Finnish Centre of Excellence in



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Researcher training

The centre of excellence regards as one of its main goals to educate a new generation of mathematicians combining a strong theoretical background together with a versatile interest towards interdisciplinary and applied research. The centre of excellence will devote special care to ensure equality of opportunity in hiring of post-doc and graduate students from Finland and from abroad and to forge a friendly and supportive environment for their training.

An essential part of the training of a young researcher is to develop skills of scientific communication with people in other fields or with different research cultures. The current trend of reducing the time spent for a Ph.D. thesis tends to favour an extreme specialisation of the field of research which may result in narrow views of research and definition of success. On the other hand, progress in science is often achieved by taking inspiration from ideas and by adapting conceptual tools previously introduced in other disciplines. The centre of excellence will take care to offer young researchers a broad and open cultural environment in order to nurture the development of original scientific personalities and approaches to research. While the mathematical physics and mathematical biology students should take the pure mathematics courses as they are given to the pure mathematics students there is a need for interdisciplinary courses in physics and biology on the graduate level. Mobility within the groups partaking the centre of excellence and towards external research institutions will be therefore regarded as an important formative element.

Young researchers will be encouraged not only to attend workshops and conferences abroad but also to spend periods of their training in foreign research institutions. Furthermore, the collaborations with industries (Nokia, Kemira, Metso, Wärtsilä) established by participant groups in the framework of concrete applied research projects will offer the opportunity to young researchers to get acquainted with work realities outside of academia. This is of particular importance considering that not all young researchers will continue their career in academia. Mentoring will also be offered to help as much as possible post-doc and graduate students in the planning of future developments of their careers in academia as well as in business and industry.

Contacts between all the students involved will be strongly encouraged through activities such as 'student seminars' and informal joint discussions. Students are encouraged to collaborate also in research as this will be very important in the postdoctoral phase and later. Such contacts are also important, since research in mathematics requires periods of hard concentration done alone. As a counterbalance the activities just mentioned promote 'sharing' among the students. The CoE will also create a unique possibility to learn directly, not just from the supervisor, but from several experts on the involved topics. This will be enforced by the crash courses that are planned as an essential part of training activities.

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