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· 2 min read
Alberto Monge Roffarello
Assistant Professor

The workshop Digital Wellbeing for Teens - Designing Educational Systems (DIGI-Teens), to be held on June 3-4, 2024, at Arenzano, Italy is currently accepting contributions!

DIGI-Teens is an AVI 2024 workshop that aims to establish a venue for the academic and industrial communities to discuss ongoing research and ideas at the intersection of digital wellbeing and education, aiming to promote the development of strategies and tools to "teach" users – particularly children and teenagers – to use technology more meaningfully and consciously.

screenshot of the DIGI-Teens workshop website

· 3 min read
Luigi De Russis
Associate Professor

On March 4, 2024, Politecnico di Torino's students will start the second semester for this academic year, after the exam session.

Members of the e-Lite group teach one elective and three mandatory courses. Such courses are offered in different bachelors' and masters' degrees. Courses' topics include web applications, programming techniques, and digital wellbeing.

e-Lite courses in the first semester: introduction to web application, user experience design, human computer interaction, database, computer science

· 3 min read
Alberto Monge Roffarello
Assistant Professor

People nowadays have access to Digital Self-Control Tools (DSCTs) that can help them manage their technology use. These tools offer features such as timers and the ability to disable distracting functionalities like recommendations and newsfeeds. However, researchers have identified several limitations with existing DSCTs, ranging from theoretical gaps to an overreliance on users' self-monitoring abilities.

In our work, we tried to overcome such limits and effectively support people in regaining control over smartphone use in the long term, focusing on teaching users how to relate better with technology, so that they can break unwanted smartphone habits and establish alternative behaviors without being forced to use a supportive tool forever.

Specifically, we designed, implemented, and evaluated StepByStep, a novel mobile DSCT that proactively assists users in learning how to regulate smartphone use.

Some screenshots from the StepByStep app

By monitoring user's behavior, the app suggests new personalized learning paths composed of adaptable and continuously variable interventions to reduce and change unwanted behaviors with the smartphone. These paths can be at phone or app-level, and may be used to shape different behaviors, from avoiding using the smartphone in specific circumstances to using an app for an established amount of time. The main idea behind a learning path, in particular, is to progressively reduce the degree of support of the tool - i.e., the intensity of the associated intervention - based on user's achievements, until the user acquires a sufficient level of independence, i.e., it is able to sustain the new behavior without the help of the tool. To this end, StepByStep follows a gamification approach through which the intensity of an intervention is divided into four different levels. Users can gain points and advance in levels, i.e., by receiving less support, if they consistently respect the intervention with its current intensity for a sufficient amount of time. However, they can also lose points and downgrade to previous levels, i.e., by receiving more support, if they consistently fail to respect the intervention with its current intensity.

· 2 min read
Luca Mannella
Ph.D. Student

Luca Mannella has recently co-authored a new research article titled "Security at the Edge for Resource-Limited IoT Devices", in the special issue "Emerging IoT Technologies for Smart Environments, 3rd Edition" of MDPI Sensors. This research is a collaborative effort with Daniele Canavese (Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse), Leonardo Regano (Università degli Studi di Cagliari), and Cataldo Basile (TORSEC research group, DAUIN, Politecnico di Torino).

The proliferation of IoT devices (14.4 billion active endpoints at the end of 2022) has introduced security vulnerabilities stemming from limited computing power, absence of timely security updates, and intrinsic design flaws. This paper aims to improve the security of IoT devices presenting the IoT Proxy, a modular component crafted to enhance security in resource-limited IoT scenarios. At its core, the IoT Proxy is crafted to externalize security-related functions from IoT devices, mitigating limitations arising from constrained computing power. This is achieved through a secure network gateway equipped with diverse Virtual Network Security Functions (VNSFs), allowing for adaptability and scalability.

Architecture and workflow of the IoT Proxy

· 2 min read
Fulvio Corno
Full Professor
A picture of the speech

The "Global MOOC and Online Education Alliance" is an international alliance for exchange and cooperation of higher education institutions, to address digital education challenges and to implement practical policies in local communities and around the world. It is a small and diverse group of 17 world-leading universities and 3 online education platforms from across 14 countries in all 6 continents and speaks 10 different languages, and was initiated by Tsinghua University in 2020.

On December 14-16, the Global MOOC Alliance organized its annual conference, hosted by Politecnico di Milano, under the theme Reconstruction of Future Universities and Education Driven by Artificial Intelligence. On December 15, during the Plenary Session, Fulvio Corno gave a short keynote speech about Students’ Digital Twins for open exploration of AI features, where he outlined a possible strategy for a Technical University such as Politecnico di Torino, to leverage their skills and resources to tackle the continuous evolution of AI tools and solutions, in order to provide innovative services to the education community, by elaborating a concept of an AI Playground.

