Faculty honours 20-year-old mathematician for merit

The Faculty of Science has honoured Aleksis Koski, 20, with an award for his exceptionally successful and fast completion of a Master’s degree. Koski completed all of his studies in mathematics, as well as nearly all of his other studies, with the grade 5/5.

The Faculty of Science has honoured Aleksis Koski, 20, with an award for his exceptionally successful and fast completion of a Master’s degree.

Fresh from a visit to Syracuse University, Aleksis Koski recently received his Master’s degree certificate and award for merit. He majored in mathematics – a field known as the queen of sciences.

– I’m interested in pure mathematics, he says. – It’s deductive reasoning and not open to argument in itself. Mathematics is universal, and ifthere is intelligent life outside our planet, the mathematics that aliens are using is the same as ours. I find this intriguing.

Currently, Koski is pursuing postgraduate studies at the University of Helsinki. His love of mathematics dates back to the problem-solving and strategy games he played as a child. He graduated from the Maunula Secondary School, which specialises in mathematics. He has also represented Finland in the International Mathematical Olympiad.

Competitive mathematics, however, is different from mathematics research, and arithmetic at school does not have much in common with university-level mathematics.

– It is important and very necessary that the university cooperates with schools, says Koski. – Students benefit from meeting researchers early on in their studies, at school. At the university, postgraduate students in mathematics are a close-knit group of enthusiastic people who know one another and the current teachers at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics from before.

Koski has been mainly taught by Tadeusz Iwaniec, a Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) who specialises in mathematical analysis.

In other words, the young mathematician is already in prestigious company.

– For me, the most important thing is to be able to focus on what I like – that is, mathematics, Koski says.

Read more about research at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics »»

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Text: Minna Meriläinen-Tenhu
Photo: Linda Tammisto
2.1.2012
Translation: AAC Global
University of Helsinki, digital communications


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