The Centro di Ricerca Matematica Ennio De Giorgi was established at the end of 2001 as a center of the Scuola Normale Superiore, with the character of an inter-university center, by the three university institutions of Pisa: the University of Pisa, the Scuola di Studi Superiore Sant'Anna and the Scuola Normale Superiore.
The founding agreement signed in 2001, initially in force for a five-year period, was partly modified in 2002 and renewed, for another quinquennium, with proper additional act in December 2006. The expiry date for the above mentioned agreement, as modified in 2002 and renewed in 2006, was December 31st 2010. At the beginning of 2011 all parties mutually accepted to renew for five more years the terms contained in the founding agreement of the Centro De Giorgi, including some alteration, and to enter into a new agreement in replacement of the one drawn up in November 2001.
The Center is located in Palazzo Puteano, former seat of the "Collegio Puteano". The Collegio was founded in 1604 by Carlo Antonio Dal Pozzo, Archibishop of Pisa, who obtained a perpetual lease for the palace from the Order of Santo Stefano. Recently the "Fondazione Collegio Puteano" headed by the Rector of the University of Pisa, has entrusted the Scuola Normale Superiore with the palace. The palace is an integral part of Piazza dei Cavalieri, which was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1561 for Cosimo I de' Medici. It has been recently restored and renovated by the Scuola Normale Superiore.
The Center has a Council, composed of two professors from the Scuola Normale, two professors from the University, and one professor from the Scuola Sant'Anna, these members being named by the directors and rectors of the respective institutions. Presently the Council is composed of: Calogero Oddo as representative of the Scuola Sant'Anna, Carlo Petronio and Franco Turini as representatives of the University of Pisa, and Stefano Marmi and Angelo Vistoli as representatives of the Scuola Normale Superiore.
The Center has a Scientific Committee, composed of five to eight scientists of international reputation, these being named jointly by the Director of the Scuola Normale, the Rector of the University of Pisa, and the Director of the Scuola Sant'Anna. Presently the Committee is formed by Jean Pierre Bourguignon (IHES, Bures-sur-Yvette), Luis Caffarelli (University of Texas, Austin), Stefan Hildebrandt (University of Bonn), Alan Kirman (Groupement de Recherche en Economie Quantitative, Marseille), Richard Schoen (Stanford University), Jean-Christophe Yoccoz (Collège de France, Paris).
The Center has a Director named by the Director of the Scuola Normale, in consultation with the Rector of the University and the Director of the Scuola Sant'Anna. Since its establishment until 16th October 2013 the director was Mariano Giaquinta. Presently the director is Stefano Marmi.
The Center is named after Ennio De Giorgi, who was one of the most prominent figures in the renaissance of mathematics in Pisa in the second half of the last century. Ennio De Giorgi was one of the great mathematicians of the last century. Born in Lecce in 1928, he moved to Rome where he obtained a university degree in mathematics. At an early age he won a competition for a professorship in mathematics and, after a brief stay in Messina, was called to the Scuola Normale in 1959. He remained in Pisa until his death, on October 25, 1996. De Giorgi left a profound stamp on contemporary mathematics, in many of its aspects: in the problems he resolved, in the theories he elaborated, and in the large number of students he launched in research. He is noted for having resolved one of the problems formulated by David Hilbert in the early 1900's; for his contributions to the theory of minimal surfaces, and for having developed, in the 1970's, a very innovative theory of "Gamma convergence", which provides a setting to unify many phenomena in mathematics and physics.
The Center is part of ERCOM (European Research Centres on Mathematics) as of 2003 and has established agreements for academic collaboration with several prestigious institutions. Since year 2012 the Centre is also member of the European Mathematical Society (EMS)