Best doctoral theses and master's theses 2022 in the School of Science awarded

This year, six doctoral theses and five master's theses were granted awards
Hanna Halme, Joosef Valli, Antonis Matakos, Bayan Karimi and Topi Paananen. Julian Weigt was also awarded. Image: Aino Siiteri/ Aalto-yliopisto

Every year, Aalto University awards the best 10 percent of doctoral theses. This year six doctoral theses were honoured at the School of Science.

The criteria for the Doctoral Theses Award are academic quality, impact, and originality. The award is worth 3000 euros.

The six awarded theses have all been approved during the year 2022 at the School of Science. Altogether 60 theses were approved at the school last year. Decision on the awards was made on the proposal of the Doctoral Programme Committee, based on the nominations of the departments and the statements given by the pre-examiners and opponents.

The awards were granted to:

  • Bayan Karimi: Circuit Quantum Thermodynamics - from photonic heat transport to ultra-sensitive nanocalorimetry

    Department of Applied Physics. Supervising professor and thesis advisor: Professor Jukka Pekola

    The thesis demonstrates both experimentally and theoretically phenomena and devices in quantum thermodynamics realized by superconducting and metal circuits on a chip at low millikelvin temperatures. An ultra-sensitive thermal detector reaching the ultimate noise level dictated by the fundamental thermal fluctuations was presented experimentally.

    Bayan Karimi is working as a postdoctoral researcher at University of Helsinki in the HelTeQ group led by Prof. Sabrina Maniscalco. She is also a visitor at Aalto University.

  • Antonis Matakos: Social Media for Social Good: Models and Algorithms

    Department of Computer Science. Supervising professor: Adjunct Professor Aristides Gionis

    The thesis proposes social-network models for characterizing socially harmful phenomena which manifest themselves on social media. Based on these models, the thesis proposes algorithms to mitigate the harmful effects of these phenomena.

    Antonis Matakos is working as a post-doctoral researcher at Aalto University Department of Computer Science.

  • Topi Paananen: Computational methods for Bayesian model assessment

    Department of Computer Science. Supervising professor: Professor Aki Vehtari

    The thesis proposes novel computational algorithms for evaluating the behaviour and predictive performance of statistical models.

    Topi Paananen is working as a Data scientist at

  • Joosef Valli: Cognition, Complexity, and the Financial Crisis - The Federal Open Market Committee's Search for a Monetary Policy Strategy

    Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. Supervising professor and thesis advisor: Professor Henri Schildt

    The thesis examines the setting of monetary policy as a complex group decision making problem characterized by interaction effects. The thesis points toward individual-level cognitive diversity as a key factor in allowing the group to take these interaction effects into account: instead of a group of diverse specialists, complexity requires generalists capable of examining the problem with varied lenses on their own.

    Joosef Valli is working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Aalto University Department of Industrial Engineering and Management.

  • Julian Weigt: Endpoint regularity of maximal functions in higher dimensions

    Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis. Supervising professor and thesis advisor: Professor Juha Kinnunen

    Maximal operators are important tools in the mathematical research of harmonic analysis and partial differential equations. Endpoint regularity bounds for maximal operators in one dimension have been known for more than twenty years, and this thesis for the first time proves several of them in higher dimensions.

    Julian Weigt is working as a Researcher Fellow at Institute of Mathematics, University of Warwick, UK.

  • Hanna Halme: Methods for brain–computer interfaces utilizing MEG and motor imagery

    Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering. Supervising professor and thesis advisor: Professor Lauri Parkkonen

    Description of the thesis: The thesis develops machine learning methods for decoding MEG signals related to motor imagery. Furthermore, the thesis validates the usability of an MEG-based brain-computer interface and demonstrates the neurophysiological effects caused by short-term BCI training on healthy subjects.

    Hanna Halme is working as a Medical physicist at HUS Diagnostic Center (Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Jorvi Hospital).

Dippatyöpalkinnot SCI
Henrik Lievonen, Fanni Ojala, Okko Makkonen and Mikko Purhonen. Ville Vuorenmaa was also awarded. Image: Juhani Lehtinen/ Aalto-yliopisto

Master's Theses awards

The School of Science awarded prizes to five master's theses on March 1. The prize is worth 1000 euros.

  • DI Henrik Lievonen: Locally Checkable Labeling Problems in Rooted Trees in the Online-LOCAL Model of Computation. Thesis supervisor: Professor Jukka Suomela.
  • DI Okko Makkonen: New Schemes for Secure Distributed Matrix Multiplication: Cooperative and Analog SDMM. Thesis supervisor: Professor Camilla Hollanti.
  • DI Fanni Ojala: Bayesian Survival Analysis to Model Clearance of MRSA Colonization. Thesis supervisor: Professor Pekka Marttinen.
  • DI Mikko Purhonen: Computer-Aided Analysis of MGG-stained Bone Marrow Aspiration Samples. Thesis supervisor: Assistant Professor Juho Kannala.
  • DI Ville Vuorenmaa: Tutkimus vallankäytöstä algoritmisissa järjestelmissä. Thesis supervisor: Adjunct Professor Marko Turpeinen.
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