Home Forums Silicon Valley Study Tour – August 2020 Poli To Silicon Valley 2020

104 replies, 31 voices Last updated by Paolo Marenco 3 years, 2 months ago
  • Stefano

    Hi people (sorry for the late post!)

    I’m Stefano Trentini and I’m currently attending the master degree in Mechanical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino.
    When I first read about the opportunity that this program offers, I just thought I had to capture it to broaden my knowledge in technological advancement and discover the most recent approaches to the topic directly from experienced workers. For this reason it would be a dream come true to visit the Silicon Valley’s companies and the universities that directly interact with them.

    During the years of academic career I’ve always sought for more practical and ‘closer’ experiences to real cases of innovations, to develop my own ideas that I’ll be able to exploit in the near future, and have some insights on what are the latest trends in the field. Therefore, during the second year of my bachelor I attended a course at the Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble on artificial intelligence and neural networks that really sparked and actually initiated my interest on such topics. Unfortunately, my courses do not cover such subjects, but I am trying to keep up a bit self-learning the basics, and I intend to write my thesis on it since it’s what interests me the most.

    I also spent a year of high school in the US, precisely in a small town of Virginia, for what has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life so far. This is one more reason to build other connections and possibly job/study opportunities in the US, hence the Silicon Valley tour would be an ideal program for me! I also got accepted for the Erasmus program in Spain, which is supposed to start next semester, but because of the virus we still don’t know if it is going to be approved.

    Other than that, I’m a really outgoing guy and I love sports and travelling, whenever I have the chance to do so.

    Can’t wait to start!



    Hi @giuseppemissale!

    The most of the courses on Coursera are free and at the end of one of them you can receive a certificate for a “small fee”. I’ve seen that usually this fee is in a range of 30-80€ more or less (depence on the course). I know for sure that in most of the courses it’s possible to apply for a financial aid in case you can’t afford the certificate.

    Speaking about adding your Udemy certificates on your linkedin, I think that there are no problems about. The only thing is that a Udemy certificate doesn’t prove that you’re an expert about the course topic. The main problem is that anybody can make a Udemy course, so there is no evidence that it is exhaustive. So my suggestion is to maybe show just the certificates about topics where you have gone deeper, where you can perfectly prove your knowledge.

    Different matter is about certificates from websites like coursera and edx, as their courses are provided from top universities and companies, and therefore their certificates could be considered as one provided by an university (of course with due attention).


    Hello @simone-dalledonne!

    I will surely take a look at thos books, as I already knew the name of Professor Harari but never had the chance to actually read his works. Thanks for the suggestion!

    I use to read a lot of books on philosophy, as I have always been fascinated by the subject since I studied it in high school. I recently read all of René Descartes’ most famous books (Discourse on Method and Principles of Philosophy) above all: they were incredibly interesting, hence I suggest that you read them if you are interested on the subject!

    For an easier reading I would definitely recommend Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky, probably my favourite books! Hope you’ll have a chance to read them if you haven’t yet. 🙂


    Hello everybody!

    I am Riccardo Capodicasa and i am attending the third year of the Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineer at PoliTo

    I am very interested in digital electronic and nanotechnologies for ICT and I think that this is a great opportunity to improve my knowledges and open my mind, an experience like that can let me see the world outside the standard academical world and I am really excited about that!

    I can’t wait to start and meet you all tomorrow!

    Riccardo Capodicasa.


    Hi everyone! Sorry for the late, but this sanitary situation got me some issues.

    I’m Valerio Di Eugenio and i come from Ascoli Piceno. I’m attending the first year master degree in Data Science Engineering at Politecnico di Torino, after having got a Bachelor in Management Engineering (L8 class) in the same university. While the latter, I lost a year because of four surgeries i had to face up with, but what i’ve always considered a mischance was a bit mitigated by the fact i could join the master courses I actually do and that fascinated me really a lot, having started this year. Even though it may not seem by the choice i made, i’ve always been interested in technological issues thanks to my father, such that i started learning from him how to develop apps for mobile by using INDE platform. In this way i’m trying to develop one whom I hope to launch next year. I see that more like a direct way to experience how this market works.

