Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis

Current

Doctoral Candidate in Applied Algebraic Geometry

16. November 2018

The Algebra and Discrete Mathematics Research Group in the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis is looking for a doctoral candidate in the area of applied algebraic geometry and algebraic statistics to work under the supervision of Prof. Kaie Kubjas.

Preference will be given to candidates with strong knowledge in algebra. Programming skills and experience in statistics, optimization and discrete mathematics will be greatly valued, but are not mandatory. An excellent command of English is required.

Review of applications will begin on January 1, 2019 and continue until the position is filled. See the whole announcement and apply here.


Crystal Flowers in Halls of Mirrors course - apply now

15. November 2018
The course - MS-E1000 Crystal Flowers in Halls of Mirrors: Mathematics meets Art and Architecture - is open to all from bachelor's students to doctoral candidates, from the fields of mathematics and technology to the arts, and from chemistry to business. A maximum of 50 students are expected at the course, and the application period ends 15 December. The course is worth 10 credits and it is held once every two years.

The course has been planned together with Reetta Kalajo Chief Curator at EMMA - the Espoo Museum of Modern Art, and Sanna Katajavuori, Cultural Producer at the Espoo Cultural Centre. The course will have several visiting lecturers. For example, EMMA experts and contracted artists bring out artistic and technical points of view pertaining to the design and implementation of the exhibition. Paul Jackson from Tel Aviv will hold a workshop for students as well as a public lecture on The Art and Science of Folding. Professor Toni Kotnik and producer of the exhibition, Pablo Riquelme, and their support teams will bring the architectural point of view to the course.

‘The course concentrates on setting up the exhibition, which will take place at the Espoo Cultural Centre. Taking part in the course requires more commitment than a theoretical course alone, because it is implemented as teamwork”, says Senior University Lecturer Kirsi Peltonen.

Participation in the course is possible even for those with a limited background in mathematics. Each group will have skilled students with as wide a range of talents as possible. The course is a unique opportunity to see the reality of people from other fields and to do work hands-on.

Further information on the previous implementations of the course and the Math & Arts whole.

Sign up in Oodi.

Send motivational letters as attachments to the MyCourses page of the course.


SCI Awards 2018 - Call for nominations open until Nov 16th

25. October 2018

SCI Awards celebrates the great work and achievements of our faculty, staff and students annually. As of 2018 the proposal form will be open continuously, so you can propose nominees throughout the year and the proposals will be reviewed annually in November.

For SCI Awards 2018 the proposals will be collected until November 16th 2018. Proposals starting November 17th will be included in the 2019 nominations and review process. You may propose a nominee in all of the categories, in just one, or anything in between. Please fill in a separate proposal form for each nominee. More information here.


High school students got a taste of the limitless possibilities of technology at Shaking up Tech

24. October 2018

200 young women from various high schools in Finland took part in Shaking up Tech event at Aalto University on the International Day of the Girl 11 October. The morning's talks from tech influencers—receiving loud cheers—outlined the various and exciting education and career opportunities in the field of technology.

Programmer and author Linda Liukas encouraged the students to reflect on their inner self and their own strengths to change the world—and find their own unique place in the world of technology.

Other speakers included Annu Nieminen from The Upright Project, Hanna Nikkilä from Microsoft, Professor of Energy Technology and Energy Economics Sanna Syri, Professor of Statistics Pauliina Ilmonen, and Irena Bakić who leads the CodeBus Africa project from Aalto University.

In her speech Annu Nieminen talked about using artificial intelligence to assess the overall impact of companies on the world, and Pauliina Ilmonen described her love for mathematical theorems and formulas and how easy it easy it is to mislead and create alternative truths with statistical information.

In the workshops, some of the participants got to combine mathematics and art, some had their first try at coding, while others had a chance to produce a new kind of cellulose-based textile fibre from recycled materials.

shaking_up_tech_sykemittari_700_400.jpg

One of the workshops was about constructing and programming a heart rate monitor. Image: Mikko Raskinen.

‘The world would be heading in a much better direction if everyone would be as open, curious and enthusiastic as the girls taking part in my workshop. It felt like they taught me more than I was able to teach them,’ says Linda Liukas.

