Introduction

In 2001 the Laboratory of Computational Engineering (LCE) & Research Centre for Computational Science and Engineering (CCSE) continued its steady growth up to about 70 staff members. This year marks the second year of our Centre as the national Centre of Excellence with truely international team of researchers of 10 different nationalities. As an extension to the Centre of Excellence activities CCSE and Wolfson College of Oxford University have agreed to start a joint affiliate centre in Oxford concentrating on Advanced Computational Science and Engineering. Two full time researchers have been appointed to start at the beginning of year 2002.

LCE's and CCSE's research is multidiciplinary and it is carried out in three mutually supportive fields: Computational Information Technology, Computational materials research, and Cognitive science and technology. In Computational information technology the focus has continued to be on descriptive modelling and analysis of complex physical, technical, economic, and societal processes, as well as systems involving vast amounts of data. As extension to these studies Systems Biology problems have been included as well as such complex systems as random and regular network. In these studies modern Bayesian and information theoretic approaches have been emphasized and applied in pattern recognition, machine vision, data mining and intelligent human-machine interface.

In Computational materials research the focus has continued to be on materials properties and micro- and nano-scale systems and their applications to new information technologies. Topics include structural and electronic transport properties of quantum and carbon nanotube structures. During the last two years a lot of emphasis, effort, and strengthening has been put to modelling biomolecular and larger scale biological systems. In addition, emphasis has been put to develop effective computational, graphical visualisation, and cluster computing methods.

In Cognitive science and technology the focus has continued to be on studies of neurocognitive mechanisms in human communication, human multi-sensory information processing, socio-emotional interaction and audio-visual speech synthesis, i.e. artificial person and on their applications to information technology. In relation to cognitive technology and information technology activities, language technology programme was started and is strengthened. The completion of the 'Magnet House' and installation of the state of the art 3 Tesla fMRI and EEG systems for various brain imaging purposes highlight the end of the year 2001. This development was very welcome and opens various new possibilities and challenges for neurocognitive research.

Year 2001 was in many ways extremely successful year for us. First of all, the most remarkable event was the appointment of Professor Mikko Sams to the five year post of Academy Professor. Now, and indeed quite exceptionally, LCE has two such highly competitive Academy professorships (Professor Kimmo Kaski is the earlier one). Another success was the appointment of Academy Fellow Päivi Törmä to the Professor of Physics at Jyväskylä University. Although taking care of her responsibilities there she continues to supervise her students in LCE. It should also be mentioned that in 2001 Oleg Bouianov, Aki Vehtari and Juuso Töyli were granted Ph.D's, and six M.Sc. degrees were finished by research associates working in the laboratory.

Kimmo Kaski
Academy professor


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