IDIA Welcomes Visitors from Italy

This week (2 – 5 April) the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy and the Astronomy Department at the University of Cape Town (UCT) will host Dr Fabio Vitello and Dr Ugo Becciani from the Italian Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) in Catania (Sicily).

They will be working with Dr. Lucia Marchetti, Prof. Russ Taylor, Dr. Tom Jarrett, Dr. Angus Comrie and Assoc. Prof. Mattia Vaccari on a data visualisation project which aims,  amongst other goals, to develop a toll in VR to visualise and explore Radio data cube. This is also done in collaboration with Dr Paolo Serra from the Italian Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) in Cagliari (Sardinia) and his group.

This Italy-SA collaboration is supported through the Joint Research Scheme Project (Progetto di Grande Rilevanza) between the Ministero degli Affari Esterie della Cooperazione Internazionale (MAECI) and the National Research Foundation “RADIO SKY 2020 – Fostering the cooperation between Italy and South Africa through radio astronomy”, whose main purpose is to pave the way to the full exploitation of the Square Kilometre Array in both countries.

They will be working in the IDIA Visualisation Lab and the Astronomy Department located at the University of Cape Town. We welcome them to Cape Town and their inputs towards this exiting project.


Dr. Fabio Vitello is a Research Technologist in the IT  group of the INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico Catania (Italy) involved in the field of HPC, authentication & authorization and scientific visualization. In the last few years he has been the leading developer of the visualization tool VisIVO and the Visual Analytic tool for the FP7 VIALACTEA project. He is currently involved in the Erasmus+ 3DTeLC and MIUR ARGO3D project as leading developer for Virtual Reality software “GeoVR” .

Dr. Ugo Becciani is a senior INAF Research Astronomer. He is a member of the board on the Scientific Unit ICT – INAF and has been PI and CoPI of several research projects on different computational astrophysical topics, advanced studies in supercomputing and parallel computing (HPC), visual analytic, data exploration, grid computing, virtual observatory. He is responsible of ESA-GAIA mission for HPC on AVU-GSR, Board member of LOFAR-IT project, Board member of Cometa Consortium, Group Leader of OACT Research Group on ICT in Astrophysics. He is involved on SKA project for the design of the DISH-LMC, task leader on H2020 AENEAS (to study the European SKA regional center) and WP leader on Erasmus+ 3DTeLC to develop VR tools for the geohazard community.