AScI projects

Thematic research programmes 2014

AScI invited proposals by the School of Science faculty and staff for thematic research programmes. Idea of the thematic programmes is to identify upcoming novel fields or topic areas of research not currently well represented in the School of Science or Aalto University  and to allow investment in the exploration and development of new research fields based on the existing strengths.

The AScI Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) proposed in their recent review report that AScI should target its activities to particular topic areas by creating a framework of thematically focused research programmes or ‘rolling workshops’. These programmes are intended to run for three years and involve Visiting Professors and/or Visiting Scientists, graduate interns and visitors working together with Aalto staff and students on a common theme. AScI would provide support for these activities in the form of visitor and event funding, facilities, and coordinator assistance. In addition, AScI fellows focused on the theme(s) would be recruited. Analogous research programmes exist in many leading institutions in disciplines represented at the School.

In this first call for 2014, AScI aimed to start one to two new thematic programmes followed later by one new programme each year, such that AScI reserves funding for the theme activities, possibly co-funded by departments or other sources. Themes involving other Aalto Schools are encouraged. Following the selection of a new research theme and depending on its scope and intentions, AScI will open a call for thematic AScI fellows, which could also be partially co-funded.

AScI Thematic research programmes started in autumn 2014

AScI received 10 very good applications of various kinds, ranging from typical research proposals to requests of support for running workshops around different themes. Indeed, AScI Executive Committee found them all very interesting being academically at very high level and after prescreening send them all to the international Scientific Advisory Board of AScI for evaluation due to the fact that in its recent report SAB proposed AScI to open up the present type thematic call as a new instrument for some focus of its activities around somewhat larger and novel research themes. The aim was to start 1 - 2 thematic programmes to be followed by one each consecutive year, funds permitting. On this basis AScI SAB proposed two proposals (one single one and the other joining two nearby proposals to be one) with whom AScI EC was encouraged to start following two programmes:

Foster/Laurson proposal: Machine learning strategies for optimizing frictional properties of materials

Theran/Fortunato joint proposal: Challenges in large geometric structures and big data

 

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