Person of the Day: Professor Jari Multisilta

Jari Multisilta has two roles at TUT. In addition to being the director of the University Consortium of Pori (UCPori), he is a part time professor of multimedia. He has been at TUT since 1988, starting as a research assistant at the Computing Center. He was appointed to be the professor of multimedia at TUT in 2001.

Most of Jari’s time is devoted for fostering collaboration between the universities that have B.SC, M.Sc and PhD programs in UCPori, namely TUT, University of Tampere, University of Turku and Aalto University. There are altogether over 1100 students and 160 faculty members in Pori. Since UCPori collaborates closely also with the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK), the higher education collaboration in Pori could be described as an example for Tampere3.

Jari has been doing research on educational technology since 1990’s. He implemented one of the first www based courses on mathematics in the world already in 1994 (Matrix Algebra I) and was establishing the Hypermedia lab to TUT together with professor Seppo Pohjolainen.

Jari is also the associate professor at the faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Before starting as the director at the UCPori, he was the director of the Cicero Learning Network at the University of Helsinki for four years, 2011-2014. During the years, Jari has also been at Stanford University H-STAR institute as a visiting scholar for a few times, altogether 18 months. The experiences from the Silicon Valley has been a great source of inspiration for Jari. He would like to see more of positive attitude, support, sharing of ideas and encouragement among the researcher community.

In addition to academic outcomes, one startup has originated from Jari’s research. The company DiSEL21 Oy was established in 2015, and it is providing a video storytelling platform EdVisto for schools. The idea in EdVisto is that the students can create and share video stories collaboratively with others, and learn thru making content. The EdVisto platform supports for example inquiry learning, that has been introduced also to the Finnish National Core Curricula. Thje EdVisto has been used already in Finland, Greece, California, Spain, China and Singapore so far with students from the pre-school to higher education.

Currently, Jari’s research interests include mobile video storytelling, computational thinking and coding skills, games and gamification. You can find some of Jari’s work from the 2014 published book: Finnish Innovations and Technologies in Schools: A Guide Towards New Ecosystems of Learning edited by Hannele Niemi, Jari Multisilta, Lasse Lipponen and Marianna Vivitsou.

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Person of the Day: Professor Hannu-Matti Järvinen

Professor Hannu-Matti Järvinen is not the oldest member of the laboratory by his age, but he has worked here longer than anybody else of the current faculty, from the first of April, 1983. At that time, he was still a student, and started to write his master’s thesis on remote control systems for electric power plants. On those days, one of the most famous things at TUT were the micromice. He participated in the making of the three newest mice during his studies and even after his graduation.

His interest in technology started in late 1960’s, when he (as an elementary school boy) lived at a railway station. One of the personnel taught him how to operate a railway control board, i.e., turn the switches, set green light to the trains, etc. The system was built of relays, so pressing buttons caused audible clicking from the system room and, finally, the switches turned and the green light was granted. And, which was even more interesting, light turned back to red automatically when the train passed the signal. How was this possible? This made a preteen to find out how digital logic works and how one gets feedback of the position of the trains. The latter was also empirically tested, but not intentionally: one can enforce red light for an express train with a sled.

The first research project he attended was called Asento, Ada Software ENgineering TOols, which was built around the Ada programming language. This project was the reason not to leave the university when he graduated; it was part of the first big programme of TEKES, and it is said the main result of those projects were the researchers themselves, not the other outputs. Later followed DisCo, Distributed Co-operation, a project that produced a set of doctors, Hannu-Matti Järvinen being the first one in 1992. The research area of DisCo is still in his interests: distributed systems, action-orientation, etc.

Hannu-Matti Järvinen has always been interested in teaching, and his first experience in curriculum development comes from 1984, when the new curriculum of information technology was created. Later, in 1997, this interest made him the head of Department of Information Technology until departments were transformed to faculties and institutes to departments. He then worked as the head of the Department of Software Systems until it was merged with other departments. He has had and still has several positions of trust at TUT but also outside TUT.

The interest in teaching opened also a possibility for some doctoral students to make their dissertation on the area of computer engineering education. Currently his interests in research and teaching include educational technology, software testing and architecture, and action-orientation. Perhaps ethics in technology could be added as a new area of interest. He is actively participating in three or four programme committees of annual scientific conferences.

Hannu-Matti Järvinen has several hobbies: genealogy, country home, orienteering, railways, reading, poems, cats. Grandchildren are not a hobby but they and family are very important, too. Beware – if you ask him something about these, you have to be prepared for one hour lecture (minimum) about them.

