Professors affiliated with "Human Mind in Changing World" profiling area (University of Helsinki PROFI2). In the University of Helsinki, PROFI2 consist of five focus areas (BLS, GLAW, HELDIG, INTERRUS, LEAD) and the backbone of the profiling measure are the tenure professors and their research groups hired with the profiling funding. In addition to the PROFI2 network, the professors belong to their own units and research groups within the faculties of the UH.

Professor of Russian Politics (profiling area INTERRUS)

Vladimir Gel’man as professor of Russian Politics focuses on issues such as political regime dynamics, political institutions, governance and policy-making, elections, political parties and political protests, and sub-national politics in Russia. During 2012-2017, he served as the Finland Distinguished Professor at the Aleksanteri Institute and was a cluster leader in the Centre of Excellence “Choices of Russian Modernisation”, funded by the Academy of Finland. Since 1996, he taught at the European University in St. Petersburg as professor of political science and specialized on Russian politics in a theoretical and comparative perspective with an expertise in authoritarianism, electoral and party politics, contentious politics, and regional and local government. Professor Gel’man is an author and/or editor of more than twenty books and author of more than 150 research articles, published in English, Russian, Finnish, and other languages. His current research concentrates on political and institutional foundations of quality of governance and policy conduct in Russia and post-Soviet Eurasia.

Professor of  Russian Big Data Methodology (profiling areas HELDIG and INTERRUS)

Daria Gritsenko holds a PhD in Political Science (2014) and a title of Docent in Environmental Policy (2018), both from the University of Helsinki. She specializes in public policy and governance, with a focus on the dynamics between the state and non-state actors in response to the changing natural and technological environments. Methodologically, she borrows across fields, combining methods from humanities, natural and social sciences. Her work appeared or is forthcoming in the Energy Policy, Energy Research and Social Science, Transport Policy, Geoforum, Policy Studies Journal, and Governance. In 2017, Daria co-founded Digital Russia Studies (DRS), a scholarly network aimed at developing new ideas for combining data science and social sciences. In 2018-19, she was a Scholar of the prestigious Fulbright Arctic Initiative.

Professor of Law and Globalisation (profiling area GLAW)

Jaakko Husa is Full Professor in Law and Globalisation at the University of Helsinki since April 2018.  Jaakko has held several full professorial chairs: Comparative Public Law (Uni Vaasa 98-03), Constitutional Law & Jurisprudence (Uni Eastern Finland 04-10), Legal Culture & Legal Linguistics (Uni Lapland 11-14), and Comparative Law and Constitutional Law (Uni Lapland 14-18). He is also an Invited Fellow with Maastricht European Private Law Institute and a Titular Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and an Invited Member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. 

Specialist areas include the theory of comparative law, comparative constitutional law, legal globalisation, and legal cultures. He is a firm supporter of internationally oriented legal scholarship and underlines the importance of studying law in context and in a multidisciplinary manner. He gives lectures, leads seminars and holds tutorials in global comparative law, comparative constitutional law, comparative legal linguistics, and comparative legal history.

Professor of Big Data Learning Analytics (profiling areas HELDIG and LEAD)

Petri Ihantola is an Associate Professor (tenure track) in the Faculty of Educational Sciences. His background is in software engineering and computing education research. Before arriving at the University of Helsinki in 2018, Ihantola worked as an Assistant Professor of Software Engineering at the Tampere University of Technology. Previously, he has also worked in software industry, e.g., as a Software Engineer in Test at Google in Ireland and in Switzerland between 2007 and 2009.

Ihantola's research interests span across educational data mining and building educational software with a particular focus on smart content, automated assessment, and learning analytics in computer science education.

Professor of Digital Learning and Learning Environments at Schools (profiling area LEAD)

Kalle Juuti is an associate professor in the Faculty of Educational Sciences. He has a teacher education background, and his research has focused on teachers’ professional learning and science education.

The aim is to better understand and enhance learning processes in digital environments and to better understand practising teachers’ endeavours to transform their teaching to meet the expectations of the 21st-century competencies that pupils need in digitalizing everyday life. This requires a design-based research approach in order to capture interesting learning science phenomena for research. This is done in collaboration with teachers.

Current research focuses on how to support students with digital collaboration applications to construct something new.

