University of Florence

About this Organization

The University of Florence (UNIFI) is an important and influential centre for research and higher training in Italy, with 1,800 lecturers and internal research staff, 1,600 technical and administrative staff, and over 1,600 research assistants and doctoral students.

It offers a wide range of study programmes at various levels and in all areas of knowledge. 126 Degree courses (First and Second Cycle, corresponding to Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees) organised in 10 Schools, with a population of about 51,000 enrolled students, one-fourth of which come from outside of Tuscany. There are over 9,000 degrees awarded each year in Florence. According to the alumni data, the percentage of students who are in the workforce one year after their First Level degree is above national average.

The University of Florence has a natural international vocation and the development of internationalization is one of its strategic priorities. It is one of the largest and most productive public research systems in Italy. This result is accomplished thanks to the number of permanent and temporary researchers working in a wide range of disciplinary and scientific fields, and the numerous junior scientists in training. It is also due to an intensive participation in research programmes of national and international relevance and to the significant scientific results achieved. External funds support the research and knowledge transfer activities.

This combination of factors qualifies the Florentine institution as a modern research university and accounts for its excellent position in national and world rankings. Researchers at the University of Florence operate within 24 different departments and have at their disposal approximately 40 research structures comprising inter-departmental and inter-university centres as well as specialised research, knowledge transfer and advanced training centres.

In recent years the University of Florence has increasingly consolidated its ventures in the field of knowledge transfer: from the filing of patents to the setting up of joint workshops with businesses, through to participation in spin-off companies. The University participates in the project with a national Excellence Center: “Media Integration and Communication Centre (UNIFI-MICC)”.

The Media Integration and Communication Center (MICC) was established by the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research at the University of Florence in 2001 as a Center of Excellence in the area of New Media and Intelligent Media technology. MICC works as an interdisciplinary center for advanced research in the fields of computer vision, multimedia technologies applied to smart environments, natural interaction, Internet Based Applications and collective intelligence. It is an internationally recognized laboratory for its research and projects in computer vision, artificial intelligence and multimedia with applications to 4.0 industry, cultural heritage, surveillance, identity recognition, behavior and scene understanding. It has also organised events and conferences of international importance. Its mission is to develop qualified research and innovation transfer in cooperation with national and international universities, research institutions and companies, as well as high-level education, focusing on:

  • Information Access and Human-Machine Interaction: image analysis pattern recognition and computer vision; image and video understanding; image, video and 3D content based retrieval; multimodal interaction; interface usability and accessibility, engineering and ergonomic factors.
  • Multimedia Communication: advanced solutions for the distribution of objects and multimedia applications via Internet; multimedia analysis, computer vision, video surveillance; legal aspects; self-governing regulations at different territorial levels; quality of the service.
  • Information protection: security aspects, protection of intellectual property, privacy of information, local regulations; technological solutions that allow strengthening of legal bonds; techniques for copyright protection; protocols and standards for the representation and distribution of images and videos at various levels of security.

MICC’s technology has been proved in the scientific community, as demonstrated by the large number of scientific publications in International conferences and journals, and in the technology transfer, with a large number of collaborations with private firms and public bodies.

NEMECH – New Media for Cultural Heritage – Competence Centre on cultural heritage was established by the Regional Government of Tuscany and University of Florence at MICC.

Team Members

Associate Professor - Computer Science

Marco Bertini is Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Florence, Italy. He is working at the Media Integration and Communication Center, where he serves as Director of the center. He received the Laurea Degree in Electronics Engineering (Laurea in Ingegneria Elettronica) from the University of Florence in 1999, and Ph.D. in 2004. His research interests are focused on digital libraries, multimedia databases and social media analysis. On these subjects he has addressed semantic analysis, content indexing and annotation, semantic retrieval and semantic video transcoding. He is author of 27 journal papers and more than 120 peer- reviewed conference papers. His Google Scholar H-Index is 32 with more than 3800 citations. He has been general co-chair, program co-chair and area chair of several international conferences and workshops (ACM MM, ICMR, CBMI, etc.), and was associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Multimedia. He has been involved in 10 EU research projects as WP coordinator and researcher, among which ASSAVID, DELOS, IM3I, euTV, ORUSSI, UMETECH.

