Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis


New hourly paid teachers of mathematics and systems analysis for fall 2021

6. April 2021

The Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis is seeking

New hourly-paid teachers in Mathematics and Systems Analysis for fall term 2021

Your tasks include teaching in exercise groups and grading exercises and exams.

Regarding teaching in mathematics, we expect the applicants to have completed at least 20 credits of mathematical studies at university level with good grades. Regarding teaching in systems analysis (courses MS-C/E2xxx), we expect the applicants to have completed the course they are interested in. If you have previous experience in teaching, it is considered as an advantage, but is not necessary. This is a part-time job (2-4 hours/week). The salary is 30-40 euros/teaching hour based on your education level.

Grading exercises and exams will be (typically) compensated separately (300-400 euros depending on your education and the course level).

Apply for this job through an eRecruitment system

Attach a cv, a transcript of records, and an open motivation letter as one PDF file.

Deadline for the applications is Sunday 9 May 2021.

Based on the applications, we will invite some of the applicants for a web interview.

More information: 






More information:


Note: if you have previously worked as an hourly-based teacher at the MS Department, you will receive a separate link from johanna.glader(at) 



What trust gives us

18. March 2021

Filosofi Esa Saarinen, kuva: Mikko Raskinen

Like walking on thin ice – that’s what it feels like we lack trust. Progress becomes cautious and fearful. Philosopher Esa Saarinen says that when trust fades, the problems and suspicions that exist between people can grow larger. 

‘Anxiety sneaks in,’ Saarinen explains. ‘You start to wonder, is the ice strong enough to hold you if it’s already cracked in one spot? And you realise how good you had it when trust was strong.’

The Aalto University professor says it’s hard to be at the forefront of innovation if your mind is jammed full of thoughts of what could go wrong; worries gnaw away at creativity and attention is pulled to tangential matters that don’t progress your actual cause.

But just seeing someone else act in a steady manner, in a way that enhances trust, can banish those false concerns, Saarinen believes.

‘What garners my trust is fairness and uncompromising conduct that doesn’t come from a self-centred place. Put in ice hockey terms, I really admire people who don’t go for the impressive slapshot, but rather prefer the minimal, yet enormously effective, wrist shot instead,’ he jokes.

Trust also helps us make leaps forward. The fact is, sometimes people just don’t notice when something entirely new is on its way and this makes support from – and trust in – others so valuable.

‘If others show trust in us or what we’re doing, it’s easier to have faith in something that’s still finding its final shape,’ he says.

Trust is anticipating the future in the present

Developed with Professor Raimo P. Hämäläinen, Saarinen’s systems intelligence theory merges human sensitivity with engineering. The idea is that the structure of a system, for example, an organisation, will steer behaviour. But once an environment changes sharply and gives rise to uncertainty, its structures don’t usually tell how to act — this is when trust takes on a decisive role. Hidden individual resources that structures conceal can, in such situations, be revealed in quite surprising ways.

Read more here.


Defense of dissertation in the field of mathematics, M.Sc. Laura Jakobsson, 25.3.2021

10. March 2021

The thesis studies cellular resolutions and the invariants of resolutions of monomial ideals. The area of the thesis is combinatorial commutative algebra, and as much of pure mathematics, the studied questions in the thesis are motivated mainly by fascination towards these combinatorial mathematical objects and applying new tools to study them.
The questions on resolutions and their invariants have been around for a long time, and over the years they have become a rich topic, with a variety of directions including cellular resolutions. We look at cellular resolutions from a category-theoretic point of view and apply tools from representation stability to study them. Representation stability is a relatively new area of mathematics and uses abstract methods to study stability in families of mathematical objects.

The first part of the thesis focuses on cellular resolutions and categorical representation stability.
Among the main results is the definition of the category of cellular resolutions and establishing the basic properties for it. Furthermore, it is shown that important topological constructions, like the homotopy colimit, lift to this category and that discrete and algebraic Morse maps are morphisms in this category.
The category of cellular resolutions opens up cellular resolutions for applying tools of representations of categories, and the application these tools provides the remaining main results of the thesis. The most important result being that the particular families of cellular resolutions have finite generating sets for their syzygies. 
The second part of the thesis is on the combinatorial formulas for algebraic invariants of ideals coming from specific graphs, known as Booth—Lueker graphs. The invariants in question come from free resolutions and keep in the theme of the topics studied in the other parts of the thesis.

