Prof. Hannu Toivonen works in the areas of artificial intelligence and data science, more specifically in computational creativity and data mining. He has introduced and solved several novel research problems in the area of data mining since the field was born in early 1990s; his definitions and algorithms have become standard references and textbook material in the field. He has since developed applications of data mining for gene mapping, context-aware computation, document analysis and summarisation, and computational creativity.

The current research focus of Hannu Toivonen is on using data science for computational creativity, on self-aware and creative systems, and on analysis and generation of natural language. Hannu recently served as Programme Chair of IEEE ICDM 2014, a leading international data mining conference, and of ICCC 2015, the international conference on computational creativity.


Hannu Toivonen
PL 68 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2b)

Mark's research interests lie in natural language processing (NLP), computational creativity and music processing/cognition. In all of these areas, he applies recent Machine Learning techniques to a variety of largely language-related how.

He is a postdoctoral researcher working primarily on two projects. Digital Language Typology investigates methods for automatically discovering family relationships between languages from text and speech material, with little or no prior linguistic analysis or resources. It focuses on low-resourced Uralic languages. Immersive Automation concerns building tools for the newsroom of the future, in particular using Natural Language Generation to automatically generate news articles from data.

Myriam Munezero is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. Myriam's main interests are in the areas of natural language processing and generation. She is currently working in the Immersive Automation project, researching varying language generation techniques to transform structured data into textual output, in particular text that has affect.

Myriam Munezero
PL 68 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2b)

Hadaytullah is pursuing his postdoctoral research jointly at Empirical Software Engineering (ESE) and Discovery groups. His research interests include software architecture, self-adaptive or self-* systems, and computational creativity.  He is exploring the possibilities of making self-* systems more creative using computational creativity techniques.

Anna Kantosalo started working as a research assistant for the Discovery Group in 2013. She received her MSc (Technology) degree from Aalto University at the end of 2014, and at the beginning of 2015 she started as a PhD student under Hannu Toivonen’s supervision at the group. Anna has worked in the CLiC project developing and testing the Poetry Machine system.

Anna’s research focus is Human-Computer Co-Creativity, a subfield of computational creativity interested in evaluating, designing, and modeling creative interactions between human and computational agents. She approaches the topic from a practical angle drawing methodology from her background in Interaction Design, as well as from a more theoretical angle, looking at abstract interaction in mathematical terms.

Anna Kantosalo
PL 68 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2b)

Simo's doctoral studies consider the intersection of computational creativity, autonomous agents and multi-agent systems. From a single agent perspective he is interested in how autonomous and self-adaptive agents can exhibit creativity both in their outputs and in their internal processes. In multi-agent settings his main focus is on how a group of creative agents can work together in novel ways to accomplish tasks that are not easily fulfilled by any single agent alone.


Simo Linkola
PL 68 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2b)

Khalid's research is focused on Linguistic Creativity, e.g. metaphors, from a computational perspective. His research explores how Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning can be utilised on corpora of text to interpret and generate figurative language automatically.

Khalid Alnajjar
PL 68 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2b)

Leo's current research interests lie in the fields of Natural Language Generation and Data Science, as well as their applications to different domains, especially automated journalism and automated report generation. He is currently working on the Immersive Automation research project to enable the automated production of engaging, data driven news content. Previously, Leo has worked on Learning Analytics, Educational Data Mining and Computer Science Education, fields which still remain close to his heart.

Leo Leppänen
PL 68 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2b)

Eliel’s research interests lie in machine learning, data mining, and natural language processing. He is working on the Digital Language Typology project concerned with the computational discovery of structural relationships between languages, in terms of various typological dimensions. The project is focused on low-resourced languages, calling for language-independent methods applicable to unannotated data.

Research assistants in the group:

  • Otto Hantula
  • Rola Alhalaseh
  • Jari Avikainen
  • Miika Leinonen
  • Keith Davis
  • Prof. Antoine Doucet (external member and frequent visitor 2012-; University of La Rochelle, France)
  • Dr. Tony Veale, University College Dublin, Ireland (visiting Professor 9-10/2014)
  • Assoc. Prof. Jiuyong Li, University of South Australia (visit 16.8. - 15.10.2010)
  • Dr. Floris Geerts, postdoc (9/2002-4/2004; left to University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr. Bart Goethals, postdoc (1/2003-9/2004; now professor in Antwerp)
  • Dr. Päivi Onkamo, postdoc (11/2002-12/2004; left to the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences)
  • Dr. Sebastien Mahler, postdoc (2/2009-7/2010)
  • Dr. Fang Zhou, postdoc (9-12/2012)
  • Dr. Alessandro Valitutti, postdoc (8/2011-12/2013)
  • Dr. Tommi Opas, external member, serial entrepeneur (2013)
  • Dr. Ping Xiao, postdoc (1/2014-9/2016)
  • Dr. Sirpa Riihiaho, postdoc (6/2017-2/2018)
  1. Dr. Kari Vasko, PhD 2004; left to CSC - IT Center for Science
  2. Dr. Petteri Sevon, PhD 2004; left to Biocomputing Platforms Finland
  3. Dr. Mika Raento, PhD 2007; left to Jaiku start-up, then Google
  4. Dr. Kimmo Hätönen, PhD 2009; employed by Nokia Siemens Networks
  5. Dr. Kari Laasonen, PhD 2009; left to Google Zurich
  6. Dr. Petteri Hintsanen, PhD 2011; left to GE Healthcare
  7. Dr. Fang Zhou, PhD 2012; left to University of Nottingham Ningbo China
  8. Dr. Mika Timonen, PhD 2013; employed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  9. Dr. Lauri Eronen, PhD 2013; left to Biocomputing Platforms Ltd Finland
  10. Dr. Esther Galbrun, PhD 2014; left to Boston University
  11. Dr. Joonas Paalasmaa, PhD 2014; employed by Beddit Ltd.
  12. Dr. Laura Langohr, PhD 2014
  13. Dr. Oskar Gross, PhD 2016; left to the Estonian Police
  14. Dr. Jukka Toivanen, PhD 2016; left to Utopia Analytics Ltd

If you are interested in joining the research group, please contact Prof. Hannu Toivonen. Depending on the funding situation, we often have vacant positions for postdocs, PhD students or trainees. Currently, we are especially looking for postdocs with background in computer science or language technology, with interests in topics such as natural language processing, text mining, data science, natural language generation, computational creativity.