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The main thing is to inspire the students into learning

At University of Helsinki, seven teachers were premiered for their outstanding work. One of them was HAIC’s Deputy Director Professor Valtteri Niemi.

You can read the whole news article at but below you can read Valtteri’s interview:


Valtteri Niemi, Professor, Department of Computer Science

What do you think is most important in a teacher?

The main thing is to inspire the students into learning. This involves many things; active contact with the students and listening to them, your own enthusiasm and relaying it to the students, providing material in an interesting way, etc. It is also important to follow the course feedback and other feedback, so you know how you’ve done for real.

What have you learned from the students?

I have learned a lot. By supervising theses you learn about the topic matter, or at least you are reminded to update your obsolete ideas. Many students write their Master’s thesis while working and/or about a topic related to their work, which lets the supervisor keep abreast of what is happening in the fast-paced labour market. While I’m teaching courses, the students surprisingly often ask me questions I’ve never heard before or haven’t even thought of before. Further, students who are already working can bring up practical observations, and I would like them to be even bolder with this, without revealing any business secrets, of course.


Congratulation Valtteri!