During the study fair in the evening, students were able to get to know Aalto University’s study opportunities and student life, and also meet the event’s partner companies. At the fair, they were also introduced to Valo Motion’s Augmented Climbing Wall which took off from an Aalto University research project and has since been sold to multiple countries around the world.

Further information:

https://shakinguptech.com
https://www.instagram.com/shakinguptech/


Lecturer in Statistics

23. October 2018
We invite applications from talented individuals for a lecturer track position in statistics. The post will be filled on a fixed term or permanent basis at the University Teacher, University Lecturer or Senior University Lecturer level on the Aalto University lecturer track depending on the competence and merits of the applicant.

The successful applicant should hold a doctoral degree in statistics, operations research, mathematics, or a related discipline. The ability and enthusiasm to teach relevant courses on the bachelor’s level are central requirements. Excellent written and spoken English is essential. Moreover, Aalto University reserves the right to consider good command of Finnish as a decisive advantage when filling the position, because most of the bachelor’s level teaching offered by the department is in Finnish. Advancing diversity is a core value of the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis.

See the whole announcement with application instructions here. Application deadline is 30 November, 2018.

Lecturer in Mathematics

23. October 2018
We invite applications from talented individuals for a lecturer track position in mathematics.The post will be filled on a fixed term or permanent basis at the University Teacher, University Lecturer or Senior University Lecturer level on the Aalto University lecturer track depending on the competence and merits of the applicant.

The successful applicant should hold a doctoral degree in mathematics, operations research, statistics, or a related discipline. The ability and enthusiasm to teach relevant courses on the bachelor’s level are central requirements. Excellent written and spoken English is essential. Moreover, Aalto University reserves the right to consider good command of Finnish as a decisive advantage when filling the position, because most of the bachelor’s level teaching offered by the department is in Finnish. Advancing diversity is a core value of the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis.

See the whole announcement with application instructions here. Application deadline is 30 November, 2018.

For Chris Brzuska, truth and understanding are supreme virtues

20. September 2018

What kind of research do you do?

In April 2018, I started as an Assistant Professor at both the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis and the Department of Computer Science. My research is about cryptography and its connections to IT security, verification, complexity theory, algorithms, and discrete mathematics.

For four years already, I have been part of a vast, collaborative effort in analysing and standardising a new version of the TLS protocol. It’s the main protocol for secure communication on the internet, for instance online banking.

Our informal group includes experts from both industry and academia. The design of the protocol for secure communication is a huge task, and we are now in the final stages of the project. One of the difficulties is backward compatibility: we need to make sure that the new protocol is compatible with the old versions but does not inherit their security weaknesses.

How did you become a researcher?

When I finished high school, I had plans of becoming a very successful banker. Although the banking business was a lot of fun, I realised I was not really accelerating my personal growth. After only six months in banking, at the age of 19, I decided that instead, I want to become a researcher in mathematics.

I studied mathematics in Germany and in Southern France. During my master’s studies, I ended up in a computer science class designing secure cryptography against arbitrary and adverse algorithms. I enjoyed that a lot.

Marc Fischlin, the professor of cryptography at Technische Universität Darmstadt, offered me a PhD position in the same research area—and I accepted the offer. Soon I ended up at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton for six months, followed by Tel Aviv University and Microsoft research in Cambridge.

Finally, I started as an assistant professor for IT Security Analysis at the Hamburg University of Technology where I worked closely with NXP Semiconductors for two and a half years before moving to Finland and Aalto University.

What are the highlights of your career?

I rather enjoy the highlights every single day. I feel very lucky and grateful that I can interact with great people in a way that is beneficial for both them and myself.

What is the most important quality for a researcher?

In my opinion, a good researcher is interested in and committed to truth and understanding.

I find it meaningful and fulfilling that research allows me to grow my understanding, not only of cryptography, but of many other topics as well. In teaching, I have the chance to help my students grow their ability to understand, regardless of the topic. I find it very rewarding.

What do you expect from the future?

