Data miner sets off to conquer Berlin

Eric Malmi will be competing in the Falling Walls Lab competition with research that aims to automatically reconstruct family trees.

Falling Walls is an international conference focusing on scientific and social breakthroughs, with this year's list of speakers ranging from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Nobel winner Sir Paul Nurse.  The Falling Walls Lab section of the event focuses on young, gifted researchers, providing each participant with three minutes of time to convince the jury of the importance of their research.

The jury includes top professors from different fields, and is headed by Carl-Henrik Heldin, Chairman of the Board of the Nobel Foundation.

‘It's great to have the opportunity to present my research to these people – especially since I really believe in its potential,' says Eric Malmi, who is preparing his doctoral thesis at the Department of Information and Computer Science.

Malmi's research focuses on data mining and its use in reconstructing family trees.

‘I have access to Finland's church records from the early 1600s to the beginning of the 1900s in digital format. I want to determine how they could be used to automatically generate a family tree for all of Finland, and also analyse the family tree in a manner that makes it possible to investigate the impact of, for example, wars and differences in social class,' he explains.

From advertising to Raplyzer

Data mining is a combination of mathematical and statistical methods intended to extract useful information from massive data sets. The range of applications is vast: from assessing loan eligibility to planning targeted marketing.  In addition to his doctoral research, Malmi has utilised data mining while developing the much-publicised Raplyzer application. This is an algorithm that can be used to analyse Finnish rap lyrics.

‘I have even more ambitious plans in this respect,' reveals Malmi.

‘I want to develop a program that not only analyses rap lyrics but also produces them so that they rhyme and sound as good as possible.'

Along with Eric Malmi, Finland is sending two other participants to the Falling Walls Lab: Veli-Matti Karhulahti and Vilja Siitonen from the University of Turku. They were selected for the Berlin final on the basis of the Falling Labs Turku event, which involved participants from Finland, Sweden and Russia.

Falling Walls will be held on 8–9 November.
 You can follow Eric Malmi (@ericmalmi) and Falling Walls (@Falling_Walls or #fallingwalls) on Twitter.

  • Published:
  • Updated:
Share
URL copied!

Related news

Head of Post-Award Services Jukka Hyvönen and Head of Pre-Award Services Sanna-Maija Kiviranta
Appointments, Research & Art Published:

New Service Heads at Research Services

Sanna-Maija Kiviranta has been appointed as Head of Pre-Award Services and Jukka Hyvönen has been appointed as Head of Post-Award Services. Both teams support Aalto University's researchers in research funding.
A false colour electron microscope image of the bolometer, the scale bar shows a single bacteria, indicating how small the device is
Research & Art Published:

Radiation detector with the lowest noise in the world boosts quantum work

The nanoscale radiation detector is a hundred times faster than its predecessors, and can function without interruption
The details avaiable on the page in a picture with a colourful cartoon of an antropomorphic qubit
Campus, Research & Art Published:

From quantum gateways to super-refrigerators – the quantum technology revolution arrives in Otaniemi

An exhibition uncovering the secrets of quantum technology is opening on 17 October as part of the quantum technology summit
Kuva: Mostphotos
Cooperation, Research & Art Published:

Helsinki Brain & Mind, a new neuroscience hub, awar­ded ERDF fund­ing

The European Regional Development Fund has awarded €500,000 to the University of Helsinki, Aalto University and the Helsinki University Hospital for the development of a research, competence and innovation hub in neuroscience.