Special Seminar: Mika Nieminen "Connecting People, Technology and Business with Education and Research"

This talk is arranged at the Department of Computer Science and it's open to everyone free-of-charge. The talk will take place at 09:00 in lecture room AS3, TUAS building.

Connecting People, Technology and Business with Education and Research

Mika Nieminen


Aalto university’s mission is to provide higher education based on research, and to educate students to serve their country and humanity. To promote life-long learning, and the societal impact of research findings. This mission statement implies that high quality research enables high quality education which leads to positive societal changes, both nationally and globally.

In this talk, I will demonstrate through examples how this connection between research, education and societal impact is not always so linear, but it has relevant loops. Education has societal impact of its own, it may lead to new research directions, and education provided by the university’s faculty can and should be augmented by practitioners from the industry.

No man is an island, and neither is User-Centred Design. It is contextual and requires an environment to inhabit. In my experience an interesting study topic must have at least two of the following three components: Novel emerging technology, challenging user group, and a real-life customer and/or context of use. Preferably all three.


Mika Nieminen is a Postdoctoral researcher and teacher at the Department of Computer Science, Aalto University. He received his doctoral degree in usability research from Aalto University in 2015, on the topic of User-Centered Design Competencies. His research interests cover user-centred design driven by emerging technologies, and involving hard-to-reach user groups to design processes. On education side, Mika has taught UCD methods, usability, and product and service design for over twenty years for varied audiences from bachelors to executive education. Currently he is actively developing the EIT Digital Master School, where he leads the Human-Computer Interaction and Design programme - a consortium of eight universities with over 140 attending double degree students each year. In all his activities, he seeks to enable seamless interaction between people, education, research and business.

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