Awards and recognitions

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Lecturer Heikki Lokki was awarded the Eino Kaila award on 26 March for distinguished work as a university teacher. Mr Lokki received his award from the hand of Rector Thomas Wilhelmsson at the anniversary festivities of the University of Helsinki. The Eino Kaila award is worth 5,000 euros.

 

Awards to the department and research units

  • National centre of excellence in university education 2010-2012 

In November 2008, the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council (FINHEEC) selected the Department of Computer Science to be one of ten national centres of excellence in university education 2010-2012. The evaluation was carried out for the fifth time on the mandate of the Ministry of Education.

  • Finnish Academy centre-of-excellence programme 2012-2017

In June, the Finnish Academy selected the Finnish unit for computational inference (COIN) to be a national centre-of-excellence programme during 2012 - 2017. The COIN unit is lead by professor Erkki Oja (Aalto university), and Petri Myllymäki with his group from the department of computer science is a part of this unit.  The unit for research of cancer genetics lead by Lauri Aaltonen (UH, Faculty of medicine) was selected as a national centre-of-excellence programme during 2012-2017. Veli Mäkinen with his group from the department of computer science is a part of this unit.  In addition to this, Aapo Hyvärinen with his group is collaborating with the unit for inversion problems lead by Lassi Päivärinta  (UH, Department of mathematics and statistics) that was also chosen as a national centre-of-excellence programme during 2012-2017.

  • Finnish Academy centre-of-excellence programme 2008-2013

On 12 December 2006, the Finnish Academy selected the unit for algorithmic data analysis (Algodan) to be a national centre-of-excellence programme during 2008-2013. Professor Esko Ukkonen heads the Algodan unit, a collaboration with the Aalto University comprising several research teams. The unit continues the work of the FDK centre of excellence (2002-2007).

  • The 2009 health and safety award of the University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki awarded the Department of Computer Science with the 2009 health and safety prize. According to the award diploma, the staff of the department has cooperated to improve the quality, safety and comfort of its working environment with determination and good results.

  • National centre of excellence in university education 2007-2009

The Department of Computer Science is one of the national centres of excellence in university education that the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council presented to the Ministry of Education for 2007-2009. The assessment is based on peer evaluation, and both past results and the long-term improvement of education were considered in the screening process. The diverse selection criteria include the connection between education, research and social interaction; strategic management of education; improvement of pedagogical aspects; and relating syllabus content planning with the structural reformation of degrees. The Department of Computer Science was found to be equally strong in all these fields.

  • The computer science discipline assessment of the Finnish Academy 2007

In the Finnish Academy's assessment of computer science in 2007, an international panel stated in its assessment report Computer Science Research in Finland 2000-2006 (8/07) that the department is the leading research facility for computer science in Finland.

  • The Medix prize 2007

At the monthly meeting of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, Chancellor Kari Raivio of the University of Helsinki awarded the 20,000-euro Medix prize to the research groups headed by Professor Jussi Taipale and Professor Esko Ukkonen. The prize was conferred for 20th time in 2007. This year, the best article on bio-medicine or clinical research published in 2006 was awarded. The prize is presented by Oy Medix Ab. The Minerva foundation is the principal owner of Medix.

  • Research assessment 2005

The department received the top grade (7) in the evaluation of research in the whole of the University of Helsinki in 2005. In its report, the evaluation panel stated that a large part of the research carried out at the department keeps to a high European standard, some of it on a globally high level, and that the department is on the cutting edge of data analysis research in the world.

  • The Microsoft Technologies in Practice and Theory of Software Engineering prize 2005

The project collaboration between the computer science departments of the universities of Helsinki and Petrozavodsk, where groups of students implemented software over the Internet, did very well in the Microsoft Technologies in Practice and Theory of Software Engineering competition organised in St Petersburg in March. The Finnish-Russian DaCoPAn project (Data Communication Protocol Animation) was one of four first-prize winners in the competition that was attended by over three hundred student projects from various parts of Russia.

  • Award for quality teaching 2004

On 1 December, the Rector rewarded the department for its high standard of teaching with 27,000 euros in profitability monies. The profitability monies were divided among six units, three of which received the grade 'excellent.' By distributing these monies the university wants to encourage the units to report dependably with a focus on relevant quality factors. Teachers, students, and other members of the staff were expected to participate in the self-assessment of the unit. They had to justify their claims about the quality of their work on the basis of the principles of portfolio assessments.

