Dissertation awards 2016 to Enrico Glerean, Miika Aittala and Jonne Koski

The best doctoral dissertations of the School of Science were awarded at the traditional Get Together meeting of doctoral candidates.
Postdoctoral researcher Enrico Glerean talked to doctoral students at an event held on the 16th of March.

The Doctoral Programme Committee of the School of Science elected the winners on the grounds of the departments’ proposals.

‘83 Doctors of Science graduated from the School of Science in 2016, and I’m proud to state that the quality of the theses was, once again, extremely high’, says Doctoral Programme Committee Chair, Professor Tapio Lokki, who gave the awards.

‘Another thing that I find magnificent is that the employment situation of doctors in Aalto University's technical fields is excellent, as basically everyone is employed. We at the School of Science have been observing the employment of doctors for the past three years, and we have noted that the unemployment of doctors presented by the media definitely doesn't concern Doctors of Science', Lokki rejoices.

The following dissertations were awarded as the best of 2016:

Enrico Glerean: Dynamic similarity of brain activity in humans: from single areas to functional networks 

In his pioneering research, Dr Glerean studied similarity and dissimilarity of human brain functions when human subjects are processing very complex dynamic information. His research has been pivotal in making Aalto University as one of the leading places in developing “ecological human neuroscience”. The approach he has been developing makes it possible to combine psychological, social psychological and human non-invasive neuroscience in an unprecedented way. Dr Glerean’s research has been critical in advancing our understanding of the neural signatures of human emotions and how taking different points of view – perspectives – modifies information processing. Mikko Sams from the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering acted as the supervising professor and thesis advisor to Glerean's work.

Enrico Glerean's thesis has also been granted the Novartis Neuroscience Award of 2016. Glerean works as postdoctoral researcher at Aalto.

Miika Aittala: Computational Methods for Capture and Reproduction of Photorealistic Surface Appearance

Dr Miika Aittala’s dissertation introduces novel methods for capturing and reproducing the visual appearance of real-world surface materials in synthetic images. The findings contribute towards rapid and automated creation of photorealistic models for a wide range of applications such as film and games, product visualization and design, as well as virtual and augmented reality. Central to the approach is the use of practical low-cost physical measurement setups, combined with the use of sophisticated tools from modern data science and optimization for computational interpretation of the measurements. Dr Aittala’s algorithms produce significantly higher-quality results at a lower acquisition cost than previous techniques, and hence significantly advance the state of the art in terms of both research and practical applicability. Jaakko Lehtinen from the Department of Computer Science acted as the supervising professor and thesis advisor to Miika Aittala.

Miika Aittala works as postdoctoral researcher at the MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

Jonne Koski: Heat transport, fluctuations, and Maxwell's demon in electronic nanocircuits

Dr Jonne Koski’s thesis includes no less than ten publications in high-impact journals. Dr Koski’s research experimentally addresses energy and heat fluctuations at microscopic scale. The main achievements are experimental realizations of Maxwell’s demons, i.e. devices that utilize information to gain useful work, based on a thought experiment introduced 150 years ago by James Clerk Maxwell. Dr Koski’s results quantitatively show the fundamental relation between information and energy. They also give the first demonstration of a device where information processing takes place internally on the same device. Jukka Pekola from the Department of Applied Physics acted as the supervising professor and thesis advisor to Koski's work.

Jonne Koski is currently working as postdoctoral researcher at the ETH Zürich University. His thesis was also granted the thesis award of the Department of Applied Physics.

Photos: Anne Tapanainen, Miika Aittala, Jonne Koski

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