Hannu Toivonen

Prof. Hannu "Haba" Toivonen works in the areas of artificial intelligence and data science, especially in computational creativity and data mining.

Helppolukuinen tietokirja tekoälystä! Hannu Toivonen: Mitä tekoäly on? 100 kysymystä ja vastausta (Teos 2023).

Academic profile & affiliations

I am an AI researcher and Professor of Computer Science at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Helsinki.  I lead the Discovery Research Group, and I'm affiliated with HIIT and FCAI. I teach in the Data Science MSc programme and Computer Science MSc and BSc programmes.


Professor Hannu Toivonen is a leading expert in data mining and computational creativity. 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 summarization, computational creativity, and natural language generation.

Hannu Toivonen obtained his PhD in Computer Science in 1996 and has been Full Professor at the University of Helsinki since 2002. Hannu Toivonen was Vice-Dean of Academic Affairs of the Faculty of Science for 2018-21 (21 degree programmes, 6000 students), Head of the Department of Computer Science for 2007-9 (170 FTE staff), director of the Helsinki Doctoral Programme in Computer Science for 2007-11 (80 PhD students) and founding director of the Data Science MSc programme for 2016-2018. He has secured external funding for over 7 MEUR, including five EU projects and numerous domestic projects. Prof. Toivonen also has six years of industrial experience from Nokia Research Centre. He holds ten patents.

Hannu Toivonen has over 200 international refereed publications. According to Google Scholar, he has been cited 26,000 times and he has an h-index of 60. He served as Programme Chair of IEEE ICDM 2014, a leading data mining conference, of ICCC 2015, the International Conference on Computational Creativity, and of the AI, Arts & Creativity special track of IJCAI 2022. He is Editorial Board member of the leading journals and a regular Senior Programme Committee member of the leading conferences in his research areas.

Hannu Toivonen has been decorated as Knight, First Class, of the Order of the White Rose of Finland. He is a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters and of the Finnish Academy of Technical Sciences. He is also a honorary member of the computer science student association TKO-äly ry.


My publications are mainly in the areas of artificial intelligence, computational creativity, data mining and data science, and cover both their theory and their applications in numerous fields. According to Google Scholar, I have 26000 citations and h-index 60.

I'm the author of a best-selling Finnish non-fiction book on AI, "Mitä tekoäly on? 100 kysymystä ja vastausta" ("What is AI?").

Press and media

My work has been covered by international media such as MIT Technology Review, Wired, Deutsche Welle, New Scientist, The Wall Street Journal, CNET, CBC as well as Finnish TV and radio and Finnish press. The most recent public media appearances are listed below.

Scientific activities

Miscallaneous scientific activities, e.g., international programme committee membership.


Podcasts in English and Finnish


My work on computational creativity also aims at producing creative systems and artistic results.

  • See my research group's Art page for artistic outputs from the group.
  • Read about it in Suomalaisen mediataiteen ensimmäinen vuosisata (The First Century of Finnish Media Art; Parvs 2023), in chapter Tekoäly, luovuus ja taide (AI, Creativity, and Art), p. 167-171
  • My personal art page displays AI art produced with commercial tools and information about my personal art exhibits (in Finnish).

Visitor address
Exactum building, Room D220
Kumpula Science Campus
Pietari Kalmin katu 5, Helsinki