  • The Prime Minister's commendation for the most innovative web service in 2004

On 23 November 2004, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen rewarded the portal MuseoSuomi – Finnish museums on the semantic web with a commendation for the most innovative web service as a part of the government's IT society programme competition Laatua verkkoon (quality on the web). The competition was organised by the Ministry of Finances and it is a part of the reward process called the Prime Minister's best practices.

  • Semantic Web Challenge Award 2004, 2nd place

On 11 November, MuseoSuomi – Finnish museums on the semantic web, a web service developed by the Department of Computer Science and Helsinki Institute for Information Technology came second in the competition Semantic Web Challenge Award 2004 in Hiroshima, Japan. Semantic Web Challenge Award is a highly valued application reward in the international research community for the semantic web.

  • Finnish Academy centre of excellence programme 2002-2007

The unit From Data to Knowledge (FDK) was elected one of the national centres of excellence in Finnish research for the years 2002-2007.

  • Evaluation of research quality and standards 1999

The department received the top grade (7) in the evaluation of research in the whole of the University of Helsinki in 1999. The evaluation panel stated that, in spite of its short existence, the department is a first-class academic institution.

  • Evaluation of information-industry education programmes 1999

The international panel of the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council stated in its report for the assessment of education programmes in the information industry in 1999 that the department has identified and developed its specialisation programmes so that they concur with the needs of the industry, that the department has a joint IT research institution with Helsinki University of Technology, that the department also attracts female students, and that the department has a tradition of allowing its students to work on personal projects while studying for their degrees.

 

Personal acknowledgements

  • Best Personal Study Plan Supervisor 2011

The Best Personal Study Plan Supervisor 2011 award of the Faculty of Science at University of Helsinki was granted to University Teacher Tiina Niklander of the Department of Computer Science. Niklander was praised being a supervisor who is easy to approach whenever a student have some questions. She is always happy and very helpful, and if she does not know the answer to the questions herself, she knows who to ask next. Niklander is a natural talent as a supervisor whether it is a question of making a personal study plan or any other problem  that a student (or a member of staff) might have.

  • The Magister Bonus Award 2011

Every autumn, the Student Union of the University of Helsinki grants the Magister Bonus award to instructors who have demonstrated skills and interest in both teaching and their students. The fifteenth Magister Bonus award was granted to University Lecturer Matti Luukkainen of the Department of Computer Science  on 26 November 2011 at the Student Union's annual festivities. In the grounds for awarding the prize, Luukkainen was praised for his active and innovative manner to develop teaching as well as creating and introducing versatile teaching methods. Luukkainen's special merit was the fact that he has been successful in making the first-year students enthusiastic about their studies. In addition, when mentoring new teachers, Luukkainen has spread positive pedagogic attitude and student-minded thinking, and thus has promoted and spread successful practices to a wider audience.

  •  Nordic Collegiate Programming Contest (NCPC 2010), 1st place

ACM's annual ICPC student programming contest -- its Nordic regional contest -- was held today, on Saturday, Oct 2nd, within NCPC Nordic Collegiate Programming Contest. Our team named Bubble Sorters (Mikko Sysikaski, Aleksi Hartikainen ja Mika Laitinen) wrote history by clinching the top spot (#1) in the final standings! Among 177 team, the achievement is truly outstanding! Their quest will continue in NWERC 2010 in Bremen in November.

A special mention goes to another team from our department, Saxrollers, first-timers in ICPC, placed fifth.

  • The ACM NWERC programming challenge, 2nd place

The fantastic programming contest successes of the team Bubble sorters, consisting of department undergraduates (Aleksi Hartikainen, Mika Laitinen, and Mikko Sysikaski), continues: the team took 2nd place in the NWERC challenge. A large number of very renowned universities were beaten. The challenge was attended by 64 teams that had been successful in previous trial competitions. It was only a few of the very best teams that were invited to the ICPC World Finals, now including the department's team!

  • Nordic Collegiate Programming Contest (NCPC 2009), 2nd place

The Bubble sorters team consisting of department undergraduates Aleksi Hartikainen, Mika Laitinen and Mikko Sysikaski took second place in the Nordic Collegiate Programming Contest (NCPC 2009) on 3 October 2009. This is a brilliant accomplishment since this competition keeps a very high standard, and a record 192 teams participated from the best computer science-teaching institutions in the Nordic countries.

  • Cor Baayen Award 2009

ERCIM, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics, has awarded Postdoctoral Researcher Teemu Roos at the University of Helsinki the 2009 Cor Baayen award. The award is given to gifted young researchers in computer science and applied mathematics. This was the first time when a Finnish researcher recieved this award.

