papers writing, and general discussions for about 6hrs (total of 20 hrs). Project work will require individual and team work, whose impact will be variable but generally defined by tutors so as to be sized within 50-60 total hrs for each student.


Week 1

  • Lecture 1: Course objectives and introduction to multidisciplinary issues, methods and models of innovation topics

Week 2:

  • Lecture 2: Project proposals presentation
  • Project assignment

Week 2-4 (online):

  • Independent vision and study on “Design methods”

Week 4

  • Lecture 3: Discussion on design methods
  • Project requirements presentations (open participation for tutors)

Week 5-7 (online)

  • Independent vision and study on “Innovation management”

Week 7

  • Lecture 4: Discussion on Innovation management

Week 8-10 (online)

  • Independent vision and study on “Decision making”

Week 9

  • Mid-term project presentations (open participation for tutors)

Week 10

  • Lecture 5: Discussion on Decision making

Week 13

  • Concept selection and first implementation

Exam time (to be agreed with students)

  • Final project presentation (open participation for tutors)


The final grade for the individual students will be obtained according to the following criteria:

  • Short papers, presentation on a specific lecture and ability in leading the discussion by engaging the class (20%)
  • Presentation skills as assessed during requirement, mid-term, concept selection, and final presentations (20%)
  • Mid-term project presentation – focus on method (20%)
  • Final project presentation – focus on result (40%)

The ideal size for this course is about 15-30 students so that discussion sessions will be lead by teams of at most 10 students, possibly dividing them into 2-3 slots based upon the material being discussed. If number will exceed 30, students may be evaluated through standard post-lecture written exam.

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