Väisälä prize awarded to Professor Tuomo Kuusi

Professor Tuomo Kuusi has been awarded the year 2019 Väisälä prize of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. The prize is awarded to active and merited researchers in the mathematics and science field. The prize is worth 15,000 Euros. The prize was established in the year 2000.

Tuomo Kuusi completed his doctorate in technology in the field of mathematics at Helsinki University of Technology – now named Aalto University – in 2007. His choice of field was not a given. “I originally studied applied physics, but at the last moment, I switched to graduating from mathematics. At that time, I was very interested in mathematics in general and applied mathematics, and it seemed like the right and natural decision to study it in greater depth,” says Kuusi.

After graduation, Tuomo Kuusi has worked as a post-doc researcher at Aalto University and at the Courant Institute and Columbus University in the USA. In 2018, he was appointed assistant professor in mathematics at the University of Oulu and later the same year professor of mathematics at the University of Helsinki.

Professor Kuusi focuses his research on unlinear partial differential equations, variability calcutation, and probability calculation. His research areas have included the axiom of regularity, potentiality theory, and non-local problems.“You could call my way of solving problems an erosion, which means that I try to break down the smokescreen around a problem piece by piece, until it has crystallised into a succinct core. This is then solvable or not, and it may take years to find the solution. The best part of my work is when a problem is solved. The worst part is realising a solution was incorrect. These days I can also rejoice over failed solutions. When I was younger, I would stay up until five, and when I finally found a mistake, I would go to bed a broken man. These days I enjoy my successes and don’t find the mistake until morning!”

Lately, Professor Kuusi has studied the statistical features of random partial differential equations. He studies many challenging mathematical problems and also applies the methods he develops in practice. Some examples of these applications are mathematical approaches and computational methods for utilising geothermal energy.

Tuomo Kuusi has headed many research projects funded by the Academy of Finland. He has a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for the years 2019-2023.

Tuomo Kuusi is an author to some 60 peer-reviewed and widely cited research articles. Many of these works have been published in leading journals. Kuusi has been the invited speaker at many international conferences.

He has an extensive international network of collaborators: “Coincidence has played a large part in my career, but you have to grip the bull by its horns. Since a very early stage, I’ve tried to establish interesting collaborations, which have then led to others in a similar vein, and a sort of positive spiral developed. My cooperation partners are extremely important to me. This kind of relationship takes years to build, and in practice, the cooperation deepens into close friendship. The past years I have been actively looking for collaboration outside the field of mathematics, and I will most probably focus more and more attention on this in future.”

The Väisälä prize was conferred on two researchers at a theme night of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters held at the House of Nobility on 9 December 2019. Besides Professor Kuusi, Professor Goëry Genty also received the prize.

More details:

Geometric Analysis and Partial Differential Equations -research group

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Field of science Mathematics