Seminar on Computational Creativity (continues in the spring)

Algorithms and machine learning
Advanced studies
The seminar will cover selected topics in the theory, methods, and applications of computational creativity. Priority is given to students who have taken the course Introduction to Computational Creativity or The Computational Foundations of Linguistic Creativity.
Year Semester Date Period Language In charge
2015 autumn 26.10-07.12. 2-2 English Hannu Toivonen


Time Room Lecturer Date
Mon 10-12 C220 Hannu Toivonen 26.10.2015-26.10.2015
Mon 10-12 C220 Hannu Toivonen 09.11.2015-09.11.2015
Mon 10-12 C220 Hannu Toivonen 23.11.2015-23.11.2015
Mon 10-12 C220 Hannu Toivonen 07.12.2015-07.12.2015

Information for international students

This seminar will work in English.

Note that the seminar continues in the spring, see the schedule below.


The goal of computational creativity is to model, simulate or enhance creativity. This seminar will discuss research papers in different subfields of computational creativity.

Learning objectives:

  • improve scientific and technical writing skills
  • improve scientific and technical presentation skills
  • learn about methods for computational creativity

Also see the global learning objectives of seminars at the department:


Completing the course

Participants must have completed the course Scientific writing or have equivalent skills. A maximum of 12 students will be elected for the seminar on the basis of their application and previous studies.

Students complete this seminar by actively participating in its work: the working methods include searching and studying scientific literature, writing reports and giving presentations, reading the reports of other participants and evaluating them, and actively following presentations and participating in discussions.

Please note the schedule, in particular the full meeting day at the end of the seminar. The meeting times are irregular, but the seminar requires independent work throughout the seminar.

The grading will be based on each student's own written work (1/3), oral presentation (1/3), and commentary on the reports of others as well as activeness in general (1/3). To pass the seminar, each of these components must be passed. (Active) attendance of seminar meetings is obligatory. Absense from at most two meetings is accepted (and will affect grading).

Seminar routines and schedule

Each student will have three roles in the seminar: (1) a writer and speaker, (2) reviewer of two other reports, (3) audience for the rest of the reports and oral presentations.

  • Mon 26 Oct: Introductions, goals and working methods of the seminar, initial selection of seminar topics
  • Mon 9 Nov: Brief presentations of planned seminar topics by students (1 sheet of paper, 3 slides, 5 minutes)
  • Mon 23 Nov: Updated presentations of seminar topics and reports (full drafts/outlines, 6 slides, 10 minutes)
  • Mon 7 Dec: Report manuscripts due, short presentations and review instructions in class
  • Mon 25 Jan: Feedback due (no meeting)
  • Mon 1 Feb: Feedback discussions on manuscripts and their reviews
  • Mon 15 Feb: Final seminar reports due, preparation of final oral presentations; Juho's final presentation
  • Mon 29 Feb, full day: Final seminar presentations
  • Time Presenter Topic Question Asker
    10:00-11:00 Nidia Obscura Acosta Automated Mathematical Discovery Hannu Kärnä
    11:00-12:00 Angel Gallegos The Naive Music Composer
    Juho Kallio
    1:00-2:00 Hannu Kärnä Measures for creativity Liangyi Luo
    2:00-3:00 Liangyi Luo Grammatical evolution, architecture Angel Gallegos


Keep in mind that the written report and the oral presentation have partially different goals.

The oral presentation should explain the main ideas of the content, simplifying concepts when necessary. Depending on the topic, a good presentation should include many examples to illustrate the subject matter and only some choice technical details that are important and can be discussed thoroughly enough during the presentation. The oral presentation should last around 45 minutes.

For the report, put more emphasis on exactness and scientific representation. The report should be a product of the student, even though it is based on source material. For instance, the text in the report must be produced by the student (i.e., no copy-pasting), and the contents should reflect the conclusions, interests, background, and views of the student. You are encouraged to provide a personal view, but be clear in the report which parts are from literature and which ideas or views are your own. The report must contain technical material on a selected specific topic, i.e., it should not be just a summary or overview of the source material. Therefore, you must pick and choose what to discuss in your report in more detail, and the emphasis of the report may be quite different from the original articles. For the things you leave out, refer to the source material. A suitable length for the report is 10-15 pages. See, e.g., the page for the course Scientific writing for instructions (and links to further instructions): . An example of a good seminar report can be found here.

Detailed peer review instructions and template can be found here.

Final Presentation

[Preliminary instructions, may be adjusted during the seminar]

Each student prepares a 30 minute presentation on the subject of their seminar report. The presentation should give a motivating introduction and short background to the subject, but the main focus is on the main content and conclusions of the seminar report. Some general notes on how to prepare for a seminar presentation can be found for example in here. An example presentation can be found here.

Each presentation is followed by a discussion session (approximately 15 minutes). For the discussion session, each student is assigned one paper by another student. As the reviewer of that paper your task is to think of two questions to ask from the author of the paper during the discussion session. Think of the questions in advance while reading the paper. Other students are also assumed to ask questions and particpate in the discussion!

To help students improve their presentation skills, everyone will give feedback to each other with the form found here during the presentations.

PowerPoint and LibreOffice bases for the presentation can be found in here. A latex base can be found in here.

Literature and material

Topics for seminar reports and presentations will be listed here. (Please reserve yours by adding your name after the topic. Other topics relevant to the seminar are also possible.)

Each student selects a topic for his/her report and presentations, and uses suitable scientific source material (typically 2 articles as key sources). You may use other literature, too. In any case, you must agree on your source literature with the seminar leaders during the first weeks of the seminar.

The university has an electronic submission to many journals, and their articles are available from computers in the university network (and from home with a VPN connection to the university).

We recommend writing the report with latex. You can use the latex base at intended for theses written at the department of computer science.

PowerPoint and LibreOffice bases for the presentation can be found in A latex base can be found in here.