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Seminars coming up in the spring

The lab is organizing several interesting seminar in the spring, come and join us discussing these contemporary topics:

Computer Graphics: An updated version of the old computer graphics course will return in periods 3 and 4 (Spring 2018) under the “TIE-12206 Post-graduate Seminar on Pervasive Computing” course name. This is a must if you are interested in game programming or have always wondered how 3D models can be converted to images with GPUs. The lectures will cover for example: graphics pipeline, shaders, rasterization, ray tracing, visiting lecture from Colossal Order, etc. The assignment is made with OpenGL/WebGL.  Contact Matias Koskela for more information.

Visualizing Software Development: a hot topic in software development is mining data repositories and developing visualizations from various kinds of software development data to increase visibility of software development processes to different stakeholders. If you’re interested in digging into data produced in the Continuous Deployment pipeline, developing tools to help find bottlenecks in software processes or learning about new visualization techniques, come and join us. This seminar also includes a practical assignment where students will develop small visualizations. This seminar is also arranged under the TIE-12206 Post-graduate Seminar on Pervasive Computing course name in periods 3 and 4. Contact Outi Sievi-Korte for more details.

Both seminars can be found in POP. A couple more seminars are also being planned, more about them later on.

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Suomi Finland 100 celebration

Congratulations Suomi, 100 years!

As a part of the celebration we release a special version of Kactus2 that is available only on Finland’s Independence Day, the 6th December 2017. This limited time edition is available for download here only today. For more information on Kactus2, see our post on the recent release.

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Person of the Day: Prof. Kari Systä

I’m on my second “stint” at  TUT and my cv consists of three parts

  1. 1980-1995 I studied Electrical Engineering and Software Technology, and worked in various research projects. The topics ranged from Ada-language, software visualization to formal methods.
  2. 1995-2011 I worked for Nokia Corporation. The list of technical topics I worked with includes digital TV, mobile Java, REST and Web as an application platform. I also participated in software process initiatives like introduction of Agile processes.
  3. 2011 I returned back to TUT and started as a professor of software engineering.

During these years I have seen tens on programming languages and thousands of technologies and methods – but I’m still searching for the perfect choices. So we still have research challenges.

Teaching

During the last 6 years been teaching the following courses:

  • Introduction to Distributed Systems
  • Introduction to Software Engineering
  • Software Engineering Methodologies (TIE-21106)
  • Software Design (TIE-20200)

The last two courses are under my responsibility during the academic year 2017-2018. In addition, I have been involved with Project Course on Pervasive Systems (TIE-13106) and Demola Project (TST-01606).

Naturally, I have also had and still have numerous master thesis students.

Research

In research I have two main interests:

  • Data Driven Software Engineering: modern developers use several tools that all collect data. It would be extremely interesting to use all that data for optimization and tracking purposes. One major project where I was able to progress with this was Need-for-Speed.
  • Liquid IoT Software. For decades I have been interested in moving code with applications like Liquid Software and programmable IoT devices. In addition, I have a concern of silos in IoT and thus I participate in projects like CityIot and Procem.

Publications

See TUTCRIS or Google Scholar.

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Advent calendar is here!

The highlight of the year, the hottest topic in the coffee room, the source for hollers of success when discovering you beat others to it, the beam of light in these dark December mornings, the coolest way to get your little grey cells activated first thing in the morning..

The Pervasive Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar is here!

The look on the lucky one who got to pry open the very first door and assemble the very first construction of the month says it all.

Outi was the joyful opener of the first door

You lucky earlybirds who find your way to unopened doors first thing in the morning, remember to take a picture of what you put together and tweet with #pervasive_advent –  or send the pic to the pervasive journalists who’ll be happy to do the tweeting for you.

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New Kactus2 release

Kactus2 version 3.5.0 has been released. The latest version features fully updated graphical user interface which better meets the expectations for modern desktop use. We continue our line of work for enabling full design parametrization from the highest level of hierarchy to the smallest design unit at the bottom. New editing options and support for more IP-XACT elements have been added to enable such product configurations. As always, we included a lot of quality-of-life improvements for even better user experience. For full details on the updates, see release notes in GitHub, or get the installer to try it yourself. Kactus2 runs on Linux and Windows.

