Aalto Science Institute (AScI)

Aalto Science Fellows

The Aalto Science Institute Fellowships are designated for young scientists of great promise who demonstrate exceptional abilities in research. Recipients will receive extensive support to pursue independent and original research across the sciences, free of administrative requirements.
Aalto University/Fellows

AScI Alumni fellows

Per Austrin (2012–2013)

Per Austrin was born in Sweden.  He received his PhD in 2008 from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Following this he spent a semester at Institut Mittag-Leffler, one year at New York University as a Research Scientist, and two years at the University of Toronto as a post-doc. His research area is computational complexity, with a focus on approximation algorithms and their limitations. From the beginning of 2013 Per Austrin has been appointed as associate Professor at KTH. He continues at his Aalto Science Fellowship until summer 2013 on a part-time contract.

Marcelo Dias (2014–2016)

Marcelo Dias was born in Brazil. In 2005 he received a B.Sc. degree in Physics from the State University of São Paulo, Brazil. He continued on the academic path and received a M.Sc. in Theoretical Physics from the same university in 2007. In the fall of 2007, he started the physics graduate program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA. During that time his research focused on problems related to soft condensed matter, more specifically the geometry and mechanics of shape formation in nature and in engineer applications. He received his Ph.D. degree in Physics in September of 2012. Soon after, he joined the School of Engineering at Brown University as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, where he worked on questions related to biophysics, locomotion at Low-Reynolds number hydrodynamics, fluid-structure interactions, and shape transformation in Liquid-Crystal Elastomers.

His research interests lie within a broad range of topics in theoretical soft condensed matter. He uses techniques in Differential Geometry and Continuum Mechanics to understand how mechanical properties, that an elastic body acquires, arise from a careful design of its internal geometry rather than from its material composition. Understanding these questions is relevant to shine light on topics such as shape formation in nature, biomechanics, mechanics of structured materials, controlled design and functionality of thin plates and shells. Marcelo Dias's fellowship is together with Nordita.

Viveka Erlandsson (2013–2017)

Viveka Erlandsson was born in Sweden. She received her B.Sci. and MA degrees in mathematics from San Francisco State University, and her PhD degree in mathematics from the City University of New York.

Her research interests lie in hyperbolic geometry and its related fields. In particular she studies higher dimensional real as well as complex hyperbolic spaces, and the discrete groups and quasi-isometries acting on these spaces. She defended her thesis entitled "The Margulis region in hyperbolic 4-space" in 2013.

Filippo Federici Canova (2015–2017)

Filippo was born in Italy where he got an M.Sc. in experimental physics. He then moved to Helsinki and Tampere where, in September 2012, he obtained a Ph.D. in computational physics, focussing on theoretical modelling of atomic force microscopy. Right after graduation he went to Tohoku University, Japan, where he worked as associate researcher until January 2015.

During his research career, he collected experience of various computational tools for solving physics problems, such as molecular dynamics and ab-initio calculations, up to meso- and macro-scale modelling. His recent activities include the study of atomic-scale friction and lubrication dynamics of ionic liquids, and in particular, how to connect atomistic simulations to macroscopic measurements using multi-scale models. Among his interest also include machine-learning techniques such as neural networks and evolutionary algorithm, and their application to physical problems.

Eve Hoggan (2013–2016)

Eve Hoggan was born in the UK. She received her M.A. in Computing Science and Music in 2005 and Ph.D. in Computing Science in 2010 from the University of Glasgow, UK. During her Ph.D. she undertook internships in Nokia Research Center, Helsinki and Telefonica I+D, Barcelona. Following her Ph.D., she spent 3 years at the University of Helsinki as a post-doc. Her thesis was entitled “Crossmodal Audio and Tactile Interaction with Mobile Touchscreens”.

