At the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT), we have a simple goal – to provide high-quality yet accessible education in the technology field. But for our courses to be high-quality, the professors behind them must be equally exceptional.
And they absolutely are.
The OPIT professors are paragons of expertise and passion. Each professor has been handpicked for their profound understanding of technology, coupled with extensive academic achievements and industry experience. That’s why these architects of knowledge bring both theoretical depth and real-world insights into every class at OPIT.
So, what better way to get to know our world-class OPIT faculty than to hear their thoughts on the topics they’re passionate about? In this article, you’ll read what five of our top-notch faculty members have to say about tech innovations transforming the world. Of course, you’ll also get a quick overview of other members of our inspiring faculty shaping the next generation of leaders in technology and digital space.
The OPIT Faculty at a Glance
Before diving into our faculty members’ fascinating biographies and insights, let’s take a moment to appreciate the diverse expertise that forms the backbone of OPIT.
Our faculty is a mosaic of over 30 accomplished professionals from all over the world, each bringing a unique perspective to the table.
And that’s the beauty of online learning. How else would you be able to connect with experts spanning the globe, all from the comfort of your own home?
Our inspiring faculty comes from over 15 countries and four continents. The U.S., Canada, Brazil, Lebanon, Germany, France, India and Italy are just some of the nations represented. This collage of diverse backgrounds (and experiences) ensures that your education at OPIT transcends geographical boundaries, offering a truly global perspective on technology.
Meet the OPIT Faculty at the Forefront of Technology
Now that you have a better idea of the diverse expertise within our faculty, let’s introduce you to the brilliant minds at the forefront of technology education at OPIT. This time, we asked five of our esteemed faculty members how recent tech innovations have transformed the world. Here are their answers.
Raj Dasgupta, Ph.D.
Professor Raj Dasgupta is an impressive individual in every regard. He’s currently a research scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory after teaching computer science for almost 18 years at the University of Nebraska. His research projects have been funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA, and he has earned a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of California. Talk about a multifaceted professional!
At OPIT, Professor Dasgupta teaches Data Structures and Algorithms, Reinforcement Learning, and Introduction to Artificial Intelligence in the Bachelor of Science in Modern Computer Science program. The last subject is also a part of the Bachelor of Science in Digital Business program. He also teaches Machine Learning in the Responsible Artificial Intelligence program.
When asked about the transformative impact of tech innovations, Professor Dasgupta singled out the brain-computer interface (BCI) system as the technology that fascinates him the most. He explains, “We have been able to link the human thought, the human brain, with these assistive devices.” This connection means that these BCI systems can extract (and use) any thoughts from people who can’t speak for themselves or express their thoughts. As Professor Dasgupta puts it, all it takes is for them to “just think what they want to do.”
Santhosh Suresh, Ph.D.
With giants like PayPal, Meta, and McKinsey & Company on his resume at a young age, it’s evident that Professor Santhosh Suresh possesses remarkable expertise in business problem-solving. Business Problem Solving is precisely the subject he teaches at OPIT’s Master of Science in Applied Data Science & AI and Applied Digital Business programs.
So, it’s no wonder his answer to our question also focuses on solving problems, this time with technology. He rejoices at the fact that the ultimate knowledge is no longer reserved only for the rich and privileged. Thanks to advanced data science-based algorithms, “the efficiency of airlines or railroads or how we do operations in the surgery room has gone up exponentially, and that is improving the quality of lives of millions if not billions of people.”
Paco Awissi, MBA
A data science leader. An analytics expert. A machine learning practitioner. These are just some of the impressive attributes that define Professor Paco Awissi’s career. These flattering attributes also landed him the coveted positions of Vice President of Data and Reporting at Morgan Stanley, Lead Instructor at McGill University School of Continuing Studies, and, of course, Professor at OPIT.
Professor Awissi teaches three courses in our Master of Science in Applied Data Science & AI program – Project Management, Applications in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (Part 2), and Business Communication.
When asked about new tech advancements, he also focuses on AI, explaining that the technology is revolutionizing “risk management, fraud detection, and personalized financial services.” Professor Awissi adds that AI is also used in “algorithmic trading, credit scoring, and automating customer service through chatbots, which improves the efficiency and inclusiveness of financial services.”
Filip Biały, Ph.D.
Professor Filip Biały comes from Poland, where he has taught at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan for over 15 years. When it comes to Professor Biały, it’s hard to tell whether he has more education or experience in computer science and artificial intelligence.
However, his main goal is to understand the consequences of AI for democratic politics, which is why he also emphasizes that the negative impact of digital technologies shouldn’t be overlooked. As for the positive sides of this life-changing technology, Professor Biały says that it is “essential in improving the efficiency of business processes and advancing research, for example, in discovering new drugs.”
At OPIT, you can listen to Professor Biały’s fascinating insights in the Bachelor of Science in Modern Computer Science and Digital Business programs (ICT Fundamentals, Web Development, and Ethics of Computer Science & AI courses).
