Available Positions

Positions for summer 2016

1) Field of study: Physics

Aalto University unit: School of ScienceDepartment of Applied Physics

Professor in charge of the topic: Filip Tuomisto

Website of the research group: http://physics.aalto.fi/groups/positron

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Filip Tuomisto, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Development and application of positron annihilation spectroscopy to studying vacancy defects in novel compound semiconductors

Short task description:                     

The research consists of:

a) studying point defects in novel compound semiconductors (such as Ga2O3 or InGaSbN) with positron annihilation spectroscopy and/or

b) developing the instrumentation and analysis methods (incl. ab initio theoretical calculations) of positron annihilation spectroscopy. The detailed topic and tasks will be tailored according to the background of a successful candidate, but the general themes are increasing the general understanding of the physics of defects in solids, and the development of the positron methods toward more detailed analysis of complicated structures. The work may involve using positron-emitting 22Na isotopes either directly in contact with studied samples for substrate analysis, or using magnetically guided slow positron accelerators for thin film studies, or performing computationally heavy theoretical calculations. The requirements of a successful candidate are a basic knowledge of solid state physics, radiation safety and/or electronics, and an enthusiastic attitude toward experimental or computational work.

The followig review gives some idea of the kind of work done within this topical area:"Defect identification in semiconductors with positron annihilation: Experiment and theory", Reviews of Modern Physics 85, 1583 (2013). URL: http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/RevModPhys.85.1583    

2) Field of study: Physics

Aalto University unit: School of ScienceDepartment of Applied Physics

Professor in charge of the topic: Tapio Ala-Nissila

Website of the research group: http://physics.aalto.fi/groups/comp/msp/research/

Academic contact person for further information on topic:Tapio Ala-Nissila, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Multiscale Statistical Physics

Short task description:   The Multiscale Statistical Physics (MSP) group of Tapio Ala-Nissila is looking for a highly motivated summer intern with a strong background in theoretical and computational physics to work in a project involving Phase Field modeling of heteroepitaxial overlayers [1]. The candidate should have taken at least one course in thermodynamics and statistical physics, and quantum mechanics/condensed matter physics. Experience with programming and C/C++/FORTRAN languages is a plus. References related to the topic: "Patterning of Heteroepitaxial Overlayers from Nano to Micron Scales", by K.R. Elder, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. vol. 108, 226102 (2012); "Modeling Self-Organization of Thin Strained Metallic Overlayers from Atomic to Micron Scales", by K. R. Elder et al., Phys. Rev. B vol. 88, 075423 (2013).

3) Field of study: Probabilistic machine learning

Aalto University unit: School of Science, Department of Computer Science

Professors in charge of the topic: Aki Vehtari

Website of the research group: http://research.cs.aalto.fi/pml/

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Aki Vehtari, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Bayesian methods for epidemiology, disease risk prediction and personalised medicine

Short task description:

The goal is to develop probabilistic modeling, Bayesian inference and machine learning methods for epidemiology, disease risk prediction, and personalised medicine. Ever increasing computing performance makes it possible to use more complex models to model phenomena which are inherently complex containing nonlinearities and interactions. Bayesian approach provides consistent and flexible way to combine available structural information and uncertain observations. The summer project can be taking part of the methodological development or more applied analysis depending on your interests. Strong background in mathematics and some experience in programming is beneficial.

4) Field of study: Mathematics, Data Communications and Electrical Engineering

Aalto University unit: School of Science, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis

Professor in charge of the topic: Camilla Hollanti (and Salim El Rouayheb)

Website of the research group: https://math.aalto.fi/en/research/discrete/anta/index.html.

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Camilla Hollanti,
first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Coded private information retrieval from distributed data storage systems. The topic is ideal for collaboration for two students.

Task description:

The student will familiarize his/herself with the basic concepts of distributed data storage and (coded) private information retrieval, and work towards developing mathematical concepts and tools related to combining the two research areas. As a mathematical side product, the student will also learn the basics of coding theory and matroid theory. No prerequisites other than linear algebra are required. The task will be supervised by Camilla Hollanti and her ANTA group.

5) Field of study: Human-Computer Interaction

Aalto University unit: School of Electrical Engineering, Department of Communications and Networking

Professor in charge of the topic: Antti Oulasvirta

Website of the research group: http://userinterfaces.aalto.fi/

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Antti Oulasvirta,
first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic:

1. Optimization of interaction techniques using predictive models of human performance
2. Empirical study of an interactive design tool
3. Meta-heuristic optimization methods for layout problems in HCI

Task description: Please see our group page for examples

6) Field of study: Computer Science

Aalto University unit: School of Electrical Engineering, Department of Communications and Networking

Professor in charge of the topic: Stephan Sigg

Website of the research group: http://comnet.aalto.fi/en/

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Stephan Sigg, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Spontaneous ad-hoc pairing of wearable devices

Task description: In the frame of this research project, the internship student will investigate ad-hoc automatic pairing of body-worn devices.
With the increasing amount of wearable devices, additional load due to manual configuration processes become ever-more frequent. For instance, after changing batteries, shared usage by multiple persons (e.g. fitness tracker) or also rental use of special purpose equipment in industrial or professional (e.g. sports) environment. We propose to utilise common underlying patterns from accelerometer readings in order to establish a joint secure key without manual intervention.
The project involves theoretical work on the design of a fuzzy cryptography scheme and parameter optimisation for error correcting codes, implementation on embedded wearable devices, as well as, field studies and instrumentation.
Prior knowledge in the following fields is appreciated but not mandatory:

  • Fuzzy cryptography
  • Advanced error correcting codes
  • Embedded systems

7) Field of study: Physics

Aalto University unit: School of Electrical Engineering, Department of Micro- and Nanosciences

Professor in charge of the topic: Harri Lipsanen

Website of the research group: http://nano.aalto.fi/en/research/ntg/

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Juha Riikonen, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Properties of layered two-dimensional materials

Task description: Two-dimensional (2D) atomic-thick layered materials have attracted huge attention due to their extraordinary physical properties and great potential in new electronic and photonic devices. The first and most studied layered material, graphene, is atomically thin, the strongest material known and, e.g., an ideal ultra-wideband material for photonics. Other 2D layered materials, such as molybdenum disulphide and hexagonal boron nitride, have their own distinctive physical properties. The research group in the Department of Micro and Nanosciences studies several 2D materials and develops devices for electronics and optoelectronics based on them. A part of funding comes from the EU Graphene Flagship project. The materials are obtained from own chemical vapor deposition facilities, from collaborating laboratories and by using exfoliation techniques. The basic material properties are studied by optical microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and electrical measurements. The content of the internship topic can be fine-tuned according to the student.

8) Field of study: Computer Networks, SDN

Aalto University Unit: School of Electrical Engineering, Department of Communications and Networking

Professor in charge of the topic: Raimo Kantola

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Raimo Kantola, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Website of the research group: http://comnet.aalto.fi/en/research/network_security_and_trust/

Title of topic: Emulated University network using private addressing in SDN/NFV

Task description: The task is to build an emulated demonstrator of using SDN/NFV by mirroring the Aalto IP network or a part thereof into a virualized Linux environment with the assumption that all emulated hosts have only a private address and they are behind a Realm Gateway that we developed ourselves (www.re2ee.org). At the extreme, each host is in its own private address space. Network functions will be virtualized and instead of routers, we use OF-switches.
Requirements: expertize in IP networks, SDN, OpenFlow 1.3 and experimentation in Linux environment.

9) Field of study: Computer Science, Physics

Aalto University unit: School of Science, Aalto Science Institute

Professor in charge of the topic: Adam Foster

Website of the research group: http://asci.aalto.fi/en/project_funding/thematic_research_programmes/

Academic contact person for further information on topic (name & email): Filippo Federici Canova; filippo.federici [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Automated Nanoribbon Analysis

Task description: 

Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is a powerful tool, capable of imaging samples at the atomic scale. One particular case of interest is the self-assembly of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) on metal surfaces. While experimentalists can quickly obtain several images, extracting meaningful information out of them, such as average GNR length and orientation, requires quite lengthy analysis, often carried out “by hand” on only a small sample of the whole data.

The goal of the project is to implement an automated procedure that can efficiently and accurately perform such analysis of STM measurements, with little to no further user input required.

The successful candidate should have a hands-on knowledge of any programming language, and know the basic concepts of data analysis and statistics.

