First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Engineering
Course unit
INM0017608, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
IN0513, Degree course structure A.Y. 2011/12, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination HISTORY OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Department of reference Department of Information Engineering
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge GIULIO PERUZZI FIS/08

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines FIS/08 Didactics and History of Physics 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2011 course timetable

Prerequisites: None
Target skills and knowledge: The course aims at introducing the students to the main topics of the history of science and technology, focusing on the period from the 18th to the 20th century, and on the history of information and communication technologies. One of the main features of the course is the emphasis put on the nature of reasoning, concept formation, discovery and theory testing in science and technology.
Examination methods: Written paper on one of the main topics discussed in the course. A list of possible topics will be made available to the students.
Assessment criteria: The main evaluation criteria are the attendance at the lectures, the participation to the discussions, bibliographic search ability.
Course unit contents: After a general introduction illustrating the main characteristics of scientific revolution and the relation between science and technology, the course is divided into five sections. The first section deals with the theories of heat, starting with the development of steam engines in eighteenth century and arriving to the birth of thermodynamics, in the context of the first industrial revolution. The second section treats the kinetic theory of gases and the birth of statistical mechanics, focusing on the notions of entropy and information. The next section is devoted to the history of electricity and magnetism (from Coulomb and Cavendish to Maxwell) and the development of new fundamental applications to the signal transport. At the end of this section we illustrate some crucial discoveries in the late nineteenth century. The third section starts with the discovery of the electron and offers a picture of the developments of science and technology that form the basis of the "electronic revolution". The fourth section is devoted to the history of quantum theory (from old quantum theory to quantum mechanics), and to its interpretations and applications. The final section is an excursus in the history of computation and computer, ending with a sketch of quantum computation and its perspectives.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures and seminars, and possibly, according to the number of students, visits to the Museums of the University of Padua.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Slides of the lectures and bibliographic materials will be made available on the moodle platform of the course.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Joel Mokyr, La leva della ricchezza. Creatività tecnologica e progresso economico. Bologna: il Mulino, 1990. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Joel Mokyr, I doni di Atena. Le origini storiche dell'economia della conoscenza. Bologna: il Mulino, 2004. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Charles Singer et al. (a cura di), Storia della tecnologia. Torino: Boringhieri, 1984. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Giulio Peruzzi, Maxwell (collana "i grandi della scienza"). Milano: Le Scienze, 1998. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Giulio Peruzzi, Bohr (collana "i grandi della scienza"). Milano: Le Scienze, 2001. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Giulio Peruzzi, Vortici e colori. Alle origini dell'opera di James Clerk Maxwell. Bari: Dedalo Edizioni, 2010. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Michael A. Nielsen, Isaac L. Chuang, Quantum computation and quantum information. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Giulio Peruzzi (a cura di), Il futuro del computer - Quaderni di Le Scienze n. 121. Milano: Editoriale Le Scienze, 2001. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Renato Giannetti, Tecnologia e sciluppo economico italiano 1870-1990. Bologna: il Mulino, 1998. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)