    To make up for the lost time, since 2018 I’m working for a think-tank based in Paris, taking care of the entire informatic side (by remote wherever i am). The most exciting part of this experience is that Sine Qua Non, that’s its name, has components from all around the world, and this has given me the opportunity to closely see how people with different backgrounds, cultures and experiences think and act. Keeping in touch with them i learned and i’m still learning a way more than working skills, but at the same time I realized that world goes really fast and that it’s very hard to keep up with the times. I guess that is our challenge.  To be honest,  also by reading comments in this forum i had the same impression and i am really happy to have joined! It’s always a pleasure dealing with people with these interests and attitudes, i’m sure i can catch many teachings from you.

    I guess that having a tour among the giants of our sector is a dream of all people in this branch, and maybe not only. We can read and inquire as much as we want about that but nothing can enrich our background as a direct experience. Moreover, I suppose that all of us aim to succeed in our own biggest aims and this is a fantastic opportunity to talk with people who achieved it, in order to gain not only some important technical tips, but also to understand the mind set they have and the way they approach the work, that, in my opinion, have almost the same relevance as the specific knowledges.

    Other than this, i’m a guy loving sport and reading books, in particular humanistic ones. But I guess we will have time to know each other more in depth here.

    Can’t wait to start!

    Valerio Di Eugenio.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Valerio.

    Hi everyone!

    My name is Eleonora Carletti and I’m a Data Science and Engineering master course student.

    I’ve always been strongly passionate in programming.
    As a teen I started developing mobile app games for fun and that was the reason why I decided to attend a Computer Engineering course.
    While attending my bachelor I had the opportunity to travel to China for one year, learning a new language and getting to know a different beautiful culture.

    During my life I also collaborated in lots of projects regarding the app world and this experience taught me to think also outside the code only job.
    As a consequence I decided to apply for a Costumer Facing role at Microsoft and I did a six months internship there.

    Recently I got interested in the AI world and in particular in the big potential that this technology has in helping people performing everyday tasks.

    Another field I’m working on is education: I’m a coach at Futurmakers technology school.
    Beside of giving classes, I’m also studying strategies and softwares to bring kids close to the tech world at a very young age.

    I decided to apply for this project because I think that this can be an extremely good opportunity to get to know better new technologies and latest discovers made in my field of study.

    I’m really looking forward to meet you all in today’s conference!

    Eleonora Carletti


    Hello everyone, I am Luca Dibattista. I used to play basketball, to swim and to go to the gym. I listen to Italian rap music and classical music when studying. I am attending the first year of the MSc in Data Science and Engineering. Last year I have completed my bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering.

    I have always been attracted to the start-up world. I have done an internship at Synapta, a start-up in Turin, where I worked in an agile environment that I liked a lot. I have worked, for the first time, with Public Administrations, and I discovered the “Team per l’Innovazione Digitale”, that was a team working for the digitalization of the public sector: I am currently keeping an eye on it.

    Last month I have been selected for attending a one-week course called “Creating a Web Start-up” at TU Darmstadt, with dr. Yossi Maaravi, thanks to which I changed my point of view about start-ups. The Silicon Valley is a must-see: it is the second city, right after Tel Aviv, with the highest density of start-ups in the world! I have always dreamt to visit the offices of big companies. Cisco, that I have always seen as one of the most important companies in the cybersecurity field; Google, one of the most influent software companies in the world, especially for data; McAfee, the company with the craziest founders in my opinion: I would love to see the real world of these and the other companies and universities.


    @pistillostefano ‘s words are really heartening for me, in fact I have always been reproached for leaving out the study for “nosense things”, despite maintaining a good average, at high school. Now, at PoliTO, I have a low average but I was able to concentrate on developing technical skills already acquired at the technical institute and on the foundation of my student team (ExMAH).

    Obviously, it’s necessary to find a middle way cause study, grades and university, as we already heard today, are fundamental.

    I see myself a lot in Stefano’s path, up to his university years.

