I'm Associate Professor in Computer Science at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Catania, Italy. My research is focused on the design and develops of Metaheuristics applied in several research areas, such as in Combinatorial Optimization; Computational Biology; Network Sciences and Social Networks.
From August 2017 I'm member of the IEEE Task Force on the Ethical and Social Implications of Computational Intelligence, for the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (IEEE CIS).
Since February 2015 I am Vice-Chair of the Task Force on Interdisciplinary Emergent Technologies for the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (Emergent Technologies Technical Committee - ETTC), whose main aim is to promote the interdisciplinary study of emergent computation in bio-informatics, bio-physics, interdisciplinary domains of economy, medicine, and industry.
From 1st May 2014 to 30th April 2018 I was Chair of the Task Force on Artificial Immune Systems for the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (IEEE CIS). Since 1st May 2018, I hold the role of Vice-Chair of the same IEEE Task Force.
I'm member of several Editorial Boards for international journals, as well as member of many Program Committees in international conferences and workshops. I have also an extensive experience of organizing successful workshops, symposium, conferences and summer schools. Indeed, I'm currently the Chief of the Scientific Directors of the Metaheuristics Summer School (MESS). I was also Scientific Directors of the following international summer schools: Metaheuristics Summer School - MESS 2018, Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School - SSBSS 2014 & Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School - SSBSS 2015.
In my scientific activities, I was also Tutorial and Invited Speakers for several international conferences, and Editor of many special issues in: Artificial Life, Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence (EAAI), Applied Soft Computing (ASOC), BMC Immunology, Natural Computing, and Memetic Computing.
I was co-founder of TaoScience Research center, and from May 2018 I'm Scientific Director of ANTs Lab - Advanced New Technologies research laboratory (ANTs Lab.).
In 2006 I was a visiting researcher at the IBM-KAIST Bio-Computing Research Center, Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Republic of Korea, where I worked with Prof. Doheon Lee.