48693 - Computer Science for Cultural Heritage

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Alessandro Iannucci (Modulo 1) Simone Zambruno (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Ravenna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage (cod. 8616)

Learning outcomes

Basic knowledge on computer science

Course contents

Module A (30 hours): Informatics and Digital Culture

This module consists in a theoretical course addressed to the teaching of the general basics of informatics and its main applications in heritage, and to the introduction of the main themes of digital culture.

Lessons will focus on the concepts and basic notions of informatics and information sciences, while addressing particularly on the following themes:

  1. Binary or digital code as a system for the representation of information and for the communication through the electronic circuits of calculators.
  2. Hardware basics and the notion of ‘interface’ in fixed (computer desktop or laptops) and mobile (smartphone, tablet) devices.
  3. Functionalities of the main operative systems, graphical interfaces, algorithm methods, and software use.
  4. Data, metadata, informations and ‘knowledge’. Theorical and practical aspects for the representation and transmission of data.
  5. The ‘hypertestual’ model for the representation of infoformation and documents encoding, World Wide Web and data dissemination on the Internet.
  6. Data Base functioning; boolean operators and Digital Libraries.
  7. Semantic Web, Linked Open Data, and methods for the implementation of knowledge through data digitalization.
  8. The digital culture in contemporaneity, with a particular focus on cultural heritage and museum collections; digital transition and the forms of ‘functional illiteracy’ in informatics and its methodologies.

Module B (26 hours): Computer graphics and digital restoration, by dr. Simone Zambruno

The following arguments will be taught through laboratory activities and practical exercises, necessary for the acquisition of useful skills for the use of digital tools and computer graphics in restoration activities:

  1. Digitalization basics, pictures management and processing for possible applications of digital photography and photo editing: from conservation to restoration and storytelling.
  2. Structure From Motion techniques for the digitalization of objects. Creation and post-processing of 3D models through photogrammetric techniques.
  3. Creation and processing of 3D models through structured-light scanners and reverse-engineering softwares.
  4. Blender 3D modeling basics. 3D modeling and rendering of objects and artistically, historically and archaeologically relevant spaces, virtual tour and computer graphics video making.


Module A

Topics 1-4 : L. Snyder, A. Amoroso, Fluency. Conoscere e usare l'informatica, Milano: Pearson, 6. Edizione, 2016: chapters 1, 2 and 5.

Topics 5-8: F. Tomasi, Metodologie informatiche e discipline umanistiche, Roma: Carocci, 2008: chapters 2, 3, 5, 8 and 9.

Topic n. 9: the studenti is required to read at least two of the short essays (articles from scientific journals, book chapters) available as PDF files on the course IOL platform.

Modulo B

The base text is represented by M. Limoncelli, Il restauro virtuale in archeologia, Roma: Carocci, 2012 to be integrated, regarding the images digitalization, with F. Tomasi, Metodologie informatiche e discipline umanistiche, Roma: Carocci, 2008, chapter 6 and L. Snyder, A. Amoroso, Fluency. Conoscere e usare l'informatica, 7. Edizione, Milano: Pearson, 2020: chapter 8.
Short essays in PDF, video tutorials and other multimedial didactic supports regarding the module’s specific arguments are available on the course IOL platform

Teaching methods

Theoretical lectures (either conducted in presence or in live stream) for the Module A.

Theoretical-practical exercitations for the Module B, either in class or at the FrameLAB Multimedia & Digital Storytelling laboratory, Cultural Heritage Department (a specific lectures timetable for the exercitations in the laboratory will be published on the course IOL platform).

Assessment methods

The exam consists in a theorical-practical test aimed to the verification of the acquisition of the basic knowledge for a correct use of informatics for cultural heritage (Module A), and the practical competences for an effective use of the main softwares for image processing, virtual restoration and public communication of cultural heritage objects.

The theorical-practical test consists in:

1) A written test, with five open-ended questions about the content of the module A. The test will last one hour and can be taken in presence or possibly in remote mode through the ZOOM platform, in the official dates of the exam sessions.

The test will be evaluated with a maximum of 15 points (up to 3 for each answer).

2) Creation of a digital product consisting in the virtual restoration, digital reconstruction or valorisation proposal for an object chosen among the case studies presented during the lessons or from the pertaining material of the student’s graduation project. The activities may be carried on through tools provided by the FrameLAB, independently from the exam sessions official dates, but only after a positive outcome of the written test.

A practical test that will be evaluated by giving a maximum of 15 points, by the following requirements:

The practical test will be evaluated by giving a maximum of 15 points, by the following requirements:

5 points for the efficacy. ‘Esthetical’ and ‘functional’ efficacy of the 3D reconstruction evaluated on the basis of the goals selected by the students for his project and by their relevance to the principles of the London Chart/Seville principles for the use of Computer Graphics.

5 points for the difficulty. Difficulty in the realization of the modelled structures or spaces and individuation of cost-effective solutions. Critical choices in the project management (i.e. priorities assignment of the elements of the reconstruction, valorisation of the whole object or of single parts, details or whole object definition).

5 points for the possible applications: the creation of 3D models designed imagining concrete future applications will be positively evaluated i.e., integrative restoration proposals, reinterpretation of particular objects for museum expositions and/or communication ecc.

The final score will be jointly given by the teachers of both the modules, on the basis of the total valuation of both the tests, according to the following requirements:

  • Sufficient valuation: The student shows an acceptable preparation for both the course’s modules, sufficient skills of critically processing of the topics and good skills in using tools for digital restoration (score between 18/30 and 23/30);
  • Positive valuation: the student shows an adequate preparation in both the modules, a good capability of critically processing the topics and good skills in using tools for digital restoration (score between 24/30 and 27/30);
  • Excellent valuation: the student shows an excellent preparation in both the modules, significative skills of critically processing of the topics and excellent skills in using tools for digital restoration (score between 28/30 and 30/30).

Teaching tools

Frontal lessons and laboratory exercitations will be integrated by cooperative learning tools trough the course web platform: forum, chats, wiki, self-checks.

On the same platform didactic supports, lecture notes, video tutorials, PDF essays, links to further Digital Humanities and informatic methodologies for the study, valorization and digital restoration of the cultural heritage resources.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Iannucci

See the website of Simone Zambruno


Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.