1/2016

European Academy of Sciences and Arts calling

Mathematics Professor Sirkka-Liisa Eriksson from TUT’s Department of Mathematics has been invited as a member of European Academy of Sciences and Arts. The membership opens the doors to a network of world-class European researchers.

Sirkka-Liisa Eriksson

 

Sirkka-Liisa Eriksson would like to raise into the debate at the Academy the equality of education and securing equal access to information for all.

 

European Academy of Sciences and Arts is a science community whose key objectives include interdisciplinary dialogue on solving problems related to Europe and humankind as a whole. The Academy has a total of 1,700 members from different countries, and the number of Finnish members is now 11, representing various fields of science. There are only two Finns among the natural scientists, one of them the newly invited Sirkka-Liisa Eriksson.

“It is a great opportunity to be a part of such a community and the dialogue it involves, to meet new people and to be exposed to new influences and ideas through these debates. One of the best benefits for me personally is that this allows me to network with new distinguished researchers from different countries,” Sirkka-Liisa Eriksson notes.

“The Academy also promotes joint projects and organizes seminars, which gives us the opportunity to participate and make a difference. TUT will receive visibility through my membership and I can bear the torch for our world-class expertise.

A ceremonious nomination gala was arranged for the new members at the University of Salzburg last week.

“This year’s theme is ‘Next Europe’, involving discussions on Europe’s problems and future.”

Nomination merited by a creditable career

WHO?
Sirkka-Liisa Eriksson

  • Professor of Mathematics, TUT’s Department of Mathematics, 2004–
  • Docent at the Universities of Eastern Finland and Helsinki
  • Research Assistant, Junior Researcher, Senior Researcher and Senior Scientist of the Academy of Finland for a total of 12 years
  • Visiting Professor at McGill University, Montreal, Canada for a year
  • Visiting Professor at Universität Erlangen-Nuernberg, Germany for two years
  • Visiting Researcher and Associate Professor at University of Washington, the United States for approx. 3 years
  • Several visits in other countries
  • Three adult children, four grandchildren
 

In order to be nominated as a member in the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, a person must have completed an academic degree in science, arts or culture with distinction and, after that, engaged in meritorious scientific or social activities through publications or other visible and socially recognized activities. An individual person may also be nominated based on notable working life achievements. The decisions on the nominations are made by the Academy Senate based on the candidates’ CVs and publication lists.

Sirkka-Liisa Eriksson’s career is, indeed, impressive. Majoring in mathematics, she graduated as a Master of Arts from the University of Eastern Finland at the early age of 26. She was the university’s youngest graduate at the time. In 2004, she was appointed as a professor of mathematics at TUT, the second woman to hold this position in the history of Finnish universities. Eriksson has also served as a visiting professor and researcher in several countries.

Eriksson’s specialist field is mathematical analysis and related applications. Her particular interests include the generalization of the multidimensional function theory with geometric algebras.

“The four-dimensional spacetime (quaternions) or the generalization thereof, including parallel spaces, are interesting structures, but their analysis involves many open issues. The idea is that vectors can also be multiplied and the result is a new two-dimensional entity with a direction, similarly to vectors. The products are very convenient for presenting geometrical movements, such as rotation.

The application areas for Eriksson’s research fields include various boundary value problems in technology and natural sciences, along with the stochastic analysis and particle physics.

Early exposure to natural sciences

In addition to research questions related to the natural sciences and mathematics, Sirkka-Liisa Eriksson would like to raise into the debate at the Academy another important topic she feels passionate about: the equality of education and securing equal access to information for all.

“This was a goal I was also working for when establishing the LUMATE Centre in Tampere. The idea behind the centre is to work in close co-operation with schools and businesses to inspire pupils as widely as possible to study mathematics, the natural sciences and technology, Eriksson relates.

She is also enthusiastic about teacher training and she has engaged in research on mathematics teaching.

“We are currently working on a project that is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture and aims to develop the math teaching provided at comprehensive schools, involving project-based learning experiments during the lower secondary school. Our results have been promising,” Eriksson rejoices.

Text: Sanna Schildt
Photo: Virpi Andersin

 
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