· 2 min read
Fulvio Corno
Full Professor
Laura Farinetti
Assistant professor

Critical Making is a newly approved Erasmus+ Forward Looking Project, that will start on the 1st of January, 2024. In preparation for the project start, some partners (Politecnico di Torino, the Links Foundation and the Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten) organized a hands-on activity, open to teachers of Politecnico di Torino and other collaborators of the TLlab.

Critical Making Scenarios and activity sheets

On December 7th, teachers gathered in the nice "Palazzina TLlab", the key space for all activities of the Teaching and Language Lab, and were guided by Flavio Renga and Chiara Ciociola (Links Foundation) in the analysis of 4 different scenarios that may contain scientifically inaccurate (or outright wrong) information. In a 3-step process, teachers were asked to identify the elements of "critical thinking", "making" and "disinformation" in one of the scenarios, to share their ideas in a group and synthesize them, and finally to start working on a possible definition for 'critical making' by reshuffling the groups and comparing ideas and insights. The 2-hour activity went out in a breeze, and the results presented by the moderators were intriguing and promising, and will be used as a starting point for the project activities.

· One min read
Fulvio Corno
Full Professor
Laura Farinetti
Assistant professor

The project AccessCoVE aims to structure excellence in Vocational Education and Training in the field of Accessibility, by establishing a European multi-level innovative and constantly growing Centre of Vocational Excellence - the AccessCoVE - in the field of accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

On November 30, 2023, Politecnico di Torino organized an event on the topic of "Disability, Research, and Intersectionality", with talks by several researchers and professors who are actively involved in the field of accessibility. The event was organized in occasion of the International Day of rights of persons with disabilities.

In that context, we held a short presentation of the AccessCoVE project, its partners, its objectives, and the ways in which the project will involve the whole research community of Politecnico di Torino, and other national associations and research centers.

AccessCoVE cover slide

· One min read
Fulvio Corno
Full Professor
Laura Farinetti
Assistant professor

Lo sviluppo del pensiero critico (Critical Thinking) è uno degli obiettivi fondamentali della formazione a tutti i livelli, ma anche un tema rilevante a livello sociale, per il contrasto alle fake news, specialmente in ambito STEM.

Il Dipartimento di Automatica e Informatica ed il Teaching and Language Lab, in collaborazione con la Fondazione Links e con la Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten, organizza un workshop collaborativo per esplorare le possibilità educative, basate soprattutto su metodiche sperimentali ed esperienziali, e per immaginare insieme attività didattiche che aiutino la comprensione e il contrasto delle fake news in campo scientifico e tecnologico.

I risultati del workshop saranno resi accessibili a tutta la comunità accademica e forniranno un importante input per il progetto Erasmus+ "Critical Making" a cui partecipa il Politecnico di Torino (Dipartimento DAUIN e TLlab) partecipa.

Workshop Banner

· 2 min read
Tommaso Calò
Ph.D. Student
Luca Mannella
Ph.D. Student

DAUIN PhD Poster Day Logo

At the Politecnico di Torino, the e-Lite research group from the Department of Control and Computer Engineering (DAUIN) presented their advancements at the PhD poster day 2023. The event featured research posters by two PhD candidates.

The first poster by Luca Mannella, titled "Supporting Developers in the Cybersecurity of IoT Systems," presented some tools for helping developers create more secure IoT applications (with a particular focus on smart homes). The goal set forth was to make the development process accessible for developers with varying levels of expertise in cybersecurity. The poster introduced a threat model for smart home gateways, pointing out the risks associated with these central devices in managing smart home applications, especially when third-party plug-ins are involved. The poster also discussed the application of the Manufacturer Usage Description (MUD) standard inside an extensible smart home gateway. Allowing plug-in developers to define their plug-ins' network requirements can help secure the whole smart home.

Tommaso Calò's poster, "Code Generation From Visual Representations," addressed the challenge of translating web UI designs into code. It underscored the labor-intensive aspect of this translation process, necessitating frequent revisions between the design and development phases. To address this, the research presented a multimodal Transformer architecture designed to automate the translation process by concurrently processing textual and visual information. The approach aims to advance existing methodologies by enhancing the architectural framework and introducing a challenging dataset that serves as a new benchmark for future advancements in the field.

For those interested in delving deeper into the research presented at the DAUIN PhD poster day 2023, we have made available the posters for downloading: