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Professor Kimmo Kaski’s farewell seminar attracted renowned researchers to Aalto

Professor Kaski, pioneer of computational complex systems research in Finland, will continue to work as senior adviser at Aalto.
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Kimmo Kaski is a long-standing professor of computational science at Aalto University. His most recent research interest has been complexity in physical, economic, social and information systems. He will continue to foster his expansive academic networks and fellow positions actively, albeit now as Professor Emeritus.

‘This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. It is the end of the beginning,’ professor Kaski described his retirement, slightly rephrasing Sir Winston Churchill.

Professor Kaski giving his farewell talk, among others things, on happiness in our social networks and media.

Kaski has, among other things, led a national Centre of Excellence Computational Complex Systems Research for over ten years during 2000–2011, served as Dean of the Aalto University School of Science, and held the position of Academy Professor appointed by the Academy of Finland from 1996 through 2006. Kaski also holds several honorary and visiting fellow positions in universities, for instance Said Business School of Oxford University and The Alan Turing Institute.

‘Kimmo is a true university man, a man of science, an embodiment of Aalto’s ideal of multidisciplinarity representing a deep understanding in a field of science with curiosity and courage to look outside the box and willingness to take responsibility and serve the community,’ Aalto University President Ilkka Niemelä extols.

The seminar included talks from various fields, among other, by Robin Dunbar, Rafael Barrio and Academician Riitta Hari.

‘Thanks to Kimmo’s research and contributions, networks and contacts, the field of complex systems and its international reputation are developing strongly at Aalto,’ thanks President Niemelä.

Many of professor Kaski’s former doctoral students and postdoctoral colleagues have moved on to prominent academic careers themselves. To talk at the seminar were JP Onnela, professor at Harvard University, Marton Karsai, professor at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and Janosz Kertesz, professor at Central European University in Budapest.

Also, notable long-time collaborators, such as professor Rafael Barrio of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and professor Robin Dunbar of University of Oxford reflected in their talks their long academic and personal history with Kaski. Professor Barrio in particular reminisced the “Oxford Gang” to which the university’s contemporaries Kaski, Barrio and professor Gudmundur Haraldsson belonged with Kaski’s and Barrio’s supervisor, the late professor Sir Roger Elliott. Together they paved the way for the field of complex systems.

Professor Jari Saramäki (center) gives his thanks on behalf of the Department of Computer Science and Kaski's collaborators there.

Top: Ella Bingham (Head of Research Strategic Support and former colleague of Kaski) bestows professor Kaski with the TKK medal from the Foundation for Aalto University Science and Technology. Bingham is the foundation's executive director.
Bottom left: Kaski talking with professor Matti Kaivola (Head of Department of Physics).
Bottom right: professor Rafael Barrio.

Photos: From top down: first two Tapio Reinekoski, rest Matti Ahlgren / Aalto University.

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