  • The Eino Kaila prize 2009

Lecturer Heikki Lokki was awarded the Eino Kaila award on 26 March for distinguished work as a university teacher. Mr Lokki received his award from the hand of Rector Thomas Wilhelmsson at the anniversary festivities of the University of Helsinki. The Eino Kaila award is worth 5,000 euros. Lecturer Heikki Lokki is an excellent example of how a university instructor can inspire the staff and students of a large department into improving the quality of teaching and learning. With never-ending determination, persistence and resourcefulness, Mr Lokki has headed the development of course planning at the Department of Computer Science for many years now, in cooperation with the head of the department, its steering committee, and the members of the teaching development committee.

  • The Kirkman medal 2007

The Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications (ICA) awarded Research Fellow Petteri Kaski their 2007 Kirkman medal for his merits as a young researcher into combinatorics.  Combinatorics is a branch of mathematics that studies finite structures and the relations between their properties. Some of its main application areas are data communication and computer science.

  • The Science Award of the City of Helsinki 2007

On Monday 21 May 2007, the science award of the City of Helsinki was conferred on Professor Esko Ukkonen. The award goes to significant scientific work by a Helsinkian or carried out in Helsinki.

  • The Anita Borg Scholarship 2007

Google Europe rewarded Sini Ruohomaa with a grant and prize trip. The Google Europe Anita Borg Scholarship is annually awarded to merited female graduate and postgraduate students of computer science and information technology. The prize was first granted in Europe in 2007. The competition was attended by 180 students from 93 universities. The prize committee chose 12 winners. The criteria for selection included the competitors' academic performance and achievements, their replies to essay questions from the prize committee, recommendations from other researchers, and interviews.

  • The Magister Bonus Award 2006

Every autumn, the Student Union of the University of Helsinki grants the Magister Bonus award to instructors who have demonstrated skills and interest in both teaching and their students. The tenth Magister Bonus award was granted to Lecturer Arto Wikla of the Department of Computer Science  on 26 November 2006 at the Student Union's annual festivities. The application mentioned, among other things, that one of the strengths of this enthusiastic instructor is his ability to translate difficult and abstract concepts into a form that students can embrace easily. In addition, Mr Wikla's success in utilising feedback, and giving his own feedback, was commended.

  • Nokia Forum Champion 2006 and 2009

Mika Raento was appointed a member of Nokia Forum Champion in 2006, and again in 2009.

  • Academy Professorships 2004-2009

The Finnish Academy appointed Professor Heikki Mannila of TKK and UH/HIIT to an Academy Professorship for years 2004-2009.

  • Academy Professorship 1999-2004

The Finnish Academy appointed Professor Esko Ukkonen to an Academy Professorship for years 1999-2004.

  • ACM SIGKDD Innovations Award 2003

ACM SIGKDD granted its innovation award to Professor Heikki Mannila in 2003. The awards committee stated in its proclamation that Professor Mannila has a special gift for recognising new problems, approaches, and concepts, and thereby advancing his area of research.

  • Petrozavodsk University Doctor Honoris Causa 2002

Professor Timo Alanko was conferred the title of Honorary Doctor at the University of Petrozavodsk in May. Professor Alanko has played an active part in launching the cooperation between the departments of computer science at Helsinki and Petrozavodsk in the early 1990s.

  • Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Helsinki 2000

Linus Torvalds, who studied at the department in 1988-97 and who created the Linux operating system, was appointed Honorary Doctor of the University of Helsinki in May 2000.

Premiered theses

The doctoral thesis awards of the Finnish information-processing research foundation (Tietotekniikan Tutkimussäätiö)

  • 2016 Teppo Niinimäki: Approximation Strategies for Structure Learning in Bayesian Networks
  • 2013 Jouni Sirén: Compressed Full-Text Indexes for Highly Repetitive Collections
  • 2011 Wilhelmiina Hämäläinen: Efficient search for statistically significant dependency rules in binary data
  • 2008 Mika Raento: Exploring privacy for ubiquitous computing: Tools, methods and experiments
  • 2006 Taneli Mielikäinen: Summarization Techniques for Pattern Collections in Data Mining
  • 1997 Hannu Toivonen: Discovery of Frequent Patterns in Large Data Collections
  • 1993 Pekka Kilpeläinen: Tree Matching Problems with Applications to Structured Text Databases
  • 1986 Heikki Mannila: Instance complexity for sorting and NP-complete problems

