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The Director of HELDIG and Professor Eero Hyvönen is Norssi of the Year

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Norssi, the Semantic Computing Research Group has digitised Norssi’s old registers.
Picture: Ville Laustela

Eero Hyvönen, the Director of the new Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities at the University of Helsinki (HELDIG) and Professor of semantic media technology at Aalto University, was honoured as Norssi of the Year on Friday last week. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Helsingin Normaalilyseo school (nicknamed Norssi), the alumni society Vanhat Norssit of the school launches the application “Vanhat Norssit uudessa semanttisessa webissä” (Norssi Alumni on the Semantic Web).

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Norssi, the Semantic Computing Research Group (SeCo) led by Hyvönen has digitised Norssi’s old registers, and based on this data they have developed the application “Norssi Alumni on the Semantic Web”, which can be used to search for and connect historic data on more than 10 000 Norssi alumni from 1867 to 1992 from various online sources as well as to analyse data and networks relating to the alumni. You can try out the application here.

The SeCo group led by Hyvönen is developing intelligent web technology. The group’s focus has been on the semantic modelling of data and phenomena related to cultural heritage, health, biology, legislation, and other fields, related wide-ranging data infrastructures as well as the publication of data as intelligent web services. The group’s pilot systems, such as vocabulary services ONKI and Finto, linked open data service Linked Data Finland as well as applications MuseoSuomi, TerveSuomi, Kulttuurisampo, Kirjasampo and Sotasampo, have had thousands of monthly users.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Hyvönen was one of the first researchers in artificial intelligence at the Helsinki University of Technology and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. In the new millennium, he has been a central figure in semantic web research and the development of intelligent web services both at the University of Helsinki and Aalto University.  

The Norssi of the Year ceremony was held at Helsingin Normaalilyseo on Norssi day, on 12 May. The Norssi of the Year title was given for work done for the good of the school. The receiver of the title was selected by the board of the alumni organisation. The ceremony has been held annually without interruption since 1967. In 2017, Helsingin Normaalilyseo celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Further information:

Eero Hyvönen
Professor
Aalto University, University of Helsinki and Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities (HELDIG)
tel. +358 50 384 1618
[email protected]

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