Year 2018 awards ceremony at the Christmas Coffee
The Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki awards annually members of its staff for excellence in research, its teachers for their work to improve the quality of teaching, as well as a person or a group who has had a positive impact to the department as a working place or who have otherwise done a great job.

From left-to-right: Antti-Pekka Tuovinen, Veli Mäkinen, Sasu Tarkoma, Teemu Roos, Indrė Žliobaitė, Leo Leppänen and Henrik Nygren. Photographer: Petri Kutvonen.

The awards of the year 2018 were given to the following persons:

Senior Teacher Award: University Lecturer Matti Luukkainen "Software engineering techniques, software production and the software engineering lab in particular have been transported into an era of agile methods. These advancements can be considered to have social significance, since they fundamentally affect students’ ways of working in the software industry (...) Courses are being developed together with course assistants, employing methods originating in agile software engineering. Matti Luukkainen’s courses are known for kaizen, or continuous improvement."

Junior Teacher Award: Research Assistant Henrik Nygren "Henrik Nygren is an earnest, altruistic and top-calibre teacher working behind the scenes. He carries the main responsibility for the development of Test My Code, Quiznator and the other digital systems used in teaching at the Department of Computer Science. Through these systems, Henrik has furthered the establishment of courses that serve the entire nation, such as Cyber Security Base with F-Secure and Elements of AI."

Senior Researcher Award: Assistant Professor Indrė Žliobaitė "IIndrė Žliobaitė is a rapidly rising star in academia. Her citation figures have grown strongly, and she is the principal author of the first article from the Department approved by the journal Nature – shedding new light on the famous Red Queen hypothesis. Indrė is an active member of the academic community in relation to esteemed scientific journals and conferences, for example. Her research opens an entirely new avenue for applications of machine learning and data science."

Junior Researcher Award: Doctoral Student Leo Leppänen "Leo Leppänen has been extremely productive in postgraduate studies, having already published thirteen peer-reviewed scholarly articles, in the role of principal author for about half of them. In addition to research, Leo’s strength lies in the broader application of science and system development – he completed a significant share of the work for the development of Valtteri, an election news generating bot, which produced more than 750,000 bulletins on the local elections of 2017."

Person of the Year Award: Associate Professor Teemu Roos "The Elements of AI course organised by Teemu Roos and Reaktor Oy has achieved recognition that is exceptionally extensive for a university course, gaining the Department of Computer Science significant positive attention. The course embodies the third duty of the University of Helsinki, public engagement: the course has attracted many participants in Finland and abroad – more than a hundred thousand individuals. It is a reminder of how business collaboration can be conducted in all domains of the University’s duties."


Veli Mäkinen