Jaakko Lehtinen appointed as a Professor in the School of Science
Jaakko Lehtinen, D. Sc., 35, has been appointed as an Assistant Professor at the Aalto University School of Science starting from 1.9.2012. The professorship is at the Department of of Media Technology. The field of the professorship is media technology.
Lehtinen graduated as a Master of Science in Technology in 2004 and as a Doctor of Science in Technology in 2007 from the Helsinki University of Technology. After completing his doctoral degree, Lehtinen spent two and half years as a post-doctoral associate in Professor Frédo Durand’s group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA where he both conducted research and taught. From June 2010, he has worked in Helsinki in the research group of NVIDIA, an American company manufacturing graphics processing units. Lehtinen will continue as a member of the group. Besides NVIDIA and MIT, Lehtinen has collaborators in University College London (UCL), the Microsoft research department and Weta Digital, a New Zealand-based company renowned for its special effects for films such as the Lord of the Rings and Avatar.
Before his research career, he was responsible for creating a sinificant proportion of the graphics technology for the Max Payne and Max Payne 2 games that were launched by the Espoo-based Remedy Entertainment computer game developer and gained popularity world over. Lehtinen still works for the company as a technical consultant.
“Computer graphics as a hobby is at a very high level in Finland. During the last couple of decades, the so-called demoscene, where mainly self-taught programmers, graphic designers and musicians compete in the creation of technical and artistic impression, has laid a foundation for the active and internationally astonishingly successful Finnish games industry”, says Lehtinen. “Against this background, I am particularly excited to be the first in Finland to offer technical education in computer graphics, based on top research in the field and hands-on experience in commercially successful applications. My goal is to channel students’ enthusiasm into high-quality research and train even more skilled professionals for the growing, competitive games and other content industries”, Lehtinen explains.
Lehtinen specialises in computer graphics and is the first professor in his field in Finland. Computer graphics is a general name for techniques applied for instance in computer games, scientific visualisation, advertising graphics and special effects in films. Lehtinen’s research focus is particularly on image synthesis, which aims to produce realistic images and animations by simulating the behaviour of light computationally.
jaakko.lehtinen [at] aalto [dot] fi
Photo: Jenni Häyrinen