Ubiquity researcher Ella Peltonen – a rising star

The international women’s network in Computer science selected 10 impacting women to watch.

The ten-year-old N²Women network promotes dialogue among women in the field of computer science. Recently, it listed its top members in networking and communications. Among these ‘rising stars’ was Ella Peltonen (@Ella_Peltonen), doctoral student at the University of Helsinki.

– Ella Peltonen is also a very good teacher and researcher, says Sasu Tarkoma, head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki.

– She has contributed to creating the new study module for data science, while working out new methods and processes for teaching and research, says Tarkoma.

Informal networking is rewarding

Within the natural sciences, it is common for women to network, since there are still not that many women in these fields. N²Women is an easily approachable informal network for networking women.

– I’ve attended their luncheons in connection with large conferences and I’m on their mailing list. The lunches have given me a good opportunity to meet other researchers in a more intimate setting, Ella Peltonen says.

Computing everywhere

Ella Peltonen studies ubiquitous computing, i.e. computing that is present everywhere. The ubiquitous world includes data analysis of large data sets, applications in machine learning, and mobile smart devices. She is working on her doctoral thesis.

– I’ve been interested in research and science since I was little, so at some point in my studies a career as scientist started to feel positively natural, she says.

– During my last year at school, I started to consider what I wanted to study. I’ve always liked maths, and I heard there were jobs in the field of computer science. When I saw the university programme for computer science, it seemed interesting. I didn’t have a lot of experience in the field beforehand, but I was soon hooked on it during my first year and I’ve never considered a change of discipline. 

Peltonen started studying computer science in 2009 and finished her Master’s degree in 2013. In addition to computer science, she has taken an extended minor module in mathematics.

In 2015, she was elected junior researcher of the year at the Department of Computer Science. The same year, her work received the Marc Weiser award for best research at the IEEE PerCom conference.

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