Annual Report 2009

Annual Report 2009

Department statistics



In 2009, 173 person-years were completed at the department. There were 76 person-years on external funding, which was 3 more than the previous year, and 97 person-years on allocated funding, i.e. 11 more than in 2008. The department had considerable funds carried over from the previous years, which was used to hire employees for various development projects. A considerable number of vacancies were also announced at the department during the course of year 2009. However, the trend is decreasing:  except for year 2009, the number of people employed with allocated funding has been systematically reduced as significant external funding has ceased. The staff of the department is comparatively young, as the average age is 33.3 years.
The number of researchers has decreased because of the four-stage structure of posts implemented at the University of Helsinki since the beginning of 2007, when the title of researcher has gradually been discarded. Former researchers are now usually titled doctoral students or research assistants.


During 2009, the department spent 11.56 Million Euros. The department’s funding has been good the past years, due to various profitability grants and additional allocations. The department has received additional funding for meroits like the highest assessment in the evaluation of research and the status of national centre of excellence in higher education. The department has also had significant funds carried over from previous years. They were used for large hardware investments and the establishment of the software factory.
The share complementary external funding has in the department’s total financing is nearly half; the amount has stablilized at some 4 Million Euros. The largish share of external funding adds to the insecurity of the economy of the department since there is much competition for external funding.  The new university legislation’s effect on the department’s economy in the long also remains to be seen.
The most part of the department’s funding is used for HR expenses´, but, as mentuioned, in 2009 some significant investments were also made. With these investments, the department partially prepared for the VAT liability that the new university legislation entails for the department.
Studying and teaching
As expected, the number of degrees and credits earned during 2009 fell significantly compared to year 2008. The fall in credits is wholly explained by the lesser number of MSc theses. As for degrees conferred, the focus moved to BSc degrees. The large number of BSc degrees is due to the new two-stage degree system: The scope of BSc degrees has narrowed as far as minor subjects are concerned, and their value as independent degrees has increased, so many students who have worked according to the old degree requirements have been able to complement their credits in accordance with the new BSc degree.

Research and publications

The focus areas of research at the department in the strategy period 2007-2009 were data analysis and mobile computing, as well as the up-and-coming areas of service collaboration, empirical software research, and ubiquitous computing.
The centre of excellence in research, Algodan, a large part of the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, and a total of 20 research groups, are all situated at the department.
The number of researchers has stabilised at around one hundred. of researchers holding a PhD, 25% are foreigners. Four academy research fellows work at the department.
The publications of the department have reduced slightly, and there were 115 refereed publications in 2009.