SCI Academic Committee 1/23

Hello all!

The first SCI academic committee meeting of the year was held on 13.2.2023. Please find a brief summary below.

Supplementation of the curriculum (academic year 2022-2024)

The only decision item of the meeting was supplementation of the current curriculum. The decision proposal included the following items:

  • CS-E4200 - Emergent User interfaces D: lectured in periods III-V by Mikko Kytö
  • CS-E7770 - AI for Media, Art, and Design: no teaching in 2022-2023
  • TU-E2230 - Machine Learning in Financial Engineering D: new grading scale is pass/fail
  • Priority of students was assigned to various TU-Exxxx courses
  • Master’s Programme in Industrial Engineering and Management: course TU-E4320 - Global Business in the Digital Age (4 ects, lectured in period V) was added to the list of optional courses.
  • FITech course selection was supplemented: new course TU-EV0006 - Strategic Project Management, and an updated code for the course Advanced Project-based Management is TU-EJ2031.

The committee confirmed the changes of the curricula according to the proposal.

Biomedical engineering

One of the two discussion items was biomedical engineering - a new BSc level study option starting 2024. In the meeting we quickly glanced through what is the objective (to train next-generation life-science and medical technology professionals) and purpose (to stand at the interface of life and physical sciences, not well addressed in other Aalto BSc programmes, even though the market is growing and health & wellbeing is one of Aalto’s key research areas) of the programme. Compared to other similar programmes in Finland, this programme aims to have an even greater emphasis on physics.

The programme is planned to be placed in the School of Science, and the language of the programme is Finnish. However, how the programme will be called in Finnish, is not yet decided - both “lääketieteellinen tekniikka” and “teknilliset elämäntieteet” have appeared so far. The latter was considered to be good in a sense that it uses the word “teknillinen” (based on the success of “teknillinen psykologia”). Also, it was brought up that the word “elämäntieteet” is in line with how University of Helsinki uses that particular word (see e.g., On the other hand, there were concerns that “elämäntieteet” is not informative and/or appealing enough for high school students. In addition, there appears to be an unspoken agreement that the name of this programme won’t contain the affix “bio-”, since this is reserved for “bioinformaatioteknologia” (another programme in Aalto).

According to the current plan, the students of this programme will have the same basic math and physics courses as TFM students, and biophysics and physiology with BioIT students. The programme is planned to be officially approved during this spring, so that the remaining preparations may be started (e.g., a new biophysics professor needs to be recruited). The plan doesn’t however comment on what will be the future of BioIT once this new programme is launched; will these two compete on the same students, and what will be the relationship between this new programme and BioIT. It was noted that this illustrates how in Aalto the trend seems to be to set up a new programme instead of expanding the existing ones, compared to the international setting, in which students apply into a common bachelor’s programme, and then later on their studies apply to different master’s programmes.

Revision of Aalto University language policy and Aalto University guidelines on the languages of degree and instruction

The other discussion item was revision of Aalto University language policy and guidelines. Namely, the current language policy and guidelines are due to revision during this year. I discussed this topic in more detail in my previous post: SCI education management team 1/23. In this meeting, more or less the same problems with the current guidelines were recognized; resources don’t match with needs, the language question applies differently to large and small courses, and a stronger incentive to learn Finnish (and/or Swedish) should be given to the recruited staff.

The next SCI academic committee meeting is on 27.3., thanks for reading the summary!

Br, Tommi

1 tykkäys