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Sci-GaIA Winter School


The goal of the Sci-GaIA Winter School is to create the skills to integrate scientific applications in the Africa Grid Science Gateway and/or in other domain-specific Science Gateways.

This will allow the creation of an intercontinental pool of experts that can act as “interface” between the end-users of the Communities of Practice (CoPs) supported by the project and the e-Infrastructure services.

The school is entirely web-based and it will include a combination of pre-recorded lectures and interactive sessions per week where to check the progress of students through their short presentations and the correction of the exercises. Both the inaugural lecture and the final day’s presentations will also be held as interactive webinars.

The school follows a project-driven education approach with teams of students working on the development of scientific applications to be integrated in the Science Gateway(s).

At the end of the school, a panel of experts will assess the progress made by the various teams of students and the winner and the runner-up application teams (max 2 persons per team) will win a free participation to the Sci-GaIA Final Conference that will be held in Brussels in March/April 2017.


In order to profit from the course, the following prior knowledge is required:

  • Skills:
    • Java programming;
    • Web application development (HTML, Java server pages, XML, Application Server, servlets);
    • Basic Unix shell (VPN, SSH, bash scripting);
    • Basic Database management (e.g., MySQL).
  • (Virtualised) Hardware:
    • Being a web-based course, no hardware is provided by organisers. Participants should have at their disposal for the whole duration of the course a real/virtual machine with either Mac OS X or Linux installed and at least 2 GB of RAM. CentOS, Fedora and Ubuntu are all recommended Linux distributions.
  • Software:
    • All software needed to integrate scientific applications in Science Gateways using the Catania Science Gateway Framework (CSGF) will be provided by organisers except the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) since participants can already be used to different IDEs;

Course Staff

Roberto Barbera Image

Roberto Barbera

Roberto Barbera was born in Catania (Italy) in October 1963. He graduated in Physics "cum laude" at the University of Catania in 1986 and since 1990 he holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the same University. Since 2005 he is Associate Professor of Experimental Physics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Catania University and at the beginning of 2014 he got the National Scientific Qualification to act as Full Professor of Experimental Physics of Fundamental Interactions. Since his graduation his main research activity has been done in the domains of Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics. He has been involved in many experiments in France, Russia, Sweden and United States to study nuclear matter properties in heavy ion collisions at intermediate energies. He is author of several book chapters, more than 250 scientific papers published on international journals, and more than 400 proceedings of international conferences (see his Google Scholar profile at: He is editor of the International Journal of Distributed Systems and Technologies and referee of Journal of Grid Computing, Future Generation Computer Systems, and BMC Medical Informatics. He is also a consultant of the European Commission and a reviewer of the European Science Foundation as well as of Ministries of Science and Technology of various countries in the world. Since 1997 he has been involved in CERN experiments and he is one of the physicists involved in the ALICE Experiment at LHC. Within ALICE he’s been the coordinator of the off-line software of the Inner Tracking System and member of the ALICE Off-line Board. Since late 1999 he is interested in Distributed Scientific Computing. He’s been member of the Technical Committee of TERENA (the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association,, of the Executive Committee of the Italian Grid Infrastructure (the Italian National Grid Initiative, and of the Scientific & Technical Committee of Consortium GARR (the Italian National Research and Education Network, At European level, he has been/he is involved with managerial duties in many FP6, FP7 and H2020 EU funded projects (agINFRA, CHAIN, CHAIN-REDS, DCH-RP, DECIDE, EarthServer, EELA, EELA-2, EGEE, EGEE-II, EGEE-III, EGI-Engage, EGI-InSpire, eI4Africa, EPIKH, EUChinaGRID, EUMEDGRID, EUMEDGRID-Support, GISELA, ICEAGE, INDICATE, INDIGO-DataCloud, etc.) in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America and he’s currently the Technical Coordinator of the Sci-GaIA project ( Since 2004 he coordinates the international GILDA t-Infrastructure he created for training and dissemination ( and that has been used in more than 500 training events in more than 60 countries worldwide. Since 2010 he oversees the design and the development of the Catania Science Gateway Framework ( He is also the manager of the GrIDP Identity Federation ( and he is strongly involved in the establishment of Certificate Authorities, Identity Federations and Open Access Digital Repositories for Open Science in various regions of the world. More information are available on his ORCID profile at

Bruce Becker Image

Bruce Becker

Bruce Becker is a researcher with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Meraka Institute in South Africa. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town, in experimental relativistic nuclear physics, gained working on the ALICE experiment at CERN's LHC. He founded and developed the South African National Grid and spearheaded integration of SAGrid with other regional distributed computing initiatives in Africa and Arabia, culminating in the development of the Africa-Arabia Regional Operations Centre. He has participated in several FP7 projects aimed at regional and international coordination, including EPIKH, CHAIN and CHAIN-REDS. His professional interests include e-Infrastructure, e-Science and Open Science. He is very interested and actively involved in the development of automation of services, user-facing services and application delivery.