During the interview process, I came to Finland for several days and felt comfortable. Already then, I had a very strong gut feeling Aalto will be a good environment for research and teaching—and me personally.

I have started to collaborate with my colleagues in discrete mathematics, algorithms and IT security, and I have already taught my first class. I can now confirm that Aalto is a good environment for research and teaching—and I look forward to continue enjoying to be here.


Ahti Salo is the Espoo Ambassador of 2018

29. August 2018

Professor Ahti Salo is an internationally known and respected expert in operations research and an active member of Finnish and international associations in his field.

Professor Salo is the head of the Systems Analysis Laboratory research group in the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis. He has developed methods to support risk management, efficiency analysis and decision-making, and has led numerous projects in cooperation with companies and public organisations.

Currently Salo is the Principal Investigator of the six-year Platform Value Now project funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland. This project studies the platform economy from different perspectives. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Scientists and Parliament Members (Tutkas) and the Foresight Steering Group appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office.

”It has been fascinating to see how mathematical models help to foresee the development prospects of a rapidly developing platform economy and manage risks of cybersecurity,” says Professor Salo.

In addition to scientific positions of trust, Salo has taken part in the organisation of several international conferences in Finland and abroad. In 2017, he was the main local organiser of two international conferences held at Aalto University´s Otaniemi campus.

The Finnish Operations Research Society is considering applying to host the main European operations research conference in Espoo in 2022. Should this come true, the conference would bring 3000 participants to Finland.

“With the new metro line connecting Espoo to capital Helsinki and the development of the Aalto University campus area, Espoo is, by all accounts, an attractive destination for this type of a larger conference”, says Salo.

Further information on Ahti Salo: http://sal.aalto.fi/ahti


 


Medals for Aalto students in an international mathematics competition

16. August 2018

On July 22-28, a team of Aalto University students participated in the International Mathematics Competition for University Students 2018 in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. The team was very succesful, receiving three bronze medals by Alvar Kallio, Iiro Kumpulainen, and Timo Takala. The result was better than last year, when Osama Abuzaid was the only bronze medalist.

As in the International Math Olympiad for high school students, several medals of each colour were given. This year the requirement for a bronze medal was a position within the best 250 out of a total of 351 participants. The best competitors came from the universities of Saint Petersburg and Göttingen.

Participation in the competition was funded by the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. More information can be obtained from Pekka Alestalo, who acted as the team leader, as well as from the official website containing the results and the problems with solutions from all years.


Master's thesis worker to innovate packaging solutions

27. June 2018
Aalto University and VTT will set up a competence center CERES to develop new materials for securing a sustainable future. CERES will develop new materials for packaging, advanced textiles and separation systems, as well as semiconductors, composites and solutions for energy harvesting and storage. For this, plant-based biomass such as lignocellulose will be used to go beyond the materials produced from fossil carbon. Lignocellulose is thus the future plastics and much beyond.

The project is now looking for a

Master’s thesis worker

We are seeking to hire a full-time master’s thesis worker for a fixed term of 9 months starting in autumn 2018. Eligible applicants have completed most of their master’s degree studies. The responsibility of the master’s thesis worker will be to innovate paper/paperboard-based folding packaging solutions suitable for industrial production to replace plastic packaging. Applicants from various backgrounds ranging from engineering to design will be considered. Preference will be given to applicants with previous knowledge of paper/paperboard materials, but applicants do not have to be familiar with the mathematical background of folding. The School of Science, Department of Mathematics is coordinating the project.

Apply for this position no later than 31 August 2018 via this link, and attach the following documents:

-        an open application

-        cv

-        a transcript of records (does not have to be official)

Additional information: Kirsi Peltonen (kirsi.peltonen@aalto.fi).


Defence of dissertation in the field of mathematics, Mikael Laaksonen, M.Sc.(Tech.), 10.8.2018

18. June 2018

Mikael Laaksonen, M.Sc.(Tech.), will defend the dissertation "On Numerical Solution of Multiparametric Eigenvalue Problems" on 10 August 2018 at 12 noon at the Aalto University School of Science, lecture hall M1, Otakaari 1, Espoo. In the dissertation, methods for solving vibrations of structures with uncertainty in the material coefficients or the computational domain are studied.