Master's thesis prize of Matemaattis-luonnontieteellisten alojen Akateemiset ry and Tekniikan akateemiset TEK

  • 2016 Peter Hedman: Sequential Monte Carlo Instant Radiosity

The Finnish association for mathematicians, physicists, and computer scientists (Suomen Matemaatikko-, Fyysikko- ja Tietojenkäsittelytieteilijäliitto SMFL) Master's thesis prize

  • 2009 Mikko Pervilä: Performance of Ajax applications on mobile devices
  • 2008 Ville Tuulos: Sisältöpohjaisen hakukoneen suunnittelu ja toteutus (designing and implementing a content-based search engine)

The Finnish Society for Computer Science Master's thesis prizes

  • 2011 Joel Rybicki: Exact bounds for distributed graph colouring
  • 2010 Jouni Tuominen: Helppokytkentäiset ontologiapalvelut semanttisessa webissä
  • 2005 Gian Donato Colussi: Equation-Based Layered Multicast Congestion Control
  • 2000 Sami Perttu: Symbolisen musiikin haku tietokannasta
  • 1997 Linus Torvalds: Linux: a Portable Operating System
  • 1995 Juha Kärkkäinen: Loppuosakaktus - loppuosapuu pienessä tilassa
  • 1991 Roope Kaivola: Aikalogiikkajärjestelmien muodostaminen ja hyödynnettävyys
  • 1984 Juha Vihavainen: Mikrotietokoneiden ohjelmankehitysvälineiden toteutus suurella tietokoneella

Awards given by the Department of Computer Science

Permanent teachers

  • 2016 Juha Kärkkäinen
  • 2015 Heikki Lokki
  • 2014 Teemu Roos
  • 2013 Fabian Fagerholm
  • 2012 Lea Kutvonen
  • 2011 Arto Vihavainen
  • 2010 Pirjo Moen
  • 2009 Juha Taina
  • 2008 Esa Pitkänen
  • 2007 Jyrki Kivinen
  • 2006 Matti Nykänen
  • 2005 Raul Hakli
  • 2004 Auvo Häkkinen
  • 2003 Matti Luukkainen
  • 2002 Harri Laine
  • 2001 Arto Wikla

Junior teachers

  • 2016 Kati Kyllönen
  • 2015 Johannes Verwijnen
  • 2014 Joni Salmi
  • 2013 Emilia Hjelm
  • 2012 Ella Peltonen
  • 2011 Tomi Jylhä-Ollila
  • 2010 Antti Laaksonen
  • 2009 Matti Paksula
  • 2008 Jaakko Sorri
  • 2007 Janne Korhonen
  • 2006 Sebastian Siikavirta
  • 2005 Joni Salmi
  • 2004 Ismo Puustinen
  • 2003 Matti Kääriäinen
  • 2002 Janne Rinta-Mänty
  • 2001 Anna Pienimäki

Senior researchers

  • 2016 Leena Salmela
  • 2015 Simon Puglisi
  • 2014 Arto Klami
  • 2012 Eve Hoggan
  • 2011 Matti Järvisalo
  • 2010 Valentin Polishchuk
  • 2009 Teemu Roos
  • 2008 Mikko Koivisto
  • 2007 Veli Mäkinen
  • 2006 Patrik Hoyer
  • 2005 Taneli Mielikäinen
  • 2004 Aristides Gionis
  • 2003 Kjell Lemström

Junior researchers

  • 2016 Juho-Kustaa Kangas
  • 2015 Ella Peltonen
  • 2014 Dominik Kempa
  • 2013 Eemil Lagerspetz ja Arto Vihavainen
  • 2012 Antti Hyttinen
  • 2011 Pekka Parviainen
  • 2010 Mikko Pervilä
  • 2009 Niko Välimäki
  • 2008 Jukka Suomela
  • 2007 Petteri Nurmi
  • 2006 Teemu Roos
  • 2005 Mika Raento
  • 2004 Kimmo Palin
  • 2003 Jukka Manner

Group of the year

  • 2015 Linkki Centre

Person of the year

  • 2016 Leena Kekäläinen
  • 2014 Tiina Niklander
  • 2013 Yi Ding
  • 2012 Mikko Pervilä
  • 2011 Hannu Toivonen

Positive character

  • 2010 Jaakko Kurhila
  • 2009 Tiina Väisänen
  • 2008 Greger Lindén
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