For those unfamiliar with Kactus2, it is the first graphical open-source design environment targeted especially for embedded system and FPGA design. It was initially released in 2011 as part of a research project in collaboration with multiple companies in the industry and TUT has continued the development ever since. Kactus2 is based on the IP-XACT standard  which is widely accepted in the industry for vendor and tool independent exchange of intellectual properties (IP). Legacy IP can be imported using both Verilog and VHDL file format. Compared to other available tools the distinctive features are graphical user interface, ease of use and visualization of component (i.e. IP) registers and memory maps. Using the new Memory Designer the user can see the whole memory structure of the hierarchical IP in one view. For additional details on Kactus2 and IP-XACT, see the Kactus2 project webpage.

IP components are connected in graphical view of the design in Kactus2.

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Latest teacher assistant edition!

Hi lovely people! I am Joy Saina, the latest edition in the department. I am working as an assistant to Aino Ahtinen on the Psychology of Pervasive Computing course, as well as Cross-Cultural Design course. I am currently a student at UTA under Masters in Human Technology Interaction. I am currently working on my thesis; which is focused on interactive public screens.

Current interest: Trying to make ice swimming my new hobby, learning Finnish ( both of this have been on my current interest list for 2 years now…)

I love traveling, food, meeting new faces and learning new cultures
Drop by TF 207 for some small chat. I hope to meet most of you, if not all

It’s me, on the left!

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Person of the Day: Professor Kaisa Väänänen

 

 

Kaisa Väänänen has been a full professor of user experience – more precisely human-computer interaction / software engineering – in Tampere University of Technology since 2005. Prior to that, Kaisa worked for about ten years in Nokia, leading various user needs and consumer research activities. In TIE lab, Kaisa is the head of Human-Centered Technology research group IHTE. Research in IHTE focuses on user experience of mobile and ubiquitous systems with the aim of improving people’s quality of life through novel interactive technologies.

Kaisa’s study years were very international: During her studies of software engineering in Technical University of Helsinki, Kaisa spent a year in University of Minnesota studying artificial intelligence (yes, it existed already in 1980s!) and another year studying Human-Computer Interaction in University of London. In early 1990s, Kaisa worked as a researcher in Computer Graphics Center in Darmstadt, Germany where she obtained her doctoral degree in Technical University of Darmstadt.

Kaisa’s passion at work stems from the idea that people should be able to enjoy life in the world embedded with well-designed technologies. No one should suffer from bad user experience nor blame themselves for not being able to use new (or old) technology-mediated systems. There are no “stupid users”, just bad designs! That’s why human-centered design is so crucial in technology development.

At TUT, Kaisa has lead research projects in a broad spectrum of topics related to investigating and improving machines, mobile services and ubiquitous systems. Currently Kaisa leads, for example, research on how to improve electric bus passengers’ experience with novel digital services (the Living Lab Bus project). Starting in January 2018, Kaisa acts in the ALL-YOUTH consortium funded by Strategic Research Council (STN) associated with Academy of Finland. In ALL-YOUTH, Kaisa’s team will investigate innovative digital means to help young people to participate in societal decision making.

In the international research community, Kaisa has chaired various conference activities, especially in CHI, MobileHCI and Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM) conferences. Kaisa is also the head of the steering committee of MobileHCI conference series.

Since 2013, Kaisa is a member of the Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering in Academy of Finland.

Kaisa lives with her family in Pirkkala near Tampere. She believes that wearable devices can help keep up healthy work-life balance. Kaisa is especially delighted to spend time with her two wonderful teenagers, Samuel (born 1999) and Helena (2003). During her free time, Kaisa likes to do sports (gym, running, biking), travel all over the world, do renovation tasks in her house and meet up with friends.

See Kaisa’s homepage for more details of Kaisa’s professional activities and publications.

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Person of the Day: Professor Jarmo Harju

Jarmo Harju is a professor of telecommunications in the Laboratory of Pervasive Computing. As indicated by the area of the professorship, professor Harju was originally working in the Department of Telecommunications, and was specialized in communications software, protocols and networking techniques. In late 90’s a research group called Networks and Protocols Group (NPG) was established, and in the 2000s it has consisted of 10 – 20 researchers. Security issues were included from the start. From 2008, the focus of the group was gradually moving towards network and information security. Eventually, in the grand organisational restructuring of TUT in 2013, the group, now called NISEC, was moved to the Department of Pervasive Computing.

Currently, professor Harju’s role at the Laboratory of Pervasive Computing is to lead the NISEC group and take care of research, teaching and administrative duties typically belonging to a job of a professor.  As the retirement age is approaching, some responsibilities have been delegated to younger members of the group.

Some more information on Prof. Harju’s activities can be found on his website.

 

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