Course Description

Course Participants

The Advanced Courses on Data Science and Machine Learning is carefully designed and orchestrated to maximize the potential for interaction between the faculty and participants in a very friendly and unintimidating manner.

Learning from the leaders, you will discard out-dated notions, gain an appreciation for the latest ideas, and develop insights that will create in you fresh perspectives in your own field of research or industrial activity. You will complete your stay with a tremendous reserve of strategic thinking that you can put to immediate use, as well as mobilize as contingencies demand.

The Advanced Course is not a summer school suited only for younger scholars. Rather, a significant proportion of seasoned investigators are regularly present among the attendees, often senior faculty at their own institutions. The balanced audience that we strive to maintain in each Advanced Course greatly contributes to the development of intense cross-disciplinary debates among faculty and participants that typically address the most advanced and emerging areas of each topic.

Each faculty member presents lectures and discusses with the participants for one entire day. Such long interaction together with the small, exclusive Course size provides the uncommon opportunity to fully explore the expertise of each faculty, often through one-to-one mentoring. This is unparalleled and priceless.

Course Format

The Course allows participants to flourish in an optimal learning environment.

Typically there are two sessions in the morning and one session in the afternoon, followed by a 30-min open discussion. The faculty and participants then spend 2 hours in the afternoon within the lecture hall, the cloister and the discussion areas of the Certosa di Pontignano and delve into an in-depth analysis of each faculty member’s domain.

The curriculum of the Advanced Course is outlined on its webpage. The present program is however flexible: the participants often steer discussions toward a specific direction, and faculty members incorporate these ideas and themes into their material and presentations. Structured, yet strongly personalized, the Advanced Course will bring about a full-scale transformation of participants.

Time during each day and one entire afternoon are reserved for recreation and local sightseeing—a relaxing and enjoyable time that the Faculty members and participants spend together. The faculty members and participants also eat meals and spend recreation time together: here, themes from daily discussions are very often reinforced, amplified, and challenged through. The faculty members remain on-site with the participants for several days, many for the entire duration of the Advanced Course.

Words cannot fully do justice, however, to the informal, rich, and collegial atmosphere that develops at the Certosa di Pontignano – one that is very special and unique compared with any other course and conference venue.


Throughout the years the ICAS has welcomed participants from more than 90 different countries and, understanding the power of the program, many have registered again for more Advanced Courses, Summer Schools and Conferences.

Typically a third of participants are scholars holding a faculty position including full professors and head of departments, a third are junior group leaders and postdoctoral fellows, a third are graduate students. Participants from the top Universities and research institutions worldwide have taken an Advanced Course.

Preparing to attend a Course

The Advanced Course at the Certosa di Pontignano is very intense. They are structured to provide an informal, stimulating and non-intimidating atmosphere where participants can effectively build scientific relationships and develop collaborative networks with senior investigators.

ECTS Points

The School will involve a total of 36-40 hours of lectures, according to the academic system the final achievement will be equivalent to 8 ECTS points for the PhD Students and the Master Students attending the summer school; during the summer school the students will tackle homeworks/projects.

Application Process

Individuals wishing to attend the Advanced Course on Data Science and Machine Learning must fill the online Application Form and pay the corresponding fee.

The deadline to submit an Application is March 31  and it is recommended that applications be submitted as early as possible in order to receive prompt consideration and the opportunity to stay at the Certosa di Pontignano. When the Advanced Course on Data Science and Machine Learning is full, its title will no longer be available in the Application Form and this will marked in the event’s webpage.

Applications are encouraged from all scientists and scholars active in the research, industry and otherwise scientific area of Data Science and Machine Learning.

Once the maximum number of participants has been reached, this will be notified on the Course website. A small number of applicants may be placed on a waitlist in case of later cancellations. Applicants will be notified via email whether or not the application has been accepted.

Applicants are encouraged to provide detailed information accompanying their request to attend the Advanced Course on Data Science and Machine Learning. A carrier outline is essential as well as a brief description of the applicant’s goals and future direction in the data science and machine learning community.

Accompanying persons

The Advanced Courses is designed for participants to fully profit from interaction with faculties and other participants both during the lectures as well as during the meals and recreation times. For these reasons, in order to maintain a small group that serves such goals also during the times outside the lecture hall, we remind participants that the presence of family, accompanying persons and guests is welcome but must be well harmonized with the rest of the group.