Antonio Calanducci Image

Antonio Calanducci

Antonio Calanducci was born in Milan on 18th February, 1977. He got his graduation "cum laude" in Computer Science at the University of Catania on April 2004. He carried out the preparation of his final thesis at the New York University (NYU) where he dealt with subjects such as parallel and distributed programming paradigms and Multiple Sequence Alignment of bio-sequences, under the supervision of prof. Dennis Shasha (Courant Institute of Mathematical Science). He also holds a PhD in Computer Science from the same university since 2014 and the is enabled to act as Information Engineer.
    Currently he is working at the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), in Catania, with the position of technologist in Grid and Cloud technologies, and as contract professor at the University of Catania, teaching “Informatica” at the Department of Medicine and Geologica Science.
    Since May 2005, he has been working for INFN: starting as a consultant in the context of the project “Enabling Grid for E-sciencE” (EGEE) for training and application support activities, and since April 2006 to Oct 2010 as a technologist in the context of the projects EGEE-II and EGEE-III.
    He has participated as a speaker to many workshops, meetings, national and international conferences, presenting the activities carried out by the Catania team.
    Beside training, in the last 6 years he has been working as a researcher and developer in the field of digital libraries on grid infrastructures. In particular, he is the coordinator and software architect of the gLibrary platform ( whose achievements has been published and presented to several national and international conferences.
    He is also expert of mobile development technologies. In the last 5 years, he has worked as a consultant and instructor for many national companies. In particular he has a lot of expertise on the Appcelerator Titanium platform, being a Titanium Certified Instructor, Titanium Certified Expert and Titanium Certified Application Developer. Since his introduction to Titanium in 2010, he feel in love with JavaScript, Node.js, MongoDB as well as many other JavaScript based frameworks. He has trained, over the last couple years, more then a hundred students - preparing them to get the Titanium Certified Application Developer certification and transferring his love for the Titanium platform. He is also an Apple Certified Trainer for OS X.
    He has written the first Italian guide on the Swift programming language, available at

Marco Fargetta Image

Marco Fargetta

Marco Fargetta was born in Catania (Italy) in December 1976. He graduated in Computer Engineering at the University of Catania in 2002. In 2007 he completed a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the same University (a part of the Ph.D. study was done at the University of Manchester, UK) with a thesis titled "A Model for Automatically Supporting Advanced Reservation, Allocation and Pricing in a Grid Environment". His research activity started with the Ph.D. in 2003 and initially was focused on advanced scheduling of Grid jobs. After the Ph.D. his research has focused on authentication and authorisation aspects and user interfaces of distributed computing environments, including grid and clouds. Since 2007 he has been involved in different projects at national and international levels. These include:

  • TriGrid VL project, funded by the Sicilian Regional Government, as member of the University of Catania, Department of Mathematics;
  • ICEAGE project with the Department of Physics and Astronomy, funded by the European Union;
  • PI2S2 and DECIDE projects, funded by the regional government, with Consorzio COMETA (an organization owned by all University and research centre in Sicily);
  • EUAsiaGrid, RECAS, PRISMA and INDIGO-DataCloud (currently involved) projects, funded by the Italian PONREC activity with INFN.
The activity performed in the context of the Ph.D. and the following projects is documented by more than 20 publications in international conferences, journals and books. Additionally he is the technical manager of the GrIDP Identity Federation (, a production ready federation managed by INFN and GARR which aims at federating services. Currently he works at INFN on a new framework aimed at simplify access and use of distributed infrastructures.

Mario Torrisi Image

Mario Torrisi

Mario Torrisi was born in Catania (Italy) in November 1983. He graduated in Computer Engineering at the University of Catania in 2011.

In 2012 he got a University 2nd level Master in "Methodologies and technologies for mobile applications development", where focused his activities on development of a cross-platform mobile application that enables NFC technology in the commerce environment. A period of the University Master was done at "TILab", the Telecom Italia Innovation and research center.

In 2012 he started his research activity, with a scholarship at INFN the National Institute for Nuclear Physics, to develop a platform that allows the use of Distributed Computing infrastructures from mobile devices. He developed several native cross-platform mobile applications, based on Appcelerator Titanium Framework, in the context of different European Commission funded projects, presented in several national and european level events.

He has collaborated since 2014 with the Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of Catania, in the following national and international levels projects:

  • VESPA project, funded by the Sicilian Regional Government;
  • Sci-GaIA project, funded by the European Commission, in which he is currently involved.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to buy a textbook?

No, all handouts and slides of the course are provided.

  1. Course Number

  2. Classes Start

    Apr 04, 2016