One minute of USI

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI


USI's 25th anniversary is an opportunity to look back at who we are, underlining our being both a university and a people-friendly university, capable of giving space and value to relationships, where everyone can cultivate their potential and their uniqueness. We are a people-friendly university, and we are a community of people who grow through discussion and dialogue, each seeking and finding their own voice, all united in walking together - even miles apart – on a way for the future. Every day and practically every minute. But what happens and what "is" #OneminuteofUSI?

We took some of our numbers and turned them into something more interesting. We did this by deliberately (and sometimes arbitrarily) making use of simplifications and shortcuts, without claiming to be flawless from a methodological point of view, with the aim of looking at our community in a light-hearted manner.

So, what does #OneminuteofUSI stand for? For example, …

… in education


The total study hours produced in #OneminuteofUSI. 

Today USI has 3'350 students. Considering - with some simplification - that each student accumulates 60 ETCS credits per year and that 1 ECTS is equivalent to an average of 27,5 hours of study, we have a total volume of 5'527'500 hours of study per year, or 15'143,8 per day, 630,9 per hour and – precisely – 10,5 per minute.

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI



It's the "portion" of diplomas being awarded in #OneminuteofUSI.

It may not seem like much, but it only takes a few multiplications to see that this figure means that on average more than 2 people graduate from USI every day. Our University awards approx. 800 degrees per year, considering the average of the last 5 years for which data are available. At USI, a total of 12'302 degrees, 1'457 licentiate / four-year degrees, 3'962 Bachelor's degrees, 5'123 Master's degrees, 516 PhDs, 1'244 advanced studies.

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI


899,2 km/s

That's the speed it would take to walk the perimeter of our graduates' places of work in #OneminuteofUSI.

Today, USI graduates are active in 114 countries. For our game-calculation we have considered the virtual hexagonal perimeter drawn as the crow flies by the cities where USI graduates are active and located respectively furthest north (Reykjavík, Iceland), northeast (Tokyo, Japan), southeast (Auckland, New Zealand), south (Cape Town, South Africa), southwest (Valdivia, Chile) and northwest (San Francisco, USA): 53'953,36 km, almost 14'000 km more than the circumference at the equator. To cover this distance in one minute, an astronomical speed of (just over) 899,2 km/s would be needed, or over 2'700 times the speed of sound (0,33 km/s), about 115 times the maximum speed reached by Space Shuttle (28'000 km/h, equivalent to approx. 7,8 km/s), almost 30 times the speed at which the Earth revolves around the Sun (30 km/s) and (more or less) four times the speed at which our solar system orbits the centre of the Milky Way (220-230 km/s). A "universe" of opportunities after graduation.

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI


55’109,9 km

Is the perimeter of our network within student mobility in each and every #OneminuteofUSI.

USI has 100 partner universities in the field of student exchange programs throughout Switzerland, Europe and the world. Drawing a virtual hexagonal perimeter as the crow flies between the partner universities located respectively furthest north (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), north-east (Kyoto Institute of Technology, Japan), south-east (University of Technology Sydney, Australia), south (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), south-west (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru, Lima) and north-west (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA), we reach 55'109,9 km, approx. 15'000 km - slightly less than the distance between Lugano and Adelaide in Australia - yet more than the circumference at the equator. A vast horizon to enrich one’s studies.

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI



This is the combined population of the countries where the USI student community has at least one "ambassador" in each and every #OneminuteofUSI.

Among the 3'350 USI students, 93 different nationalities are represented, that is, which equates to about half of the countries in the world. For our game-calculation we added the population of the countries represented among the USI student community (data source: World Bank), arriving at 6'415'054'016 people, which means that at USI there is at least one "ambassador" from 83,6% of the world's population. A world within the walls of four campuses.

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI


... in research

39,60 CHF

This is the amount of money obtained in competitive research funds in #OneminuteofUSI.

Thanks to the work of our researchers, USI earns an average of CHF 20,8 million in competitive research per year (average over the last 5 years). This result is in addition to the 23 ERCs - prestigious research funds awarded by the European Research Council on a highly competitive basis - obtained to date by researchers active or previously active at USI and its affiliated institutes.

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI


105’682’416 km2

It is the area over which our research collaborations extend in each and every #OneminuteofUSI.

Based on co-publications reviewed in Scopus for the University and affiliated institutions from 2016 to 2020, USI has over 500 research partners in 96 different countries. For our game-calculation we have added up the surface area of the countries included in this network, which extends from Argentina to Australia, from Norway to South Africa, from Chile to Malaysia, for - precisely - a total of 105'682'416 km2, or, more precisely, more than 6 times the size of Russia, almost 2'560 times the size of Switzerland or about 14,8 billion football pitches.

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI


... and in all that we are


These are the thoughts created by the USI community in #OneminuteofUSI.