10) Field of study: Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics

Aalto University unit: School of Science, Aalto Science Institute

Professor in charge of the topic: Adam Foster

Website of the research group: http://asci.aalto.fi/en/project_funding/thematic_research_programmes/

Academic contact person for further information on topic (name & email): Martha Arbayani Zaidan; martha.a.zaidan [at] aalto [dot] fi

Task description: 

High dimensional data often exists in observations from real-world problems. Compared to just a few years ago, huge databases are now available in science experiments, medical research, engineering systems, financial analysis and many other domains.

Feature extraction is a mathematical tool to extract/select some useful features from the raw data obtained from simulation or real-world observation/experiment. In this project, we will investigate and implement one or some feature extraction methods to find appropriate variables for constructing mathematical modelling and data analysis. The examples include extracting health indices of an engineering system and selecting optimal components of liquid particles in modelling friction process.

The detailed applications and tasks will be tailored according to the background of a successful candidate. Candidates should have a basic knowledge of data analysis and statistics. Knowledge of MATLAB/Simulink would be extremely beneficial.

11) Field of study: Physics (also Microfabrication or Chemistry)

Aalto University unit: School of ScienceDepartment of Applied Physics

Professor in charge of the topic: Prof. Robin Ras

Website of the research group: http://physics.aalto.fi/groups/smw/

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Prof. Robin Ras, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Preparation and characterization of plasmonic nanoparticles superstructures

Task description:

Nanomaterials are of great interest because they frequently display unusual physical and
chemical properties that are not observed in the bulk or individual atoms. For instance,
plasmonic gold nanostructures with their fascinating optical and electronic properties arising
from their strong interaction with light, are the focus of research in many applications
including electronics, sensors, catalysis and biomedical areas e.g. as nanocarriers for
pharmaceuticals and cancer diagnosis. The properties of gold nanoparticles and thus their
application, depend strongly upon their size, shape and functionalization. (Kornberg in
Science 345 (2014)).
In the Soft Matter and Wetting research group we have developed the synthesis of gold
nanoparticles positively charged, which are demonstrated to bind large biomolecules and are
interesting candidates especially for gene and drug delivery applications. These cationic
nanoparticles can act as building blocks for nanoscale ordered assemblies (Ras in Angew.
Chem. Int. Ed. 54 (2015)).
As an AScI Summer Intern in our group, you would perform cutting-edge experiments in a
dynamic research environment. You would learn how to prepare superstructures based on
given plasmonic gold nanoparticles and investigate their optical and microscopical properties
with the use of novel experimental techniques. The work will be done in the SMW group,
which is part of the HYBER Center of Excellence from the Academy of Finland (http://hyber.aalto.fi/).

12) Field of study: Physics (also Microfabrication or Chemistry)

Aalto University unit: School of ScienceDepartment of Applied Physics

Professor in charge of the topic: Prof. Robin Ras

Website of the research group: http://physics.aalto.fi/groups/smw/

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Prof. Robin Ras, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Magnetic droplets on superhydrophobic surfaces

Task description:

As is beautifully exemplified by a lotus leaf in nature, a water droplet on a superhydrophobic substrate will be almost spherical in shape. Due to the strongly water-repelling properties of the surface, the drop can easily roll off with a tiny resistance. For the lotus leaf, this intriguing property makes the surface selfcleaning, since the rolling drop pulls small dirt particles along and off the leaf. Superhydrophobicity can also be found in many other systems in nature, such as on the legs of water striders and feather coatings of birds, as well as on the surface of submerged insects, allowing them to breathe underwater.
In our research group, we aspire to mimic the designs found in nature to manufacture artificial
superhydrophobic substrates. These surfaces have the potential be used as, for example, self-cleaning, nonwetting, anti-fouling, flow-enhancing, and anti-fogging materials in the future. To study the quality of our superhydrophobic surfaces, as well as the physics governing the motion of droplets on these, we have developed a technique utilising ferrofluid droplets (see, e.g., Timonen, et al., in Science 341 (2013) and Nature Communications 4 (2013)). By controlling the motion of magnetic droplets by an external magnetic field, we have measured the friction experienced by the drops on the surfaces. Furthermore, we have studied an exciting fluid dynamics instability between magnetic, gravitational, and surface tension forces, giving rise to the splitting of the droplet as the magnet is brought closer to it.
As an AScI Summer Intern in our group, you would perform cutting-edge experiments in a dynamic
research environment. You would learn how to prepare different superhydrophobic surfaces and investigate the physics of magnetic droplets on these with the use of novel experimental and image analysis techniques.