Opponent is Professor Anton Dochtermann, Texas State University, USA

Custos is Professor Alexander Engström, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis

The public defence will be organised via Zoom. Link to the event

Zoom Quick Guide

The dissertation is publicly displayed 10 days before the defence in the publication archive Aaltodoc of Aalto University

Electronic dissertation

Journal awards Emilia Lahti's sisu study as article of the year

22. February 2021

The first research article by Emilia Lahti, a doctoral candidate studying the Finnish construct of sisu was published in 2019. It was also the first systematic study on sisu. Now the International Journal of Wellbeing has recognised the research article as the best article of 2019.

In the article, Lahti analysed data from the responses of more than 1,000 people using thematic analysis. The accolade of “Best Article of 2019” is all the more special, as Lahti was the sole author of the paper.

‘It was a personal project and the task was challenging as a first article. By now I know that I do not always have to choose the hardest path available.’

Lahti's doctoral dissertation is a hybrid type, comprising of one published article, and three essay-type articles. In the other articles of her sisu dissertation, Lahti discusses her run in New Zealand as an experiential inquiry into sisu, while creating a theoretical frame of reference for sisu based on the Systems Intelligence theory created by Professor Esa Saarinen and Professor Raimo P. Hämäläinen.

The in-depth phenomenological study on the 2400-kilometre New Zealand ultra-run utilizes Lahti's own experiences, observations, and reflections.
Journal awards Emilia Lahti's sisu study as article of the year | Aalto University

Defence of dissertation in the field of mathematics, M.Sc. Lauri Perkkiö, 22.1.2021

8. January 2021

Opponent is Professor Herbert De Gersem, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany

Custos is Professor Antti Hannukainen, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis 

Contact details of the doctoral candidate: Lauri Perkkiö, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis, 0400620864,, Otakaari 1 F, room M329

Electronic thesis

SCI Awards 2020 celebrate our successes in a challenging year

21. December 2020

Scientific Communication Award

Pauliina Ilmonen

Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis

“Pauliina has been super active during this exceptional year explaining the spreading of the virus to the general public in various media. She is enthusiastic and engaging, and a great role model for girls and young women. Two years ago in her Shaking up Tech presentation, she stated that ‘Science geeks rock!’. She’s definitely a rock star of statistics.”

See Pauliina on Yle’s A-studio:

Team-building and Co-operation Award

Kendrick Bingham

Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis / SCI Technical Services

Kenny has had a key role this year in enabling the shift to hybrid mode of working for the School of Science and the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis. He has a wide general picture of the matters of the School and department. He is extremely helpful and positive in all possible ways. Kenny is helpful and inspiring, professional, and multiply skilled person when it comes to IT issues.

“Sometimes I wonder what are Kenny's tasks according to his job description - he knows about everything and at the same time is friendly and helpful. He is dedicated to helping others and in particular making researchers' life easier.”    

“Kenny is a genuinely cheerful and positive person. There is no such bad weather he wouldn’t cycle to work. And even if it would sleet horizontally, he would sing out very good morning to the department. A savior of mornings!” 

Teaching Award

Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis

"Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis transferred all the basic courses and exams of mathematics to remote mode very efficiently in spring 2020. More students than ever participated in these courses and overall the credit points given by the department increased by more than 30% compared to the previous year. In addition, the department offered summer courses online. In the autumn 2020 the departments’ service teaching was done in hybrid mode with lectures online and exercise sessions on campus. Due to the restrictions in group sizes, there were 150 exercise groups, and in the beginning of the semester the department stretched to organize even more groups to serve the high number of students.

To accept the award on behalf of the department we have: Pekka Alestalo, Ragnar Freij-Hollanti, Harri Hakula, Björn Ivarsson, Jukka Kohonen, Jarmo Malinen, Georg Metsalo, Anssi Mirka, Ville Turunen, David Radnell, Matti Harjula



Kaie Kubjas: It is important to encourage girls and young women to study mathematics

3. December 2020

When she was in the ninth grade at school, Kaie Kubjas’ physics teacher gave the girls in her class a different test than what the boys got. The reason was that the teacher thought that girls are not as good in physics. At the time Kubjas won second place in a regional physics competition in Estonia – and she was given the boys’ test by the teacher. Now Kubjas is a professor of mathematics at Aalto University, and the Deputy Convenor of the European Women in Mathematics association.

Photo: KukkaMaria Rosenlund.

‘Sometimes prevailing attitudes in society suggest that girls would not be good at mathematics. It is important to give encouragement to girls and young women if they are unsure of their abilities. Teachers can invite gifted girls and women to take part in training or competitions, for instance,’ Kaie Kubjas says.