Her current research focuses on the creation of novel interaction techniques, interpersonal communication and non-visual multimodal feedback. The aim of her research is to use multimodal interaction and varying form factors to create more natural and effortless methods of interaction between humans and technology regardless of any situational or physical impairment. Eve Hoggan's fellowship is mainly funded by Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher grant.

Kaie Kubjas (2013–2017)

Kaie Kubjas was born in Tartu, Estonia. She received her undergraduate degree in mathematics from University of Tartu. She moved to Berlin for her graduate studies and will be completing her PhD in mathematics in May 2013 at Free University Berlin. During her doctorate she studied algebraic and combinatorial properties of statistical models coming from evolutionary biology.

Her main research interest is applying combinatorial methods to problems coming from applications.

Daniel Rayneau-Kirkhope (2012–2015)

Daniel Rayneau-Kirkhope was born in Oxford, UK. He received an M.Sci. degree in Mathematical Physics in 2008 from the University of Nottingham (UK), completing a masters research project in the field of random sequential adsorption. Continuing work at the University of Nottingham he completed his Ph.D. in physics with a thesis entitled “Statistical Physics of Structural Design” (2012).

His current research focuses on problems of structural optimisation approached through both analytic and computational methods. Examples of highly complex architectures achieving particular structural properties are widespread in nature: the tendon as a tension bearing linkage, the bone as a structural scaffold and the cellulose aggregates in wood for structural stability, to name but a few. The functionality of these examples depends on structural hierarchy: the structure’s stability at one length-scale is dependent on a substructure of a smaller length-scale (this substructure may or may not have internal, non-trivial, substructure). The effect of this hierarchy and the theoretical limit of fractal design has been a particular focus of much of his work. Daniel Rayneau-Kirkhope received Academy of Finland's Postdoctoral Researcher's funding and continued his research at the Aalto University School of Science Department of Applied Physics research group on Molecular Materials.

Cordian Riener (2012–2016)

Cordian Riener was born in Memmingen, Bavaria. After finishing Gymnasium (highschool) he started to study Mathematical Economics in Ulm, where he in 2003 also began studies towards a Bachelor of Philosophy degree. In 2004 he was studying in Bordeaux, France, where he graduated with a Master's degree in Mathematics. Back in Germany Riener did an internship in a bank before finishing his Mathematical Economics and Philosophy studies. In 2007 he began his PhD in Mathematics at the University of Frankfurt, under the supervision of Thorsten Theobald. He defended his thesis "Symmetries in Semidefinite and Polynomial Optimization" in 2011. Since April 2011 he has been an Associated Fellow at the Zukunftskolleg at the University of Konstanz.

His research focuses on optimization whereby he tries to exploit structure in order to make hard problems easier.

Louis Theran (2014–2016)

Louis Theran was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He received a BS (2005), MS (2006), and PhD (2010) in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Theran has held postdoctoral appointments at Temple University and Freie Universität Berlin. Additionally, he has been on the research staff at the Open Software Foundation and Nokia Research Center.

Theran’s work focuses on discrete geometry. He is particularly interested in the rigidity and flexibility of frameworks and linkages with connections to applied problems in chemistry and physics. Theran also has an active interest in machine learning.

Charalampos E. Tsourakakis (2013–2014)

Charalampos E. Tsourakakis was born in Heraklion, Greece. He received a Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in 2006. After spending a year in the National Centre for Scientific Research Demokritos, he joined Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). He holds a Master of Science in Machine Learning (2010) and a Ph.D. from the interdisciplinary program Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization (2013). During his Ph.D. he spent two internships in Yahoo! (Barcelona) and Microsoft Research (Cambridge).

His research focuses on mathematical and algorithmic analysis of network and biological data. Specifically, he works on random graphs, efficient algorithm design for large-scale graphs and cancer evolution.