13) Field of study: Physics (also Microfabrication or Chemistry)

Aalto University unit: School of ScienceDepartment of Applied Physics

Professor in charge of the topic: Prof. Robin Ras

Website of the research group: http://physics.aalto.fi/groups/smw/

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Prof. Robin Ras, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Photophysical study of receptor-biopolymer materials

Task description:

Supramolecular researchers have been trying to mimic biological recognition processes such as the enzyme-substrate process with synthetic molecules utilizing a vast variety of weak interactions (Rebek et al. in Chem. Rev. 1997, 97, 1647 and in Nature 2002, 415, 385). It is very challenging to develop new materials with well-defined properties based on specially designed properties of the molecular constituents for the translation of the intrinsic properties of molecules into material properties. It is therefore essential to have control over the molecular interactions and orientation to create function in the material.

In the soft Matter and Wetting (SMW) research group, we design functional supramolecular biomaterials in water utilizing supramolecular receptors and biopolymers through weak interactions (see, e.g., Sherman et al., in Science 2012, 335, 690). The chemical and physical properties of these biomaterials such as response to pH, sensory and photo-switchable properties are investigated. In this project, we will design and study the photophysical properties of several functional receptor-biopolymer materials.

As an AScI Summer Intern in our group, you would perform cutting-edge experiments in a dynamic research environment. You would learn how to prepare different receptor-biopolymer materials and investigate their photophysical properties with the use of novel experimental techniques such as UV-Vis/Fluorescence spectroscopy, Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and high resolution microscopy. The work will be done in the SMW group, which is part of the HYBER Center of Excellence from the Academy of Finland (http://hyber.aalto.fi/). Instructor is Dr. Kodiah Beyeh.

14) Field of study: Physics (also Microfabrication or Chemistry)

Aalto University unit: School of ScienceDepartment of Applied Physics

Professor in charge of the topic: Prof. Robin Ras

Website of the research group: http://physics.aalto.fi/groups/smw/

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Prof. Robin Ras, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Stretchable patterned superhydrophobic materials

Task description:

Integration of micro parts on stretchable substrate has attracted enormous interests because of its many potential applications in sensory skins, wearable devices, bio-integrated devices and flexible mobile phones. Alignment of micro parts is an important step in integration of such kind of micro devices, where it normally requires positioning of the micro parts precisely. Surface tension driven self-alignment technique has been reported to be able to achieve high-throughput and high-precision in integration of micro parts. To achieve surface tension driven self-alignment, it is essential to use patterned surfaces, where large wetting contrast between patterns and the substrate is preferred.

In our research group, we develop different processes for making patterned superhydrophobic materials and investigate physics of surface tension driven self-alignment. As an AScI Summer Intern in our group, you would perform cutting-edge experiments in a dynamic research environment. You would learn how to prepare soft patterned superhydrophobic surfaces and investigate the surface properties with the use of novel experimental and image analysis techniques. The work will be done in the SMW group, which is part of the HYBER Center of Excellence from the Academy of Finland (http://hyber.aalto.fi/). Instructor is Dr. Bo Chang.

15) Field of study: Computer Science

Aalto University unit: School of Science, Department of Computer Science

Professors in charge of the topic: Prof. Kaisa Nyberg (and Prof. N. Asokan)

Website of the research group: http://research.ics.aalto.fi/crypto/

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Kimmo Jarvinen, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Ring-LWE post-quantum cryptosystems for lightweight applications

Task description:

If large-scale quantum computers become reality, most of the contemporary public-key cryptography will become insecure. This includes RSA and elliptic curve cryptosystems. To answer this threat, the cryptography community has started looking for alternatives which remain secure even under attacks utilizing quantum computers. Such cryptosystems are called post-quantum cryptography. Cryptosystems based on the ring learning with errors (Ring-LWE) problem are promising alternatives for post-quantum cryptography and they have received a lot of research attention lately. In this work, the student will study Ring-LWE cryptosystems especially from the perspective of how they can be used for securing devices which have only limited resources. Finding solutions to this problem will be important, for example, for securing various applications of the Internet-of-Things.