The "core" of the USI community today includes

  • 3'350 students
  • 10'347 university graduates
  • 127 professors
  • 239 teachers
  • 642 assistants
  • 253 administrative staff

totalling 14'958 people. For our calculation game, we multiplied this number by 6'200, the number of single thoughts that, according to research from Queen's University, each person conceives on average in a day. The entire USI community would therefore generate almost 100 million thoughts in a day (92'739'600 to be exact), 3'864'150 per hour and precisely - rounded to the nearest whole, 64'402 in one minute, roughly as many as the population of Lugano. A "city" of ideas thanks to which every minute we are #shapingknowledge.

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI


0,28 kg

The quantity of chocolate eaten by the USI community in #OneminuteofUSI.

The game-calculation game is based on the average per capita consumption of chocolate in Switzerland, which according to Chocosuisse - the umbrella association of chocolate producers - amounts to 9.9 kg per year (2020 figure). We multiplied the figure by 14,958 people, for a total of 148,084.20 kg of chocolate virtually eaten by the USI community in a year, 405.71 kg in a day, 16.9 kg in an hour and – to be exact - 0.28 kg in one minute. On the other hand, you need "fuel" to "shape" knowledge!

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI



These are the breaths the USI community takes in #OneminuteofUSI.

The game-calculation is based on the estimated number of breaths a human being normally takes in 60 seconds, from 12 to 16 (source: Johns Hopkins University). We took the average value of 14 and multiplied it by 14'958 people, obtaining - precisely - 209'412 breaths taken in one minute by the USI community. Inhalation to feed inspiration. Breaths of tension, breaths of disappointment, breaths of joy, breaths of hope, breaths of knowledge!

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI



These are the heartbeats produced by the USI community in #OneminuteofUSI.

For our game-calculation we multiplied the "core" of the USI community, with its 14'958 members, by 75,5, the average number of heart beats per minute as reported in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Please note: these 1'129'329 beats per minute are at a normal rate, but a passion for knowledge almost always makes our hearts beat much faster!

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI


116,20 CHF

That's the figure USI generates in the region in #OneminuteofUSI.

According to an independent study carried out a few years ago for the State Council of the Canton of Ticino, every CHF of public resources invested by the Canton in USI generates 3,2 in benefits for the region, enabling the influx of contributions for training and research from the Confederation, other Cantons, the European Union and from foundations, and thanks to the induced activities linked to the purchase of goods and services in the area, to the presence of students and congress tourism. Considering only "direct" cantonal contributions, on the basis of the latest available USI profit and loss accounts, our University has benefited in recent years from an annual average of CHF 19'082'735 CHF in funding, which enables us to trigger benefits within the region amounting to CHF 61'064'752 annually, or CHF 167'300 per day, CHF 6'970,90 per hour and - more precisely - about CHF 116,20 per minute.

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI


99’960’990 J

That's the energy unleashed by the USI community in #OneminuteofUSI.

For our game-calculation we used the average energy requirement for an adult as identified by the European Food Safety Authority (based on the average value of the range defined for the 30-39 age group): 2'300 kcal, or 9'623'200 J, of energy per day from food. Multiplied by 14'958 people this means 143'943'825'600 J per day, 5'997'659'400 J per hour and - ultimately - 99'960'990 J per minute, the energy that would allow the equivalent of 512 full buses to be lifted one metre off the ground. Energy with which, every minute, we are #shapingknowledge.

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI


77’183’280 billion

These are the neural impulses that the USI community generates in #OneminuteofUSI.

And this is at minimum speed: with the engine at "full speed" we could reach more than 15 billion billion neural "fires" in one minute. Our game-calculation takes up an estimate made for the scientific-popular portal Stanford Neuroblog (later NeuWrite West) by the neuroscientist Astra Briant, who starting from a count of approximately 86 billion neurons per person (based, in turn, on studies by Brazilian neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel) quantified the "working" frequency of each "typical" neuron between 1 and 200 Hz, or 1 to 200 impulses every second. In one minute it means from 60 to 12'000 impulses for each of our neurons, which - with some simplification - multiplied by 86 billion neurons makes between 5'160 to 1'032'000 billion neural impulses per minute. With 14'958 people we arrive at a figure between 77'183'280'000'000'000 (over 77 million billion) and 15'436'656'000'000'000'000 (over 15 billion billion) neural impulses per minute. We are on the order of 770 or even 150'000 times (!) the number of stars contained in the largest known galaxy (IC 1101 which is estimated to have 100'000 billion stars). A universe of grey matter that is the raw material with which we are #shapingknowledge.

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #OneminuteofUSI

For our particular "calculations" on the USI community we have considered, as indicated, the "core" made up of current students, graduates and people in force at the moment at the academic or administrative level. Our community, however, naturally extends beyond this core group: it also includes our honorary members and honorary doctorate holders, former staff (both academic and administrative), students who are or have been at USI for a period of mobility, visiting professors and visiting researchers, ... and we like to think that it ideally extends to embrace all those for whom USI represents or has represented, directly or indirectly, a significant stage or moment in their journey, whatever its duration. And we like to think that their thoughts, their breaths and their hearts also beat together with ours.