Martha Arbayani Zaidan (2015–2017)

Martha Arbayani Bin Zaidan was born in 1986, in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. In 2007, he received a BEng degree (with Cumlaude) in Electrical Engineering from Trisakti University, Indonesia. He holds MSc (Eng.) degree (with Distinction) in Control Systems in 2009 from Department of Automatic Control & Systems Engineering (ACSE), The University of Sheffield, UK. He earned his PhD as a Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award (DHPA) scholar in early 2014 from Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for control and monitoring systems, at the University of Sheffield, UK, where his research was supported by aerospace industries, such as Rolls-Royce plc and Controls Data Services. His research focused on advanced Bayesian approaches for aerospace gas turbine engine prognostics. Soon after that, he joined Centre of Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) at University of Maryland, College Park, USA to work as a Postdoctoral Research Associate on Prognostics and Health Monitoring (PHM). On the spring 2015, he spent one semester as a Visiting Faculty at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, where he taught courses on control systems engineering and engineering dynamic.

His research interests are in Machine Learning, Health Monitoring Technologies, Intelligent Control Systems, Systems Identification and various applications including bio-medical robotics, twin rotor dynamics, gas turbine engines, applied physics and other intelligent systems. His current research focuses on machine learning strategies for intelligent health monitoring and applied physics (materials and atmosphere sciences). Martha Arbayani Bin Zaidan's fellowship is mainly funded by Aalto Science Institute (AScI) and Centre of Excellence in Computational Nanoscience (COMP), Aalto University, Finland.


Publications Aalto Science Institute





1. Louis Theran, Anthony Nixon, Elissa Ross, Mahdi Sadjadi, Brigitte Servatius, Michael Thorpe; Anchored boundary conditions for locally isostatic networks; Physical Review E (to appear)


2. Karim A. Adiprasito, Arnau Padrol, Louis Theran; Universality theorems for inscribed polytopes and Delaunay triangulations; Discrete & Computational Geometry, 2015.


3. Justin Malestein, Louis Theran; Frameworks with forced symmetry I: reflections and rotations; Discrete & Computational Geometry, 2015.


4. Franz J. Király, Louis Theran, Ryota Tomioka; The algebraic combinatorial approach for Low-Rank Matrix Completion; Journal of Machine Learning Research, 2015.


5. Paul Goerlach, Cordian Riener and Tillmann Weisser, Deciding positivity of multisymmetric polynomials. Journal of Symbolic Computation, 2015.


6. Kaie Kubjas, Low degree minimal generators of phylogenetic semigroups. European Journal of Mathematics 1(1), 2015, pp. 2–24.


7. Viveka Erlandsson and J. Souto, Counting Curves in Hyperbolic Surfaces, ArXiv (2015).


8. Saugata Basu and Cordian Riener, On the isotypic decomposition of cohomology modules of symmetric semi-algebraic sets: polynomial bounds on multiplicities, ArXiv (2015).


9. Viveka Erlandsson and S. Zakeri, On Margulis cusps of hyperbolic 4-manifolds, Geometriae Dedicata 174 (2015) 75-103


10. Viveka Erlandsson and S. Zakeri, A discreteness criterion for groups containing screw translations, Contemporary Mathematics 639 (2015) 235-242


11. Filippo Federici Canova, Masashi Mizukami, Takako Imamura, Kazue Kurihara and Alexander L. Shluger, Structural stability and polarisation of ionic liquid films on silica surfaces, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015,17, 17661-17669


12. M. Krieger, M. A. Dias, and T. R. Powers; Minimal model for transient swimming in a liquid crystal, The European Physical Journal E 38, 8, 94 (2015).


13. A. Cetin, A. Roiko and M. Lind, Towards proper sampling and statistical modelling of defects, Fatigue & Fracture of Engineering Materials & Structures, Volume 38, Issue 9, (2015) 1056–1065.


14. Kaie Kubjas, Zvi Rosen: Matrix Completion for the Independence Model, arXiv (2014).


15. Rob H. Eggermont, Emil Horobet, Kaie Kubjas: Algebraic boundary of matrices of nonnegative rank at most three, arXiv (2014).