‘My father studied mathematics and he never said that girls were incapable of doing mathematics or physical sciences. I was lucky that my family always encouraged my interest in mathematics,’ Kubjas adds.

Kaie Kubjas is from Estonia, a country where more than half of all mathematics students are women. Many of them also become teachers of mathematics.

‘I am surprised at the small number of women studying mathematics at Aalto. There are hardly any young women studying for a master's degree in mathematics. However, almost a quarter of the current professors are women. But where will the female professors of mathematics of the future come from if there are hardly any female students?’ Kubjas asks.

Kubjas has taken part in research around the world. In Berlin, there were some women among mathematics students, but she never saw any female professors giving lectures there. In Paris she did research at a department of computer science where she met no women as professors at all. The situation was better at an information and data systems laboratory at MIT in Boston, where there were some women both among researchers and professors.

Association activities

European Women in Mathematics is an association that was founded in 1986 and Kaie Kubjas started as its Deputy Convenor in July. It has 300-400 members. In addition to Kubjas, three researchers from Aalto are actively involved. Professor Camilla Hollanti has served as the association's treasurer for several years. Doctoral student Olga Kuznetsova is responsible for the association's website and its technical maintenance. Doctoral student Ellie Dillon writes articles for the group's newsletter and takes part in compiling the newsletter.

Activities of the association include a General Meeting, which convenes once every four years. In August 2022 it will be held in Finland. In addition, EWM events take place at the  European Congress of Mathematicians also held every four years. Local events are also held in different countries. There are also mentoring programmes, travel grants being distributed, and job openings being listed.

At present European Women in Mathematics has an ongoing appeal on behalf of women and researchers with families, who are just starting their research careers. Even in the time of the coronavirus women are generally more involved in caring for family members, be they children or the elderly. On the other hand, conferences have been cancelled and other types of networking among researchers has become more difficult, and these challenges are not equally distributed. The association is appealing to universities to extend fixed-term contracts for young researchers, for example.

‘The appeal now has over 800 signatures and many organizations have also expressed their support,’ Kubjas says.

The open letter will remain open until March 2021.


Defence of dissertation in the field of mathematics, M.Sc. Vesa Vuojamo, 11.12.2020

27. November 2020

Title of the dissertation is: “On Hypercomplex and Time-Frequency Analysis"

Opponent is Professor Paula Cerejeiras, University of Aveiron, Portugal

Custos is Professor Juha Kinnunen, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis 

Contact information of the doctoral candidate: Vesa Vuojamo, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis, +358500654241,

The public defence will be organised via Zoom.

Defence of dissertation in the field of mathematics, M.Sc. Marko Voutilainen,18.12.2020

27. November 2020

Title of the dissertation is "New approaches for modeling and estimation of discrete and continuous time stationary processes”

Opponent is Professor Paavo Salminen, Åbo Akademy, Finland

Custos is Assistan Professor Pauliina Ilmonen, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis 

Contact details of the doctoral candidate: Marko Voutilainen, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis,, p. 0404131617

The public defence will be organised via Zoom. Link to the event:

New epidemic modelling facilitates assessment of corona strategies

13. November 2020

he NordicMathCovid project aims to model corona and future epidemics more extensively than has been previously attempted. It also builds towards long-term cooperation in mathematical modelling and extensive collection of health data.

"’One of the purposes of the project is to compare different corona models and scenarios in different countries. For example, we can apply Swedish figures to conditions in Finland and Norway or see what would have happened if Sweden had acted differently,’ says Professor Lasse Leskelä from Aalto University.

Traditional epidemic modelling does not take into account the network structure, geographical location or human mobility. Modern network theory provides computational methods for modelling population contact structures, which is needed in order to assess, for example, the contribution of school closures towards slowing down the epidemic.

‘We are studying large populations. We do not assume that individuals are associated to each other on an entirely random basis; instead, we apply knowledge about how social networks are usually shaped: some people, such as superspreaders, have more contacts than others. In addition, social networks are clustered, which means that the connections are interlaced,’ explains Professor Mikko Kivelä.

