Welcome to the international (English-speaking) blog of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki. Our blog invites views on research, education, student life, and other societal themes connected to our computer science fields. The intention is to build a forum as an open window for readers from inside and outside computer science. If you have any good ideas or articles to share on this blog, please feel free to contact us: cs-blog [ät] cs.helsinki.fi.
Hot Topics and Cold Experiences: the Strategy Seminar
by Ella Peltonen
This year the Department's Strategy seminar was organized from 1st to 2nd March 2012 in Hotel Haikko Manor near the city of Porvoo. Beautiful Haikko is known for a place of fabulous summer weddings, but it seems to be also a practical conference centre and a nice small spa. And so our two strategy days contained both working and relaxation.
To work the strategy happened in eight groups with various themes. These groups discussed the situations of research and teaching, internationationalization, connections to education, working atmosphere, operations of adminstration, and so on. Outcomes put together to short presentations. All written reports will be published also in the Department's intranet.
There are some hot topics that came up: We need more gifted PhD students and undergraduates who will bring about 55 credits per year. We should stop all kinds of separation and make small talk in the coffee room and corridors also in English. And what about the corridors, they are a little bit boring. We want more scientific posters on the walls and some nice indoor plants and sofas to brighten up our working days. The Strategy seminar seems to be also a right place for wild ideas such as to reborn the CS-teacher programme or to furnish the part-time teachers' room all over again.
People in the Strategy seminar took part in designing of the Strategy 2020 for whole Department of Computer Science. We used the strategy maps of the Faculty and the University as a model and picked up some relative themes and issues: a funny play with colourful post-it notes even though the most of strategy goals were quite abstract and high-flown. In conclusion, our Department's goal in the following decade will be the best Department of our field in the Nordic countries. Maybe it is something more realistic than the Helsinki University's goal to be one of the top 50 universities in the whole world?
When you put a couple of scientists in the same limited space you can be sure they are soon making some science. Haikko Manor owns a thing called a cold sauna, a room with temperature of -110°C. You can read more about this exciting experience and research project in the story by Jussi Kangasharju.
After all, thanks to everyone who took part in the seminar, especially to our superb group of working premises and all magnificent stars of the dance floor!
The CS Blog Task Force
Aaron is doing his PhD in the NODES group at the CS department. His research focuses on mobile computing and energy efficient design for multi-interfaced mobile devices.
Giulio is a Professor at the CS department. His area is Human-Computer Interaction. For more information, please find his homepage here
Doris is a researcher at the CS department and HIIT, doing her PhD in the neuroinformatics research group. Her research interests include graphical models, causal discovery, and time series.