16) Field of study: Probabilistic machine learning

Aalto University unit: School of Science, Department of Computer Science

Professor in charge of the topic: Samuel Kaski

Website of the research group: http://research.cs.aalto.fi/pml/

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Samuel Kaski, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Probabilistic machine learning with Bayesian nonparametric methods

Task description:

We are looking for a student interested in doing basic research in probabilistic machine learning. Our core expertise is learning from complex and multiple data sources, a problem domain that arises in a wide range of application fields. During the internship, you will develop probabilistic models and Bayesian inference techniques to take into account the structured nature of data and side information available. The precise task will be chosen by matching your interests and our application areas: personalized medicine, computational biology, contextual information retrieval, information visualization, and brain imaging. Students with strong background in mathematics and interest in model development are especially encouraged to apply.

17) Field of study: Computer Science

Aalto University unit: School of Science, Department of Computer Science

Professor in charge of the topic: Juho Kannala

Website of the research group: http://users.aalto.fi/~kannalj1/

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Juho Kannala, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic: Computer Vision

Task description:

We are a new and growing research group working broadly in the field of computer vision. We are pursuing research problems both in geometric computer vision (including topics such as visual SLAM, visual-inertial odometry, and 3D scene reconstruction) and in semantic computer vision (including topics such as object detection and recognition, and deep learning). We are looking for students interested in both basic research and applications of computer vision. Students with good programming skills and strong background in mathematics are especially encouraged to apply. Previous experience in computer vision is not required. The precise topics of the research will be chosen together with the students to match their personal interests. For more information about our research, please visit http://users.aalto.fi/~kannalj1/.

18) Field of study:  Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Science               

Department: AScI - Aalto Science Institute

Professor in charge of the topic: Eve Hoggan

Academic contact person for further information on topic:  Eve Hoggan, first.last [at] aalto [dot] fi

Title of topic:  Improving Interaction with Text Entry Systems using Neurophysiological Measurements

Task description:

Current word prediction systems can significantly reduce typing errors, but can also decrease typing speed. This project will involve an investigation into the use of EEG measurements to speed up interaction with text entry systems. During the internship, an experiment will be conducted to compare traditional word prediction systems and an EEG-enhanced system

The detailed topic and tasks will be tailored according to the background of the successful candidate. Candidates should have a basic knowledge of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and user studies. Knowledge of EPrime or PsychToolBox, Matlab, and biomechanics would be extremely beneficial.

Other research topics are also possible, please see my website for examples: www.evehoggan.com

19) Field of study: Physics and Mechanical Engineering

Department: AScI - Aalto Science Institute

Professor in charge of topic: Marcelo A. Dias

Academic contact person for further information on topic: Marcelo A. Dias, marcelo.dias [at] aalto [dot] fi (first.last@aalto.fi) 

Title of topic: Thin elastic structures

Task description:

Over the past few years, an increasing interest in the mechanics of highly deformable and soft structures has stimulated new approaches to technological applications, revealed deep connections between our understanding of morphology and biomechanical function, and unfolded fundamental questions in nonlinear continuum mechanics. Despite this growing research trend, standard treatments in the mechanics of soft materials typically neglect fundamental geometric non-linearities by either assuming that the deformed state deviates only slightly from a known reference shape or by neglecting micro-mechanical instabilities, which limits our capability to fully explore the potentials for functionalization of these systems. The class of problems in which we are interested transcends these restrictive assumptions, where softness and/or complexity of the internal geometry of structures often lead to large deflections. Our research will advance the field of thin (or slender) elastic structures by focusing on creating a platform for controlled-engineering designs within two research fronts, namely, mechanics of textured and morphing structures. We will have two case studies: firstly, the nearly unexplored mechanics of a stationary system of cracks (or cuts) in thin sheets will be looked at through a robust approach that deals with its singular nature and the out-of-plane moment balance of the crack tip; and secondly, the description of reticulated plates and shells will be studied where a non-linear version of a homogenization technique will be developed. These topics are unified through our theoretical mechanics viewpoint which seeks to give a more fundamental description of how macroscopic mechanical responses of an elastic body are derived from a careful design of its internal microscopic geometry.

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