Professor of Religion and Digital World (profiling area HELDIG)

Dr Johanna Konttori is the acting HELDIG Professor of Religion and the Digital World for the academic year 2018-2019. She is Sociologist of Religion, working at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology. Her research interests include Muslims in Europe, the discursive construction of national identity, and more lately, religious literacy. As a researcher, she is an experienced user of online data, and as a teacher, of e-learning programs and applications. Konttori is one of the Editors-in-Chief of, an online science communication project, and a core member of the Argumenta-project on religious literacy ("Uskontolukutaito moniarvoisessa yhteiskunnassa", 2019-2020).

Professor of Law and Digitalisation (profiling areas HELDIG and GLAW)

Riikka Koulu is an assistant professor of Law and Digitalization and a postdoctoral researcher of procedural and insolvency law at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law. She is also the director of University of Helsinki Legal Tech Lab.

Her research focuses on on distributed technologies and their potential for conflict management, e.g. what would be the implications of building dispute resolution as smart contracts on the blockchain. This project examines the shifting meaning on trust as the focal concept of conflict management.

The work of the Legal Tech Lab examines the implications of digitization of legal services. The Lab hosts a variety of activities, including annual events such as Law and Digitalization conference in Helsinki in June and an interdisciplinary Hack the Law! in October.

Professor of Digital Social Science (profiling area HELDIG)

Krista Lagus is a professor of Digital Social Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Her research background is in applying AI methodologies for modeling, exploring and distilling useful representations from text data.  Applications have varied from text mining and visualization to brain-inspired language models. In the Citizen Mindscapes research consortium she examined the potential for bridging social scientific questions with data analytic approaches in innovative ways.  Medicine Radar, a case study on how people talk about their health, discovers a people's vocabulary of health and presents a search tool on a Finnish social media discussion data based on the discovered vocabulary [1]. 

Lagus aims at developing a positive culture of societal innovation in the field of social sciences. She is envisioning a future where the society can be examined in terms of information flows on a systemic level. To facilitate these developments, she is currently building the Centre for Social Data Science (CSDS) [2] jointly with others.  The aim of CSDS is to advance methodologically oriented, applied and theoretical research and teaching in the social sciences. CSDS promotes open data and open science, and the development of infrastructures for data. It also aims at increasing the collaboration between researchers and methodology experts both in terms of developing methods and in applied research.



Professor of Transnational European Law (profiling area GLAW)

Päivi Leino-Sandberg is Professor of Transnational European Law, University of Helsinki, and Deputy Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights where she currently leads two research projects relating to the use of legal expertise in EU law making, transparency and participation. She specializes in EU institutional and constitutional law, and has published in the areas of European administrative law, Economic and Monetary Union and EU external relations. She has previously worked as Academy of Finland Research Fellow and Professor of International and European Law at UEF Law School. In addition, she has held visiting positions at the European University Institute, NYU Law School and Sciences Po. Before returning full time to the academia in 2015, she worked for over 10 years as a legal adviser for the Finnish government participating in numerous EU and international negotiations and Court cases.

Professor of  Algorithmic Data Science with a Special Focus on Humanities and Social Sciences Applications (profiling area HELDIG)

Michael Mathioudakis is Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki. He conducts research in the area of computational social science and has worked on trend detection on social media, social network analysis, urban computing, political polarization on the Web, and fair-algorithm design. His research combines empirical data analysis of user activity on the Web, as well as the development of algorithms for big, complex graphs, with an application on social network analysis. He serves as a program committee member or reviewer for leading data mining and data management venues (TKDE, SIGKDD, PVLDB, IEEE ICDE, etc).

Professor of Russian Law and Administration (profiling areas GLAW and INTERRUS)

Marianna Muravyeva has worked as a researcher, trainer and professor for academic and non-academic agencies and projects, including the UN (UNDP program in Central Asia), NGOs (including women’s shelters in St. Petersburg) and a number of universities in Russia, Finland, the US and the UK.

Her research is interdisciplinary, bringing together history, social sciences and law to examine long-term trends and patterns in social development, with a special focus on normativity, gender and violence. Some of the most recent projects focus on family violence (violence against parents and domestic violence), the history of crime (homicide and, particularly, femicide), legal history, gender history, and history of sexuality. Currently, she is focusing on the study of everyday uses of law based on empirical data from Russian courts and how it contributes to thinking about rule of law and better governance.