16. Kaie Kubjas, Elina Robeva and Bernd Sturmfels. Fixed Points of the EM Algorithm and Nonnegative Rank Boundaries. Annals of Statistics, 43(1):422-461, 2015.


17. Kaie Kubjas and Christopher Manon. Conformal blocks, Berenstein-Zelevinsky triangles and group-based models. Journal of Algebraic Combinatorics, 40(3):861-886, 2014.


18. Cordian Riener, Symmetric semi-algebraic sets and non-negativity of symmetric polynomials, Journal of Pure and Applied Algebra, ArXiv (2014).


19. Cordian Riener and Saugata Basu, Bounding the equivariant Betti numbers and computing the generalized Euler-Poincaré characteristic of symmetric semi-algebraic sets, ArXiv (2014).


20. Arnau Padrol and Louis Theran. Delaunay triangulations with disconnected realization spaces. SOCG'14 Proceedings of the thirtieth annual sympsium on Computational geometry, ACM New York, 2014.


21. Michiel Spapé, Eve Hoggan, Giulio Jacucci and Niklas Ravaja. The meaning of the virtual midas touch: An ERP study in economic decision making. Psychophysiology 2014.


22. M. A. Dias and B. Audoly, “Wunderlich, meet Kirchhoff”: A general and unified description of elastic ribbons and thin rods, Journal of Elasticity (2014).


23. Daniel Rayneau-Kirkhope, Yong Mao and Robert Farr

Imperfections in a 2 dimensional hierarchical structure Phys Review E, 89, 023201 (2014)


24. Cordian Riener and Gregoriy Blekherman, Symmetric nonnegative forms and sums of squares, ArXiv (2013)


25. Viveka Erlandsson The Margulis region and screw parabolic elements of bounded type (Bull. London Math. Soc. 45 (2013), 1209-1220)


26. Hoggan, E., Nacenta, M., Kristensson, P. O., Williamson, J., Oulasvirta, A., & Lehtiö, A. (2013). Multi-touch pinch gestures: performance and ergonomics. In Proceedings of the 2013 ACM international conference on Interactive tabletops and surfaces (pp. 219-222). ACM.


27. Cordian Rienar, Thorsten Theobald, Lina Jansson Andrén, and Jean Bernard Lasserre

Exploiting Symmetries in SDP-Relaxations for Polynomial Optimization

Mathematics of Operations Research 38(1), 122-141 (2013)


28. Athukorala, K., Hoggan, E., Lehtiö, A., Ruotsalo, T. and Jacucci, G. (2013). Information‐seeking behaviors of computer scientists: Challenges for electronic literature search tools. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 50(1), 1-11.


29. Charalampos E. Tsourakakis, Andrzej Dudek, Alan Frieze (2013) Rainbow Connection of Random Regular Graphs (pp.1-16)


30. Athukorala, K., Hoggan, E., Lehtiö, A., Ruotsalo, T., & Jacucci, G. Information-Seeking Behaviors of Computer Scientists: Challenges for Electronic Literature Search Tools (2013). In Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T).


31. P. Austrin, P. Kaski, M. Koivisto, and J. Määttä, Space–time tradeoffs for subset sum: an improved worst case algorithm, Proceedings of the 40th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP 2013, Riga, July 8–12, 2013), Lecture Notes in Computer Science 7965, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2013, pp. 45–56.


32. Daniel Rayneau-Kirkhope, Yong Mao and Robert Farr

Optimization of fractal space frames under gentle compressive load (2013). Physics Review E, 87, 063204


33. Daniel Rayneau-Kirkhope, Yong Mao and Robert Farr

Ultralight Fractal Structures from Hollow Tubes (2012). Physics Review Letters, 109, 204301


34. Daniel Rayneau-Kirkhope, Yong Mao and Robert Farr

Towers of Strength

UK Institute of Physics, Physics World Magazine (2013)


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