Full Professor at the Department of Information Engineering

Alberto Del Bimbo is a Full Professor at the Department of Information Engineering at the University of Florence, co-founder and former Director of MICC, founder and Director of NEMECH – the New Media for Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Florence.

He was President of the Foundation for Research and Innovation and Deputy-Rector for Research and Innovation at University of Firenze. Prof. Del Bimbo leads a research team at the Media Integration and Communication Center investigating cutting-edge solutions in the fields of computer vision, multimedia content analysis and advanced multimodal human computer interaction.

The main applications fields in his research include digital libraries and cultural heritage, user enhanced and personalized interactivity, smart environments, surveillance and monitoring, industry automation. He is the author of over 400 publications that were published in some of the most prestigious journals and conferences and has been the coordinator of many research and industrial projects at the international and national level.

Presently, he is the Editor in Chief of ACM TOMM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications and Associate Editor of Multimedia Tools and Applications, Pattern Analysis and Applications journals. He was Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence and IEEE Transactions on Multimedia and also served as the Guest Editor of many Special Issues in highly ranked journals.

Prof. Del Bimbo is IAPR Fellow and the recipient of the 2016 ACM SIGMM Award for Outstanding Technical Contributions to Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications.

Researcher at MICC

Paolo Mazzanti is a researcher at MICC and he is project and training activities manager at the Competence Center NEMECH - New Media for Cultural Heritage. Interdisciplinary university education: he graduated in theoretic philosophy, post-graduated in multimedia content design and in planning and communication of cultural heritage. His research interests focus on emotions and informal learning in museums, user-experience and interaction design, new media and digital tools for user engagement, information technology and creative practices. He attended professional courses in digital cultural contents creation and training courses for museum experts: Italian Digital Library e Touristic Cultural Network– ICCU – Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Mu.SA – Museum Sector Alliance, ADESTE+. Winner of @diversity European Competition in 2013, innovative ideas for cultural and creative sectors in Europe. He is Scientific Co-ordinator of "MuseiEmotivi" (Emotional Museums) Training Workshop at NEMECH. He has been involved in national and EU research projects related to Cultural Heritage among which UMETECH, 3DCOFORM, ENRICH, MICHAEL). Member of EU Network NEMO and part of the working group LEM - The Learning Museum. Editor and co-author of the LEM/NEMO report “Emotions and Learning in Museums” (2020).

Assistant Professor

Lorenzo Seidenari is an Assistant Professor at the University of Florence. He received his Ph.D. degree in computer engineering in 2012 from the University of Florence. His research focuses on object and action recognition in video and images using deep learning. On these topics, he addressed activity recognition and anomaly detection in video and learning based video enhancement. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan in 2013. He organized and gave a tutorial at ICPR 2014 on image categorization. He has been in the organizing and technical committee of several international conferences. He frequently serves as a reviewer for several prestigious journals. He has taught image categorization at the PhD School of Engineering. He is author of 12 journal papers and more than 30 peer-reviewed conference papers. He has an h-index of 21 with more than 1600 citations. He is Associate Editor of Multimedia Tools and Applications.

Associate professor - Computer Science

Andrew D. Bagdanov is associate professor in the Computer Science faculty at the University of Florence. His research spans a range of topics in computer vision and machine learning. He received a dual Baccalaureate in Mathematics and Computer Science in 1995, and a Masters of Science in Computer Science in 1996 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In 2004, he received a PhD from the University of Amsterdam. He has authored more than seventy-five books and scientific articles in peer-reviewed international journals and conferences and has Google Scholar H-index of 19. He served on the IAPR Conferences and Meetings committee, and was Local Arrangements Chair for the 2012 European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV 2012). His research spans a broad spectrum of topics in computer vision, machine learning, and digital image processing.