Professor of  Digital Humanities and Global Interaction (profiling area HELDIG)

Eetu Mäkelä leads the Human Sciences – Computing Interaction research strand which sits at the intersection of digital humanities, computational social science, interaction design and data science. In our opinion, applying modern data processing to complex social and historical data works best when done in collaboration - between the social scientists/humanities scholars who have the questions, between the computer scientists who deeply understand the methods and between the institutions who own and best understand the data used. At its best, collaboration also has something unique to offer each of these groups inside their own field of study: scholars in the humanities/social sciences are able to tackle questions too labour-intensive for manual study, computer scientists encounter new and challenging use cases for their tools and algorithms, and institutions gain valuable insight into, and feedback on their own data collections and the way they present them.

Professor of Digital Learning and Work (profiling area LEAD)

Sami Paavola is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, and a leader of the Digital Learning and Work research group. The group belongs to the Center for Research on Activity, Development and Learning (CRADLE) which is a part of Learning, Culture and Interventions (LECI) expert group of the faculty. His main fields are technology mediated collaborative work and learning, and philosophy of learning (especially epistemology and methodology). The topic of his doctoral dissertation (2006) was on abductive methodology on searching hypotheses and new ideas. The other papers have dealt with metaphors of learning (acquisition, participation, knowledge creation), the trialogical approach to collaborative learning, and the use of building information modelling (BIM) in construction projects. His research has focused on models and theories on knowledge work and digitization, practice-based research methodologies, distributed cognition, and collaborative learning and work.

Professor of Digital Innovations & Consumer Society (profiling area HELDIG)

Minna Ruckenstein works as an associate professor at the Consumer Society Research Centre and the Helsinki Center for Digital Humanities, University of Helsinki. Her ongoing research focuses on digitalization/datafication by highlighting emotional, social, political and economic aspects of current and emerging data practices.

Ongoing research projects, involving doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers, focus on data activism, social and political life of methods, and everyday understandings of algorithms.

The disciplinary underpinnings of the work range from anthropology of technology, science and technology studies and communication to consumer economics.

Professor of Digital Humanities (profiling area HELDIG)

Mikko Tolonen is an assistant professor (tenure track) in digital humanities at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki. His background is in intellectual history and he is the PI of Helsinki Computational History Group (COMHIS) at Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities (HELDIG). Since 2015 he has been organising Helsinki Digital Humanities Seminar (#helsinkiDH). In 2015-17, as professor of research on digital resources, he worked also in the National Library of Finland and its project on digitized newspapers and Digitalia during its initial phase. Tolonen has played a relevant role building digital humanities infrastructure at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki since 2015. He is the subject head of digital humanities and he has designed the DH teaching module at the Faculty of Arts: He was recently elected to the executive board of European Association for Digital Humanities (EADH). He is also on the executive board of Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries (DHN). His current main research focus is on an integrated study of public discourse and knowledge production that combines metadata from library catalogues as well as full-text libraries of books, newspapers and periodicals in early modern Europe. Tolonen works also in other areas of Enlightenment studies, such as the intellectual develpment of Bernard Mandeville and David Hume. In 2016, he was awarded an Open Science and Research Award by Finnish Ministry of Education.

Professor of Russian Environmental Studies (profiling area INTERRUS)

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen is an Associate Professor in Russian Environmental Studies at the Aleksanteri Institute and Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, University of Helsinki, and a Docent at the National Defence University in the field of Russia’s energy and natural-resource policy. In 2011-2017, he was a professor in Russian Energy Policy at the Aleksanteri Institute. He leads several academic research projects and a team of 14 researchers ( that focus on energy and environmental policies, energy security, energy, societal power and culture in Russia and the post-socialist space. He has edited several books and published articles on these themes in journals such as Geopolitics, Sustainability, Europe-Asia Studies, Slavic Review, and Polar Geography. He outlines his multidisciplinary take on Russia – amalgamating the spatial approach of political geography with Foucauldian power analytics and Latourian actor networks – in his forthcoming book “The Energy of Russia. Energy Power, Hydrocarbon Culture and Climate Change” (E. Elgar Publishing, 2020).