Research profile

Situation Awareness from Massive Data

2014/01/29, Oulu University RAE2013 (Research Assessment Exercise) published

The Oulu University Research Assessment Exercise Report 2014 - International Evaluation of Research at the University of Oulu was released yesterday. The evaluation is targeted to research communities (consortia of 15-120 persons, consisting of several research groups) which are formed on the basis of collaboration in research and doctoral training. It is not compulsory to attend the evaluation, but it is always good to have an outsider evaluation when you perform research as this information can be used as a reference when applying funding and forming new collaboration.

There were three categories in the evaluation: veni, vidi, vici; beginner groups, groups on the threshold of international breakthrough and world class research groups, respectively. My research group, iSpaces, was evaluated in the category of vidi within the iUBI consortia.

The results show that in our Department of Computer Science and Engineering, we make world class research. The topmost category of Vici included two groups composed or partly composed by the professors from our department and they got the best possible review (6/6). Our department head, Professor Tapio Seppänen is within the Cardiovascular Research Community (CVR-Co) and Professor Matti Pietikäinen leads the Center for Machine Vision (CMV). Our group iUbi was evaluated in the Vidi category and we got the excellent status for our grouping, which is, of course, excellent!

Our group got one critical comment on the fact that our PhD's have graduated from the University of Oulu and there should be more diversity on the nationalities of the post docs. I have never understood, why this is a necessity. We make research visits abroad and in Finland, and we collaborate very closely with Finnish and foreign research groups. Why would we have to leave our families behind and move away and abroad, especially if we make excellent and outstanding results here? Same goes the other way around. International and national collaboration is essential to broaden our views, but why does this evaluation criterion exist? Which other profession has a compulsory requirement to move? Will our professors now, clear minded based on these kinds of evaluations, start to create strategies for us post docs to be forced to leave the country...

There is another good reason beside family issues that I prefer to stay within Oulu University. The technological and research infrastucture in the city of Oulu and the close collaboration with the companies makes Oulu a very attractive place for research. I have lived abroad and I have seen that we make excellent results, why would I want to be somewhere else as the fish in the sea are here. Second, the climate in Finland is not attractive for foreigners. However, I love the seasons - today I rode my bicycle in -17 degrees and I love it. Btw, while bicycling, I collect moving object and other data from the environment with my Android phone and Denzil's Aware. Check it out!

Congratulations for all our research groups !

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