The large variations in contacts, mobility and social activity in different population groups have a significant impact on the spread of the epidemic and the formation of immunity. In order to understand these phenomena, the project will develop new stochastic models.
Read more:

Defence of dissertation in the field of mathematics, M.Sc. Niko Lietzén, 27.11.2020

10. November 2020

Title of the dissertation is: "On blind source separation under exotic data structures"

Opponent is Professor Davy Paindaveine, Universite de Libre Bruxelles, Belgium

Custos is Assistan Professor Pauliina Ilmonen, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis 

Contact details of the doctoral candidate: Niko Lietzén, matematiikan ja systeemianalyysin laitos, tel. +358408374036,

Electronic dissertation

The public defence will be organised via Zoom.

Defence of dissertation in the field of mathematics, Antti Ojalammi, M.Sc.13.11.2020

28. October 2020

Title of the dissertation is: "Solution of coupled acoustic eigenvalue problems".

Opponent is Professor Kathrin Smetana, University of Twente, The Netherlands

Custos is Professor Antti Hannukainen, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis 

Contact details of the doctoral candidate: Antti Ojalammi, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis, tel. 050 410 3187,

The public defence will be organised via Zoom.

Electronic dissertation

Zoom Quick Guide: dissertation is publicly displayed as online display 10 days before the defence at:


Defence of dissertation in the field of mathematics, Msc Mohamed Taoufiq Damir, 6.11.2020

28. October 2020

Title of the dissertation is "Well-rounded lattices and applications to physical layer security".

Physical layer communication is a family of methods and techniques that are dedicated to ensuring reliability and security by exploiting noisy communication channels’ characteristics.

In plain terms, the present thesis is devoted to using our understanding of the noise to propose reliable and secure codes. Indeed, one can define a reliable communication system as a system where the probability of error is as small as possible. Similarly, a secure communication scheme can be seen as a system where the chances of an eavesdropper recovering the message are minimal. In the wireless setting, these optimisation problems can be again translated to finding configurations of points in Euclidean space satisfying some given properties. In fact, one can represent signals of finite bandwidth by points in Euclidean space, and this representation allowed mathematicians to see codewords or messages as geometric objects. More precisely, we can consider cookbooks as discreet sets in Euclidean spaces.

Lattices are simply discrete subgroups of Euclidean spaces. Consequently, many reliability and security problems can be reformulated as optimisation problems on the space of all lattices.

The space of all lattices has many technical difficulties, thus, a natural direction to take is to restrict our problems to “smaller” subspaces, in our case, we considered a particular subset of lattices called well rounded lattices, and our investigation laid on studying the restriction of some communication problems to these lattices.

The significance of this restriction can be supported by the fact that well rounded lattices are rare among all lattices. Hence, constructing them is also an interesting problem in its own right. Our study is further supported by explicit constructions where we used number theoretic methods or more precisely the arithmetics of number fields to capture the well roundedness property.

Opponent is Professor Kazim Büyükboduk, University College Dublin, Ireland

Custos is Professor Camilla Hollanti, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis 

Contact information of the doctoral candidate: Mohamed Taoufiq Damir, 0505215321, /

The public defence will be organised via Zoom. The link will be added here later.

Zoom Quick Guide: dissertation is publicly displayed as online display 10 days before the defence at:


A new interpretation of quantum mechanics suggests that reality does not depend on the person measuring it

9. October 2020

In their most recent article, Finnish civil servants Jussi Lindgren and Jukka Liukkonen, who study quantum mechanics in their free time, take a look at the uncertainty principle that was developed by Heisenberg in 1927. According to the traditional interpretation of the principle, location and momentum cannot be determined simultaneously to an arbitrary degree of precision, as the person conducting the measurement always affects the values.

However, in their study Lindgren and Liukkonen concluded that the correlation between a location and momentum, i.e. their relationship, is fixed. In other words, reality is an object that does not depend on the person measuring it. Lindgren and Liukkonen utilized stochastic dynamic optimization in their study.  In their theory’s frame of reference, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is a manifestation of thermodynamic equilibrium, in which correlations of random variables do not vanish.

Further information:

Article: The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as an Endogenous Equilibrium Property of Stochastic Optimal Control Systems in Quantum Mechanics

Jussi Lindgren

Jukka Liukkonen


Summer 2021 Bridges conference

16. December 2019
Due to the covid-19 pandemic we will not be able to hold the Bridges Conference planned for Aalto University in August 2020.  We will continue to process the papers for the Proceedings as planned, so authors of accepted papers will have their work officially recognized as reviewed and published.  There will be a new paper cycle for the next Bridges Conference in the summer of 2021. More information can be found on the conference website.

28th Nordic Congress of Mathematicians

27. November 2019
28th Nordic Congress of Mathematicians, Aalto University, Finland, August 18-21, 2022

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