Department of Computer Science

Distributed and Pervasive Systems

The Distributed and Pervasive Systems area spans from mobile networking and communications to distributed computing and Big-data. Such topics are extremely important and we expect they will dominate the ICT sector in the next few years. As equally important, research and teaching activities in this context target excellence at both national and international levels.

Research Focus

We envision the accelerated convergence of mobile and cloud computing technologies, and the maturation of big data in the coming years. Compute-intensive technologies like natural language processing, computer vision, 3D computer graphics, and machine learning will be widely applied in the emerging mobile applications. Furthermore, the focus of mobile sensing will shift from individual sensing towards crowdsensing, and the usage of data-intensive sensors such as cameras will increase rapidly, along with the pervasive availability of intelligent wearable devices such as Google Glasses. Accordingly, we are extending our current research on energy-efficient mobile computing, distributed cloud computing, and the Internet of Things, to solve the challenges posed by the emerging mobile systems, applications, and services.

After 2002, altogether 21 doctoral dissertations have been finalized in themes related to Distributed and Pervasive Systems. Many of our doctoral students continue from their master studies in Data Communications Software. After finishing the doctoral dissertation the students have typically found job opportunities in the industry and some students have continued in academic career. Both options are typically open for our doctoral graduates. Our people has a wide range of research cooperation with the industry, including companies and institutes such as: CSC, Ericsson, F-Secure, HIIT, Microsoft, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Renesas Mobile, Sensinode, TeliaSonera, There Corporation, Tieto, Mohinet, TiViT, VTT, etc. Several companies also participate in teaching giving lectures, tutoring students and sometimes organizing special courses in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Teaching Focus

Distributed and Pervasive Systems is responsible for the fundamental bachelor level courses on computer networks in the the Computer Science and Engineering degree programme. At the master level, teaching includes advanced courses on computer networks, mobile systems programming, cloud computing, big data platforms, applications and services in distributed systems, research methodologies for network systems. The Data Communications Software major is a very popular study topic in Aalto; altogether 571 MSc students and more than 20 PhD students have graduated between 1998 and 2013. People involved in Distributed and Pervasive Systems have an extensive international cooperation network and a significant number of the master theses are carried out in the industry every year. After finishing their studies, students typically find a job in the industry where there is a high demand for experts in Distributed and Pervasive Systems. However, our students are equally competent for doctoral studies and academic career. During the last five years, they have finalised their master thesis in more than 35 companies and organizations such as: Accenture, Airwide Solutions, Analyse Systems Finland, Cesim, Commit, CSC, Descom, EADS Secure Networks, eCraft, Eniram, Ericsson, Espoon pursiseura, Futurice, Geometrix, Helsinki Institute of Physics, HIIT, IBM, Innofactor, Itella, Kronodoc, LiKeIT Solutions, Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulu, Mohinet, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, NorthID, Päijät-Hämeen koulutuskonserni, Reaktor Innovations, Risicum, Sampo Pankki, Spartagon Consulting, SSH Communications Security, Tieto, Ubisecure, Vianova Systems, Vilant Systems, Wapice.


There are five professors and six postdoctoral researches involved in the Distributed and Pervasive Systems research area in the Department of Computer Science, Aalto University: Prof. Antti Ylä-Jääski, Prof. Keijo Heljanko, Prof. Jukka K. Nurminen, Prof. Mario Di Francesco, Dr. Matti Siekkinen and Dr. Antti Siirtola. Lecturing and teaching coordination staff includes Prof. Sasu Tarkoma, Adjunct Prof. Pan Hui and Sanna Suoranta.

Distributed and Pervasive Systems Research Focus
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