A link to the university

The Linkki centre opened at the Helsinki University Department of Computer Science last Friday. The centre offers all kinds of fun activities like games programming, and an online programming course open to all upper-secondary students, starting at the beginning of next year.





At the centre's opening, Arto Vihavainen, Linkki coordinator, demonstrated computer games made during the games programming summer camp. Photo: Sakari Tolppanen.

What exactly is computer science? What this discipline actually entails is often unclear even to new undergraduates at the Helsinki University Faculty of Science. However, many of them find themselves in this field of work in the end.

To spread information, we have now started the Linkki centre, which offers good, fun opportunities to acquaint yourself with the world of computer science. Linkki is a physical science classroom in the Exactum building on the Kumpula campus, but it is also where people are and where it is needed, says Jaakko Kurhila, director of the Linkki resource centre.
Linkki was officially opened last Friday, but it has already organised a games-programming summer camp for children and teenagers last summer. This autumn’s games-programming club is in full swing. ‘We only have to give young people opportunities, and after that there are no bounds,’ Arto Vihavainen says of Linkki.
Visitors at the Linkki opening could try out games that were programmed during the summer camp. Game programming is a nice introduction to computer science, but it can also become your profession. According to some calculations, the computer-game industry is already larger than the film industry.
‘The future and work opportunities are ours,’ Esko Ukkonen, the head of the Department of Computer Science said at the opening of Linkki. He was referring to all kinds of software engineering in addition to the game industry.


Linkki has been decorated with familiar characters from Angry Birds and SuperMario.Director Jaakko Kurhila in the right-hand photo. Photos: Sakari Tolppanen.

It is not the first time the University of Helsinki has given gifted upper-secondary students the opportunity to take computer science courses while they are still at school. Next spring, anyone can take the courses.

This is a whole new kind of online course, MOOC (massive open online course), which is equivalent with the nine-credit university courses Introduction to programming and Advanced programming.

MOOC hooks its participants and steers them forward, you can have the course credits recognized at the university, or they can be incorporated in your upper-secondary degree. In addition, anyone who completes the course with distinction may be accepted to the Department of Computer Science purely based on this course.

Linkki is one of seven resource centres in the national LUMA centre and its website is at: linkki.cs.helsinki.fi. Signing up for the MOOC course starts on 10 January 2012.


Article: Elisa Lautala

Translator: Marina Kurtén



Created date

18.10.2011 - 10:55

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