    I’d not have the public relations skills I have today if I had not taken off some time from studying to, for example, obtain and maintain the school representative position in the institute and provincial council (at high school) or to go to the UN and having the opportunity to speech to the GA Planary (CWMUN).

    I’m grateful to all my teachers, my mentors, my parents and also to you for giving me this chance to know Silicon Valley.


    I was really glad to hear @pistillostefano’s words tonight. They were really very inspiring and I particularly appreciated his tenacity!

    In recent years I have not carried out activities of social importance like him, but I have always managed to reconcile university and small jobs such as: waitress, educator in the colonies, scholarship holder at Energy Center… I even worked in a dealership!

    All these experiences have made me less embarrassed in public and, also, they have allowed me to improve my organizational skills because I have to be able to go to class, study and work.

    Before hearing Stefano I was happy to have this chance, but now I’m enthusiastic!


    Thanks @pistillostefano, we started off with a bang yesterday. Your adventure is incredible: at the beginning none of us knew you received so many NO before to find what began your future and your place in the world. I think this is a great point to encourage people to not give up, even if the world seems deny you your way. As you and Paolo said yesterday, maybe your future isn’t written in the first attempt.

    And also I found interesting you weren’t a perfect student but your curiosity and the will to learn, to improve and to discover brought you where you wanted.

    I played theater for many years because I loved acting and this is another way to fight our own shame and maybe cause that I saw myself in Stefano’s words when he talked about doing lots of questions, sometimes the wrong ones. It’s curious but also encouraging to know that this kind of things are appreciate in realities like Silicon Valley.

    Another point which cought my attention yesterday was people who use to share ideas and concepts without any fear to be copied from anybody but in a view to endorse, develop together and maybe finding someone interested into, that’s something in Italy we don’t use to do. It’s really worthwhile<span class=”text” lang=”en” data-default-size=”13px”> and I think we should start to do it more.</span>

    Paolo Marenco

    Hi all,

    happy of your presence here. Reading who you are I have a confirmation we have every year : we attracts students “out of the box”  with curiosity, openess to the world.

    Here you find the recording of yesterday meeting: it is our first recording! It will be better the quality of the next,  April 21…but is nice to see again and share it.

    https://drive.google.com/file/<wbr />d/1KAsMDAoymOunyGKJ5ygnRi98da-<wbr />d4eLP/view?usp=sharing

    Silvia Giammarinaro

    Thank you @pistillostefano for sharing your story with us, it was so inspiring.

    It’s incredible how things evolve in ten years. Are you able to visualize your 2010 self looking at your 2020 self? Is it how you planned? My answer is a no. To prove it, I’m telling you one of my childhood memories.

    My family and I were going to the seaside, it was summer. At that time I was attending middle school and as a kid, it was a long trip (4-5 hours), so I used to take a toy or a book with me. I remember carrying with me a magazine bought the day before with my mum, the title on the cover was “this cellphone will change the world” or something like that.

    I checked today what year it was: it was 2008 and I was 11. The phone on that cover was the iPhone 3G, it was the first iPhone sold in Italy and the man beside it was Steve Jobs. I was so fascinated by reading the magazine I followed every Apple presentation since then. But Steve had the power to make it magical and after him, it was never the same.

    If you asked 2009 Silvia what she will do in 2020, I think the answer would be a dancer. I was attending dance classes and I was in love.

    But things didn’t work out. Some years later I wanted to be an artist, going to art high school but I chose Liceo Scientifico. Then, I have to pick what university course attend and I choose Management engineering even if Computer engineering was charming, but I never programmed in my life and I was scared.

    After attending the first year at Politecnico di Torino I switched to Computer Engineering and I felt it was the right way. Ten years later I graduated. Sometimes, I think I knew my path since I was a child, but it was not as strong as it is now.

    Did you find your right path?


    Pic taken from the Focus web page (https://www.focus.it/scienza/scienze/la-biografia-di-steve-jobs-fondatore-di-apple)


    It’s pretty fascinating how life brings you to make different choices that generate different flows of things. Like Sliding doors.

