Our family has grown with four new teachers (hired as university lecturers or university instructors), as we welcome Marja Kankaanrinta to Mathematics, Pekka Pere in Statistics, and Antti Sand and Pia Niemelä into Software Engineering.
We give the floor to them to introduce themselves and share their thoughts:
Hi, my name is Marja. I am a new university lecturer in mathematics. I am from Nokia. I studied mathematics at the University of Helsinki, where I obtained my PhD in 1992. I have enjoyed working in various countries, but now I am excited to start working in Tampere.
My research is in the fields of geometric and algebraic topology. Recently I have also become interested in topological data analysis, and I look forward to conducting research in that field too. I am the first mathematician in my family, but not the last – my husband is also a mathematician and both of our sons study mathematics.
Besides mathematics, I am interested in literature, history and house plants.
As a student, basic studies of statistics with numerous formulae with little theory about inference did not capture my interest. The intermediate studies did!: Statistical theory opened a new world beneath the formulae, and statistical methods and real data were a thrilling combination. Please believe me: The more you study statistics, the more exciting it becomes!
My no doubt biased but sincere opinion is that the most exciting science is statistics. All empirical quantitative sciences rest on it, both theoretical and empirical venues of research invite the motivated, and the job prospects in the private and public sector are great. Whatever one’s interests are, statistics provides the tools and the answer. Can you think of any other science with such a scope and demand?!
I hold a doctorate from the University of Oxford. I have served at both research and teaching positions. Even though statistical data analytics offers fascinating career prospects, I am very much into academia. It is just the right place if one enjoys teaching and research as I do. I hope to pass to students my enthusiasm for statistics and spark a desire to learn more.
I am on the board of the Finnish Statistical Society (note: junior members are welcome). On my other free time I take care of our house and summer cottage, ancient cars, aquarium and of myself (jogging, kick biking, and cycling). My days typically end by reading a carefully chosen book (fiction, biographies, history etc.) with my loving wife. Our 3+2 children are already students.
Antti Sand has been taking part in CS teaching for the last nine years. His background is in human-technology interaction and he got his doctorate in interactive technology from Tampere University. He has balanced research and work outside academia to stay aware of what employers are looking for in young graduates.
I am a teacher in computer science, web&cloud domain. Besides education, I have also worked in research projects (SysTech/TUTLI) and in industry. As an engineer in industry, my main domains were health care, mobile applications and J2ME standards: I have been the speclead of such standards as JSR 256, Mobile Sensor API, JSR 279, Service Connection API, and JSR 280 XML API. In addition to leading the standardization work, I implemented the reference implementation for, e.g., in JSR 256b and JSR 279.
In my current work, I enjoy the design of new exercise types and graders in particular. In learning, I believe that consistent, logical and clear approach is the best and visualizations, simulations and games would provide a value add for comprehending new stuff easier. Pedagogically, self-reflection is the way to go deeper and shape one’s own practices according to gained experiences.
I have a wonderful family, who complain that mom is often too busy. Agreed, and as an action item for myself is to keep the division between work and leisure more distinct. My hobbies cover a wide range of topics, the most recent ones were Nutukaskurssi, singing along with Cheryl Porter (I learned vibrato!) and roller skating with quad roller skates (more fun than I expected even if I am sometimes scared to death).
Lead picture copyright Jonne Renvall/Tampere University.
Pictures of Marja, Pekka, Antti and Pia owned and provided by those represented in the picture.
Text: Lead text by CS journalist, personal introductions by persons themselves.