Tom Vazdar, Ph.D.
Like his colleague, Professor Tom Vazdar also primarily focuses on the negative implications of technological advancements. As a current AI and Cybersecurity Strategist of a boutique consulting firm and the former Chief Security Officer at Erste Bank Croatia, he knows just how important cybersecurity is and how dangerous technological progress can be without adequate safeguards.
That’s why he’s the expert OPIT put in charge of its latest Master of Science program – Enterprise Security. OPIT has worked closely with Professor Vazdar to develop this program and equip students with the most in-demand technical, managerial, and soft skills.
Professor Vazdar also teaches Introduction to Computer Security in the Modern Computer Science and Digital Business programs, as well as Behavioral Cybersecurity in the abovementioned Enterprise
Meet More OPIT Faculty Members Helping You Succeed
If you apply to OPIT, you’ll get the unique chance to learn from the very best from all over the world. But until then, you can hear more intriguing perspectives from our faculty members. Visit the Faculty section of our website to get a sneak peek of the incredible expertise and global perspectives that shape OPIT.
The professors at OPIT have either taught at prestigious universities or have a long and impressive history in the industry. For the former, our professor’s biographies are adorned with institutions like the University of Copenhagen, the University of Rome, the Italian Institute of Technology, and the University of Stuttgart.
As for the latter, Microsoft, Meta, Symantec, and UBS are just some of the world-famous companies where our faculty members have left a lasting impact. The same goes for institutions like the Europol, the European Parliament, and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Though our faculty members come from different corners of the world, they all share a common goal – a relentless pursuit of knowledge. By learning from these top-notch professionals, you’ll get an insight into decades of cutting-edge research, industry collaboration, and real-world experience. This knowledge and the skills you acquire at OPIT will help you play a leading role in the technological revolution, just like your professors.
In this unite.ai article, Riccardo Ocleppo, Founder & Director of the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT), leverages his experience from Docsity to revolutionize higher education. OPIT aims to innovate and modernize education by offering high-quality tech degrees at an affordable price. It prioritizes hands-on learning to bridge the theory-practice gap and fosters diverse skill sets and networking opportunities.
Discover OPIT’s innovative approach, which includes embedding AI across all its degree programs, in the full article at unite.ai: https://www.unite.ai/riccardo-ocleppo-founder-director-of-opit-interview-series/
The Open Institute of Technology (OPIT) is a unique institution through and through. From an unparalleled support team that guides you every step of the way to state-of-the-art virtual resources, OPIT redefines online learning. This institution also proves that online education can be as enriching as its traditional counterpart. Better yet, it can outperform it in numerous aspects.
This fact alone begs the question – how did it all begin?
To answer this question, we’ll go straight to the source – the founder of OPIT, Riccardo Ocleppo.
In this article, Riccardo will walk us through his journey of envisioning (and building) OPIT and transforming online education in the process.
The Pre-OPIT Years: Where It All Began
To understand how Riccardo came up with the idea for OPIT, we must travel back to the year 2006. That’s when Riccardo graduated from Politecnico di Torino with a bachelor’s in electronics engineering.
This institution is arguably the most prestigious in Italy (and one of the most reputable in Europe). So, it shouldn’t be surprising that Riccardo chose to continue his education here, pursuing a master’s degree.
He completed the master’s program in 2008 and did so with honors.
Yet, Riccardo couldn’t shake the impression that it was all in vain. In his words, “When I left the university, I had the impression that I could do very little, and I knew very little that could help me in my professional endeavors.”
But Riccardo decided not to sit idly by.
He saw it this way – it might be too late for him, as he was done with his studies. But it’s certainly not too late for future students who deserve a better education. That’s why, only two years later, in 2010, he founded Docsity.
Docsity is an online social learning network with over 20 million registered students. Thanks to this network, over 250 universities worldwide received help in improving their study programs (and finding students).
Docsity also gave Riccardo a chance to fully immerse himself into the education sector for over a decade, finding new ways to reform it from within.
OPIT’s Inception: From Vision to Reality
With the knowledge (and the resources) from Docsity, Riccardo started working on a platform designed to provide the kind of education he wished he had received. The platform in question was, of course, the Open Institute of Technology.
The primary goal of OPIT was to bridge the gap between “what students expect, what companies need, and what higher-level institutions actually deliver in terms of training and education.”
From Riccardo’s experience, this gap was pretty huge. Remember that even with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electronics engineering, he felt he had little to offer to companies.
This perceived shortcoming primarily comes from the fact he received a lot of theory at the university but very little practice. And that’s not to mention how outdated the curriculum was, as well as laser-focused on electronics engineering. In other words, bid farewell to “competencies on the most recent technologies and project management methodologies.”