    I think all of us has different paths in our own deep. We born as a white blank page, and we have the potential to became who we want. When I was a child I used to play basketball and of course my dream was to play in NBA. And I had lots of unusual dreams such as ambulance driver, just because I could pass with the red light (I was a weird kid). I changed lots of times my dreams, I wanted to became an architect, then an inventor, I didn’t know which kind but it sounded cool. I picked up to study design even if I did a scientific high school and I was really interested in engineering and probably I’ll start to do something such as an intraschool between design and engineering next year.

    To connect to Silvia’s words: as you said through your experience all of us have a path, you just need to seek and discover yourself and if you get wrong, as Stefano said yesterday, rise up and try again, that’s a life lesson which usually nobody tells you (so thanks Stefano)

    And when you find your place the game starts: one of the most beautiful thing of life, for me, is to watch the road you did and admire it cause even if in our ages is difficult to take choices, also because everything is a little point that will build our future, our road is our growth and it shows who we were and who we are today.

    I don’t know if I found my path but I’m ready to try other ways to figure it out. 🙂


    Hi guys!

    Yesterday there was the first conference of the cycle “Poli To Silicon Valley 2020” with the super guest @pistillostefano.

    During the videoconference, Stefano talked about his personal growth from his first years at university. He explained in particular that he preferred to concentrate more on extra activities than on classes and obtaining good grades, and how this decision has positively and negatively affected his life until now.

    This reminded me something I read some time ago: during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2018, Jack Ma (founder of the Alibaba group) shared some information about his personal life, and in particular something about his relation with his son and his education:

    Do you agree with what Mr Ma said? How much importance do you give to your academic education and your personal activities?

    Personally, I’ve always considered my personal preparation as much important as the academic one. I’ve chosen my field of study so that it covered topics that I believe could be more difficult to learn by myself. And since high school I’ve taken part in extra activities which could help me develop soft skills or discover new opportunities (like my participation in LeadTheFuture mentorship program).

    Let us have your opinion, and if you have other examples don’t be afraid to share it with everyone!

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Carlo.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Carlo.

    I would like to respond to @simone-dalledonne about book suggestions. I’ve read “Homo Deus” by professor Harari and found his ideas interesting. In my opinion, he has a deep view of the very complex mechanisms that drive our society. His books try to connect the dots that arise in different fields in the form of new technologies and behaviours to form the broader picture of what could be our future. Recently he wrote an article about the current situation of the COVID-19 and how the world could react to this pandemic (https://www.ft.com/content/19d90308-6858-11ea-a3c9-1fe6fedcca75). “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” is currently in my to-read bookshelf. Right now I’m reading “The Game” by Alessandro Baricco because a friend of mine suggested it, but I have found this book too general, but have an idea about a common Italian person could perceive the current changes due to the Digital Revolution it’s interesting.
    I’m really fascinated about AI and Machine Learning, so recently I read “Society of Mind”. This is a book written by AI pioneer Marvin Minsky (winner of the Turing Award in 1969) who tried to investigate how we could be a human-like intelligence. I found mind-blowing his ideas, particularly because this is a book from the ’80s and at the time they didn’t have the technology to build this kind of machines. The book is a crossover between AI, Cognitive Science and Philosophy seen from the eyes of a mathematician/computer scientist who was trying to understand how the human brain works to try to put this intelligence into a machine.
    In parallel with The Game, I am also reading “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid” by Hofstader. It’s a really strange book about Gödel Machines, music, recursion and intelligence. To have a taste about the topics and why it could be interesting to read I leave a link to a video that explains strange loops one of the topics of the book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQsnHkfs3sA.

    Instead, if you are looking for novels I would suggest you “Kafka on the Shore” by Haruki Murakami, one of my favourite Murakami’s works (here a brief TED talk about it https://youtu.be/mB4FO1itCi0 ), or “Asce di Guerra” by Wu-Ming. The latter is a very inspiring story about the post-WWII Italian scenario and how many young partisans ended up in the Vietnam War, fighting alongside with Vietcongs. This book is a highly underrated one and is based on a true story, it gives a taste of the world our grandfathers and grandmothers grew up.

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