Annual Symposium for Computer Science 2022 - the wrap-up

Large crowd
Full house listening on Helena Holmström Olsson's keynote (credit: Sonja Hyrynsalmi)

The Annual Symposium for Computer Science, or as friends call it, “CS Days” (TKT-päivät), is an annual meeting place for teachers, researchers, students and other interested parties active in the field of Computer Science, in the term’s broadest sense. It is supported by the Finnish Society for Computer Science, which oversees who organizes the yearly event. The theme for the 2022 Symposium was “AI meets SE”, covering the intersection between the two fields: how can AI be used to help software engineering activities, how should software engineers take into account utilization of AI in their products, and what kind of software is there to implement AI. The 2022 Symposium was organized by the Tampere Software Engineering research group together with Finnish Artificial Intelligence Society.

Reino Kurki-Suonio
Opening words by Reino Kurki-Suonio (credit Kari Systä)

After two years of remote/virtual versions of the Annual Symposium, the computer science community was anxious to get back to meeting and talking to people in person. The Annual Symposium provided just the place for that – we hosted a crowd of over 100 people interested in the latest developments in the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering. The audience was a delightfully mixed one, with a large crowd of international Master’s students combined with professionals from all over Finland, and both nationally and internationally acclaimed speakers.

A particularly great joy was to get Professor (emeritus) Reino Kurki-Suonio to give the opening words, reminding us of the days when computer science was just taking it’s first steps as a field of research, and giving perspective into what it is today.

We had speakers covering the theme from the software angle  – Professor Helena Holmström Olsson giving a keynote on how AI is utilized in software-reliant industry (main image), as well as from the AI angle, as professor Torsten Schaub gave us a tour into Answer Set Programming and how they can be used in real-life problems, such as the Swiss Railways.

Torsten Schaub givin keynote
Torsten Schaub’s keynote (credit: Sonja Hyrynsalmi)

A joyous afternoon was spent on Monday, as excellent research was given well-deserved attention through awards for the best PhD theses (Hilkka Grahn, University of Jyväskylä) and MSc theses (Jouni Luoma, University of Turku) in the field of computer science. From the angle of the CS unit, we have reason for celebration, as Toni Heittola received an honorary mention for his PhD thesis, and Einari Vaaras an honorary mention for his MSc thesis. Congratulations! The Special Interest Group for Information Systems also selected the “Person of the Year” in Information Systems research – this year the honor went to Matti Rossi from Aalto University.

Toni Heittola receiving PhD thesis diploma
Toni Heittola receiving PhD thesis honorary mention (credit: Kari Systä)
Einari Vaaras receiving MSc thesis diploma
Einari Vaaras receiving honorary mention for MSc thesis (credit: Kari Systä)











After a poster session and a lively dinner on Monday evening, the program continued early Tuesday morning at Paidia. We gave the opportunity to do a free-form excursion to the Living Lab of Play, and the crowd had a chance to try on various gaming devices. On a side-track, we were proud to organize the first ever face-to-face event of the TKTS PhD Candidate Community – a Speed-Mentoring event! In this event we had 9 mentors ready to advise as many mentees during one hour. Mentors had designated places, and mentees circulated around, having 10min to talk to an individual mentor, thus having time to get speedy advice on their PhD thesis from 5 different mentors. Mentors had a versatile background from different areas of computer science, and different career paths after defending their thesis.

People discussing one-on-one
Speed Mentoring in process

Tuesday then continuted with a keynote from our very own Assoc. Prof. Davide Taibi, followed by interesting talks from the industry, as Heikki Huttunen from Visy oy talked about utilizing AI in ports and terminals, and Klaus Förger from Atostek gave a presentation on AI with national health records. Visy and Atostek both generously sponsored the event by supporting the coffee service.

Heikki Huttunen (image of Finnis male researcher)
Heikki Huttunen (credit: Kari Systä)
Klaus Förger
Klaus Förger (credit: Kari Systä)



Tomi Janhunen and Javier Romero Davila
Chair of FAIS, Tomi Janhunen, introduces Javier Romero Davila

Finally, as a grand finale we had a high-class tutorial on Answer Set Programming given by Javier Romero Davila from Potsdam University.

Thanks on my part to all the organizers, all the participants and hope to see you next year – wherever the symposium may be!

Text: Outi Sievi-Korte (Organizing committee chair)

Photos: Outi Sievi-Korte, unless otherwise credited in photo captions

Full program and other information on the event: