Riccardo Zecchina

I am is professor in theoretical physics with a chair in Machine Learning. I did my  PhD in Theoretical Physics at the University of Turin, where I had the luck of working with Tullio Regge. In 1997 I was appointed  research scientist and head of the Statistical Physics Group at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste. I 2007 I became full professor  in Theoretical Physics at  the Polytechnic University of Turin. In 2017 I moved to  Bocconi University in Milan.

I  have been multiple times long term visiting scientist  at Microsoft Research (in Redmond and Cambridge MA) and  at the Laboratory of Theoretical Physics and Statistical Models (LPTMS) of the University of Paris-Sud.


I am an advanced grantee of the European Research Council (2011-2015).  In 2016,  I  was awarded (with M. Mezard and G. Parisi) the Lars Onsager Prize  in Theoretical Statistical Physics by the American Physical Society.

Full Professor

We have just created a new department in Computing Sciences, an interdisciplinary  center for research in fundamental and modeling problems in information and computation.

Our working paradigms are openness and  collegiality.

Research interests

My current research interests   lie at the interface between statistical physics, computer science and machine learning. My primary focus is on the study and the design of learning algorithms and processes, in modern AI and in biologically constrained models.

Selected research topics:

- Learning theory and learning algorithms

- Out-of-equilibrium  dynamics in disordered systems

- Combinatorial optimization and discrete mathematics 

- Probabilistic message-passing algorithms

- Computational neuroscience and computational biology

- Information theory

- Interdisciplinary applications of statistical physics

Selected Publications