University of Turku Receives a Significant Donation to Complex Systems Research
​Representative of the donor group Matti Rihko presented the donation to Rector Kalervo Väänänen of the University of Turku and Head of Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Professor Iiro Honkala on Friday, 12 January 2018

​The donation strengthens the multidisciplinary research of complex systems at the University of Turku.  A complex system is a network with many components which interact with each other. Examples of such systems are the human brain, social and economic networks, a city, an ecosystem and a living cell.

There are many complicated problems related to the structure and design of such systems: how to organise, for example, the traffic in a city or how to place different services strategically. These problems can be solved with mathematical modelling by using mathematical tools, such as optimisation techniques. Even small improvements can lead to significant progress in large systems.

The donation will be allocated to the Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Turku, the high-quality research of which has been extremely international and interdisciplinary for years. Theoretical basic research plays a key role in the research of complex systems: deep understanding of the structure and properties of complex phenomena is the basis on which the applications are built.

– Academician Arto Salomaa has done pioneering work in theoretical computer science, and the Department has followed in his footsteps. The current key research areas include cellular automata, discrete dynamical systems, graph theory, coding theory, number theory, optimisation and mathematical modelling, and statistics. In addition, collaboration with the Department of Future Technologies at the University of Turku in particular is close.  The donation will enable many exciting new openings, which I am greatly looking forward to. The projects will be multidisciplinary, and the donation will benefit the University as a whole, says Professor Iiro Honkala, Head of Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

– It is exceptional that such a big donation is directed to basic research. This is a great example of how our high-quality mathematical research has been noticed abroad, says Rector of the University of Turku Kalervo Väänänen.

– The group of donors consists of private persons from Asia, North America and Europe. The group wishes to anonymously support pioneering top research and decided on the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Turku not only for its scientific merits, but the group also emphasised the potential of the research group for scientific breakthroughs in the future. Naturally, both as a representative of the donor group and as a citizen of Turku, I am extremely satisfied that of all the top universities around the world, the choice was here in Turku, notes representative of the donor group Matti Rihko.

Text: Taru Suhonen
Photo: Hanna Oksanen
Translation: Saara Yli-Kauhaluoma

Published date 1/12/2018 4:00 PM ,  Modified date 1/12/2018 4:56 PM

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