Year 2019 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.

The awards of the year 2019 were given to the following persons:

Teacher Award: Bachelor of Science (BSc) Harri Kähkönen
"Harri has worked extensively within the basic study modules and actively participated in the development of teaching. As a supervisor of exercise groups, he has demonstrated excellent pedagogical skills and a student-centred attitude. The classes have been planned as true learning opportunities, where, instead of passively listing model solutions, Kähkönen tries to truly respond to the problem areas that are puzzling to the students, and to analyse the themes in depth.

Kähkönen’s input into the course Introduction to Computers has been especially remarkable, as he has created a body of extra material for the students to explore the core themes of the course. Kähkönen has repeatedly proved that he is genuinely interested in and enthusiastic about teaching, and is an active participant in the general discussion."

Senior Researcher Award: Academy Research Fellow Alexandru I. Tomescu
"Alexandru is a researcher of exceptionally high class. He has established a strong record of accomplishment for results in high quality, high-impact venues right across the spectrum from theory to practice to applications, particularly in the field of Algorithmic Bioinformatics. He has achieved wild success in 2019, beginning with an Academy Research Fellowship and quickly following this with an ERC starting grant."

Junior Researcher Award: Doctoral Student Juho Leinonen
“During his postgraduate studies, Juho has been extremely active and productive.  He has participated in two international project groups, he has more than 25 peer-reviewed scientific publications with JUFO ranking, and he has received both a commendation for best article and one for best presentation. In addition to his own research, he has participated in the programme committee work in the scientific community, as well as contributed to the development of teaching at the Department of Computer Science."

Person of the Year 2019 award: Training Officer Reijo Siven
"Reijo’s role and contribution as training officer, specialist in teaching administration, teaching arrangements, and student counselling and supervision has been very significant during the great changes in the past years. Thanks to the expertise and know-how of Reijo, along with his calm attitude, there are many who have received help in times that felt trying. His contribution to the launch and updating of the education programmes, of which the department is in charge, has been remarkable and he has worked very hard for them.

It is especially the students and part-time teachers who greatly appreciate Reijo’s input; Reijo is a professional who always has time to help others. The course assistants and part-time employees always receive the support they need, and more from Reijo. To the students, Reijo is a rock, always ready to help especially with questions about graduation and study modules, even outside his office hours."