This perspective made him determined to create a holistic educational solution. Or, as Riccardo puts it, “When designing OPIT’s degree programs to address the skills in high demand today, we chose to start from scratch to go beyond the limits of traditional higher education.”
At OPIT, you’ll receive valuable knowledge beyond theory. Essentially, OPIT equips you with everything you need to enter the job market, ready to excel in your field from day one (or day zero, as Riccardo calls it!).
Tailored for Triumph: OPIT’s Unique Programs
Designing any online curriculum is no easy task. However, the computer science field comes with its unique set of challenges. Why?
This field is constantly evolving. That’s what makes it difficult for most traditional higher education institutions to keep up. As Riccardo puts it, “[These institutions] are very slow to adapt to this wave of new technologies and new trends within the educational sector.” Of course, thanks to Docsity, Riccardo speaks from extensive experience, as he’s seen “multiple times how difficult it is to help these institutions update their study curriculum.”
Companies have it no easier.
Riccardo says, “A company needs one to two years to make people that should be trained on today’s technologies and on today’s skills effectively enter the job market and be productive when they enter these companies.”
Again, Riccardo speaks from personal experience. As a founder of a tech company (and a manager in others), he was tasked with creating and managing big tech teams on several occasions. However, despite interviewing hundreds of candidates, he couldn’t find those trained in today’s technologies, not those from 20 years ago.
With this in mind, he designed OPIT’s curriculum to effectively “train the next generation of leaders and managers in the field of computer science.” Many people helped him in this endeavor, chief among them Professor Francesco Profumo, current head of institution at OPIT and former Minister of Education in Italy.
This unique approach makes OPIT’s programs different in terms of how they’ve been conceived and how they’ll be delivered.
Take the Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Modern Computer Science program as an example.
Riccardo says that to be a great programmer, “you cannot just dive into programming itself.” First, you must understand how a computer is built and how its various units operate and communicate. This way, you’ll have no issues debugging a code in the future since you’ll understand the underlying mechanisms.
These underlying systems and foundational skills are precisely what is taught during the first term of the modern computer science program. Afterward, you’ll move toward the latest advancements in computer science, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. This way, you’ll have quite a broad perspective on computer science, rarely seen in other educational programs, online or offline.
It also means you won’t have to specialize in a particular field, as you’re forced to do with many other programs. In Riccardo’s opinion, the master’s degree is where you should begin your specialization journey.
OPIT offers as many as four master’s degree programs, but Riccardo focuses on Applied Data Science & AI this time.
In Riccardo’s words, “The whole purpose of this [program] is actually to train people that do not want to pursue a super technical career but actually want to pursue a career at the intersection between the tech and the management of a company.” In other words, individuals who complete this program will acquire all the necessary tech skills. However, they’ll also be able to ensure the tech team is “correctly understood by the management of the company,” thanks to the managerial skills earned during the program.
Of course, this program also covers all the essential theoretical knowledge, from Python to machine learning. But it also has a solid applicative angle, teaching students how to use the most valuable tools available in today’s market. Simply put, you’re training “for what you’ll be doing when you enter your next job.”
Breaking the Mold: What Sets OPIT Apart
The unique curriculum isn’t the only thing that sets OPIT apart from other higher education institutions in the same field. Here’s what Riccardo singles out as OPIT’s most appealing characteristics.
Learning at your own pace can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have all the flexibility and freedom to organize your studies (and life). On the other, you might start procrastinating without a traditional daily commitment of in-classroom learning.
OPIT ensures this unfortunate scenario never happens by doing away with one big final exam you must cram for. Instead, you’ll be continuously assessed throughout the program, allowing you a much better approach to learning and a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
As Riccardo puts it, OPIT will give you “multiple checkpoints,” preventing you from getting “lost” throughout the learning process.
New Learning Resources
According to Riccardo, most of today’s available resources were created for the “oldest wave of education.” That’s why he (and his team) created all OPIT resources and learning materials from scratch, giving you a fresh perspective on the tech world. These resources also come in the form of engaging videos, which are short enough to keep you fully focused yet detailed enough to provide a deep understanding of the topic.
Let’s not sugarcoat it – modern resources mean nothing if the professors teaching them still stick to old-school principles and approaches. Luckily, this isn’t the case with OPIT’s faculty.
Every member of this faculty has been carefully selected based on their academic expertise, business experience, and global perspective. These professors aim to “help you learn in a more engaging and interesting way,” as Riccardo puts it.
He also adds that OPIT’s faculty breaks away from the common saying in academics, “Those who can’t do, teach.” In his words, “We didn’t want to have people that can teach because they cannot do,” so that’s the standard he prioritized when bringing people on board.
Future-Proof Your Career
Now that you know the fascinating tale of OPIT’s conception, all that’s left to do is to get in touch with our team of experts and take the first step in future-proofing your career. As you’ve already seen, OPIT will take care of most of the subsequent steps. All you need is a desire to learn and an interest in developing new skills, and success is imminent.