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Introduction

In 2000 the Laboratory of Computational Engineering of Helsinki University of Technology continued its growth reaching 60 staff members, of which 18 PhD level researchers, 24 junior researcher with M.Sc's (graduate students), 15 research associates (undergraduate students), and three supporting staff. Our laboratory is a multidiciplinary unit of research and higher education with the aim to train students and researchers to do mathematical modelling research on physical, technical, economical, human cognitive communication, and information society systems and processes, and also to develop computational modelling methods and algorithms including graphical visualization and parallel computation.

Year 2000 marks the beginning of the six year term of the laboratory as the Academy of Finland's Centre of Excellence, called Research Centre for Computational Science and Engineering. Its research is carried out in Computational materials research, Computational information technology, and Cognitive science and technology.

In Computational information technology (headed by Professor Jouko Lampinen) the focus is on modelling and analysis of complex physical, technical and economic processes, as well as systems involving vast amounts of data. The studies employ advanced probabilistic and information theoretic methods and soft computing, for instance artificial neural networks and Bayesian techniques. These methods are developed and applied for problems of pattern recognition, machine vision, data mining and intelligent human-machine interface.

In Computational materials research (headed by Professor Jukka Tulkki) the focus is on materials properties and micro- and nano-scale systems and their applications to new information technologies. Recent topics include structural properties of solids and soft biological materials, electronic and optoelectronic materials, physical layer of optical networks, microelectromechanical systems, and quantum information processing. In addition, computational algorithms, graphical visualisation and animation, and parallel computing methods are being developed for these models and high performance computations.

In Cognitive science and technology (headed by Professor Mikko Sams) the focus is on studies of neurocognitive mechanisms in human communication and on their applications to information technology. Recent topics include human multi-sensory information processing, socio-emotional interaction and audio-visual speech synthesis, i.e. artificial person, which is utilized as a research tool as well as in such information technology applications, as more natural user-computer interfaces and advanced aids for disabled people. In relation to cognitive technology and information technology activities in language technology are being built.

As highlights of year 2000 it is mentioned that Dr. Jouko Lampinen was appointed by invitation to professorship of Computational information technology, and the Academy of Finland granted five year extension to Professor Kimmo Kaski's Academy professorship starting August 2001, and Docent Päivi Törmä and Dr. Jukka Heikkonen five year terms as senior researcher. It should also be mentioned that in 2000 Fabio Babiloni and Seppo Pohja were granted Ph.D's, and seven M.Sc. degrees were finished by research associates working in the laboratory.

Kimmo Kaski

Academy professor


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