Prof. Dr. Daniel Kressner, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, will act as the opponent. Custos is Professor Nuutti Hyvönen, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis. Dissertation press release is available at: http://sci.aalto.fi/en/current/events/2018-06-07-004/.


Agile security for cloud systems? Moti Yung to give a HAIC Talk at Aalto

12. June 2018

Yung is particularly known for coining the term ‘cryptovirology’ and the principles behind it. At his HAIC Talk he will explain how, in ‘the cloud era’, software design and security tool development should be able to keep up with the constantly evolving ecosystem and take note of how cloud systems keep evolving.

yung.pngAdhering to what he calls “agile principles” could also protect cloud systems from attacks and breaches.

‘In an environment where software development, updates and projects are always ongoing, also the cryptography and security designer should be in a state of adaptation to the system's evolution. I will demonstrate this in my talk based on a heavily-used real-world application,’ says Yung, referring to Google’s Advertisement Exchange, which supports the company’s multi-billion-dollar digital advertising.

Designing security tools and cryptographic solutions with the ever-extending scope and inevitable scaling up of the cloud system – such as Google’s Advertisement Exchange, Yung’s focus point in the upcoming talk – would be a way to avoid overly complex changes and loads of development overhead later on.

Yung finds an analogy of the ‘agility principle’ even for keeping every-day users safe from ransomware and all other kinds of attacks.

‘The two things people often think of only as disturbances – systems updates and backups – are in fact most essential! If everyone took care of them frequently, the window of opportunity for attackers would narrow considerably,’ reminds Yung.

Yung’s work on ransomware – the hijacking of systems or data from users or organisations and issuing demands for ransom for releasing the data – also becomes increasingly relevant with the current internet of things trend. The ‘things’ will enable new kinds of security breaches and attacks and prevention tactics need to be planned well in advance.

‘The merging of computing and physical devices will lead to new attacks where ransomware will be replaced by physical consequences.’

‘Any element of the new IoT systems will be a target, and there is not enough investment in their security. Ransomware could cause a man-made disaster if we do not secure the system-level infrastructure,’ believes Yung.

He also cautions that artificial intelligence applied without safety and security in mind will lead to attacks.

Moti Yung’s HAIC Talk The Advertisement Exchange: How to Develop Agile Cryptographic Support for an Evolving Ecosystem?, 19 June at Dipoli (Lumituuli) at 6 PM:
http://www.aalto.fi/en/current/events/2018-05-07-008

The talk is open for everyone, but please sign up in advance here:
https://haic-talks.eventbrite.com


Defence of dissertation in the field of theoretical and applied mechanics, Tom Gustafsson, M.Sc.(Tech.) 20.6.2018

25. May 2018

Tom Gustafsson, M.Sc.(Tech.), will defend the dissertation "Finite Element Methods for Contact Problems" on 20 June 2018 at 12 noon at the Aalto University School of Science. In the dissertation,  the discretization of variational inequalities using mixed finite element methods is studied. A special focus is on stabilized finite element methods and their reinterpretation as Nitsche-type formulations.

Professor Peter Hansbo, Jönköping University, will act as the opponent. Custos is Professor Rolf Stenberg, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis. Dissertation press release is available at: http://sci.aalto.fi/en/current/events/2018-05-08-007/.


Defence of dissertation in the field of mathematics, Pekka Lehtelä, M.Sc.(Tech.), 18.5.2018

16. May 2018

Pekka Lehtelä, M.Sc.(Tech.), will defend the dissertation "Generalized solutions to the porous medium equation" on 18 May 2018 at 12 noon at the Aalto University School of Science. In the dissertation, the connections between various classes of generalized solutions to the porous medium equation are studied.

 

Professor Matteo Bonforte, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, will act as the opponent. Custos is Professor Juha Kinnunen, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis. Dissertation press release is available at: http://sci.aalto.fi/en/current/events/2018-04-05-002/.


Page content by: webmaster-math [at] list [dot] aalto [dot] fi