5G Hack the Mall empowers next generation of innovation

Otaniemi is the international inspiration hub on everything 5G this summer. Everyone had the ability to register for the open, challenge-based online course.
Four people sitting in a studio on bright orange sofas discussing
Studio in Otaniemi also hosted discussions between students and experts. Image: Start North

Aalto University campus in Otaniemi is at the heart and centre of what is a joint effort to bring new solutions enabled by 5G technology into being. 5G Hack the Mall is an open-for-all online course where students develop ideas for 5G services together with companies. Live online lectures are broadcast from Otaniemi to students in 33 countries. In addition, the course brings together visiting lecturers from top universities, live from around the world.

‘5G solutions have the potential to be an essential part of how the world answers to challenges posed by COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis. We’re glad that this joint effort from universities, partner companies, and our organizing team has built this concept that can inspire hundreds of students in every edition,’ Dr Jari Handelberg, the responsible teacher for the course and the chairperson of Start North community, praises.

The course has welcomed experts from both academia and business to share their takes on 5G. Professor Mischa Dohler (King’s College London), Professor Muriel Médard (MIT), Professor Katina Kralevska (NTNU), Senior Manager Peik Schulman (Ernst & Young) and student project mentors such as Peter Vesterbacka and Kustaa Valtonen, among others, have joined Aalto faculty in teaching this summer.

5G Hack the Mall is organised for the first time as part of Aalto Summer School, which welcomes all students to experience Aalto University. ‘There is a high demand for challenge-based online learning opportunities globally. Although we cannot welcome large groups of students currently to Otaniemi campus, we hope that they get valuable academic experiences through live lectures and working on company provided real-life challenges related to 5G technologies,’ Head of Summer School Laura Sivula highlights.

The concept started last year with, as the name signals, hacking the mall and finding 5G solutions to support shopping malls around Finland and also internationally. Since then, the concept has developed to a keychain solution to bring a temporary 5G network to wherever fresh insight into the topic is needed. The team behind the course continues to develop solutions where 5G can be used to support learning, for example through augmented reality.

‘I hope that Finland manages to seize the momentum on 5G. Our key message is that 5G is no longer exclusive to top researchers, but rather the technology is ready for practical use. Not only for manufacturing but also in health care and education innovations. This needs multidisciplinary co-operation, for which we prepare our students,’ Handelberg elaborates.

(The article continues after the photos.)

Companies and young education advocates in collaboration

5G Hack the Mall is coordinated by Start North, a student-driven community that produces dynamic learning solutions in co-operation with educational institutions such as Aalto University. Their active members are mostly young individuals who have recently graduated from high school, looking to start their university studies. Start North introduces students to experts from business and academia, encouraging direct communication on the courses.

‘For this course, we have lectures ranging from the technical execution of 5G networks to managerial implementations of the technology. We want to challenge how education is viewed, and provide though-awakening experiences to our students,’ Community Manager Lauri Hollo from Start North explains.

The intensive 2-week course experience is now in its second week, and students are working on their solutions to 5G related challenges. On Friday, students pitch their ideas to partners ranging from Technology Industries of Finland and City of Hämeenlinna to Nokia.

– 5G is obviously important to Nokia, but as for any technology, it can only come to life with extensive co-operation between all of society. Our challenge handles emotions, an essential part of being human. How can we make use of 5G to enable more humane communication digitally both with people and artificial intelligence? We’re looking forward to what the students come up with, Veli-Pekka Luoma from Nokia describes.

Jari Handelberg

Responsible teacher for 5G Hack the Mall, Chairperson of Start North
 Laura Sivula

Laura Sivula

Head of Summer School

Lectures of the course are available for everyone to see on Start North’s YouTube channel. Find all the courses and programs at Aalto Summer School from our website.

Students in front of Väre building of Aalto University campus

Aalto University Summer School

Aalto University Summer School offers high quality academic summer courses and programs at Aalto University.

Kaapo Collan ja Aapo Karvonen toteuttavat Aalto-yliopiston 5G-kesäkurssin tehtävää (AR) -lasien hyödyntämisestä tuotannonohjauksessa kesällä 2019.

5G Hack the Mall

Take part in a free facilitated online summer course and learn the basics of 5G, conduct project work with partner companies, or dive into 5G Hackathon challenges!

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