CURRICULUM VITAE of Vesa A. Niskanen, 2020

(see also , LinkedIn or ResearchGate)


I Personal data

1. Name

Family name: Niskanen, given names: Vesa, A, (Mr.)

2. Place of birth


3. Nationality


4. Language proficiency

Finnish (native), English (fluent), Swedish (fair), German (fair).


II Current position


      1. Adjunct Prof. (Docent). Scope: methodics of the Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Education, University of Helsinki, 1988-.
      2. Part-time fee-paid teacher and advisor in scientific methods in Doctoral Schools, University of Helsinki, Aalto University, 2010-.
      3. Assoc. Prof. (Emeritus), Scope: information & communication technology (ICT), computer modeling, computational intelligence, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, active in 1992-2016.



III Education

      1. Jyväskylän Normaalilyseo secondary school (1962-1967), Jyväskylä, Finland. Helsingin Lyseo (Ressu) secondary school and matriculation examination, (1967-1970), Helsinki, Finland.
      2. Candidate in the Humanities (Bachelor's) degree, University of Helsinki, 1974.
      3. Candidate in Philosophy, Master's degree (theoretical philosophy, mathematics, computing science, astronomy), University of Helsinki, 1978.
      4. Licentiate in Philosophy degree on fuzzy logic (theoretical philosophy, mathematics), University of Helsinki, 1980.
      5. Doctoral dissertation on fuzzy systems (theoretical philosophy) approved by the University of Helsinki, 1986. 
        Degree of Doctor of Philosophy awarded on 3rd February, 1987


IV Previous professional appointments


      1. Part-time Fee-paid Teacher (methodology, philosophy of science, philosophy of education, statistics, informatics, computational intelligence), University of Helsinki: (i) Open University, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Faculty of Veterinary Science, since 1973. (ii) University of Art and Design. (iii) Helsinki University of Technology (Aalto).
      2. Researcher (Research Project on Instructional Material), University of Helsinki, Dept. of Education, 1978-1983. (i) Junior Assistant (fuzzy systems, statistical and mathematical computer applications), University of Helsinki, Computing Centre, from 1983 to 31st January 1992. (ii) Project Manager (informatics and distance education), University of Helsinki, Open University, three months in 1990. (iii) Senior Designer (fuzzy systems, statistical and mathematical computer applications), University of Helsinki, Computing Centre, from 1st February to 31st March 1992. (iv) Full-time Fee-paid Teacher (distance education), University of Helsinki, Open University, from 1st April to 31st July 1992.
      3. Part-time expert in e-learning and virtual university pedagogics, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, 2000-2004.


V Academic & professional activities (”maverick of methods”)

The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, medal for 30 years service in the scientific community, 2020


Principal research area

An international and a Finnish pioneer in fuzzy systems. Research in this area since the 1970's. Other research interests include the methodology of the human sciences and the philosophy of science. Brief introduction to fuzzy systems and Lotfi Zadeh's work in YouTube.

Membership in scientific societies and scientific groups

1.     The International Fuzzy Systems Association (IFSA). (Member of Council and Secretary 1999-2003, Advisor 2003-)

2.     IFSA Information Committee Chair 2003-.

3.     The North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society (NAFIPS) (Member 1991-2005).

4.     The North European Society for Adaptive and Intelligent Systems (NSAIS) (Society Member of IFSA, Secretary and founding member 2001-).

5.     The Finnish Artificial Intelligence Society (FAIS, member of the board 1991-1997).

6.     The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE, society affiliate, 1992-2000 and 2018-).

7.     Member and initiator of the Steering Committee of  the Adaptive and Intelligent Systems Applications, TEKES Technology Programme for 1994-2000. Co-Editor of the Steering Committee Report "Sumean logiikan mahdollisuudet" (Prospects for fuzzy logic), 1993-1994.

8.     Member of the BISC Group (The Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing, Univ. of California, Computer Science Division, Director till 2017: Prof. Lotfi Zadeh), since 1994.

9.     BISC, UC Berkeley, Special Interest Group in Philosophy of Soft Computing: Founder and Chair, 1997-.

10.  BISC, UC Berkeley, Special Interest Group in Social and Behavioral Sciences: Founder and Chair, 2005-.

11.  BISC, UC Berkeley, Special Interest Group in Planetary Sciences (Exploration on Mars): Member of the Advisory Committee 1997-1999.

12.  BISC, UC Berkeley, Special Interest Group in Fuzzy Logic in the Internet: Academic-Technical Steering Committee Member, 2001-.

13.  Node: European Network in Uncertainty Techniques Developments for Use in Information Technology (ERUDIT, EU/Esprit programme as a network of excellence), 1994-2000.

14.  Finland-South Korea Scientific Cooperation (belongs to Fuzziness in Finland events): organizer, 2004- .

15.  Project on Complex Phenomena Modeling: Director, 2004-2006.

16.  Learning Business Plan Project (supported by the Ministry of Employment and Economy), Co-Director, 2005-2007.

17.  Risk analysis project  with VTT and the BISC Group (KULJEN Project), funded by TEKES, Member of Steering Committee and Academic partner, 2009-2011. Description in Finnish.

18.  Dogrisk Project, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Univ. of Helsinki (academic partner), 2012-

19.  Project on fuzzy cognitive maps with Ecole Centrale University, Paris, France, and Széchenyi István University, Gyor, Hungary (Administrative director, scientific co-director), 2015-.

20.  ISME (International Society of Management Engineers), Japan, (Executive Board Member), 2009-.

Guest editor, editorial board membership, referee

1.     Guest editor: (i) (with Prof. Christer Carlsson): Fuzzy Sets & Systems, special issue on "Fuzzy sets and management science", 1994. (ii) Soft Computing (Springer), special issue on "Philosophy of soft computing". (iii) (with Jari Kortelainen): "On the edge of fuzziness", Acta Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis, Vol. 179, 2004.

2.     Editorial board: (i) "Arpakannus" (Finnish Artificial Intelligence Society), 1992-1997. (ii) Proceedings of the "Fuzziness in Finland" conferences, 1993- (iii) Journal of Multiple-Valued Logic and Soft Computing, 2003- (iv) (IJSIT) International Journal of Software and Information Technologies, 2004-. (v) The Journal of Biomedical Soft Computing and Human Sciences (Assoc. Editor, 2007-). (vi) International Journal of Knowledge Engineering and Soft Data Paradigms (KESDP), 2007-. (vii) International Journal of Computational Intelligence Studies, 2008-. (viii) The International Journal of Granular Computing, Rough Sets and Intelligence, 2008-. (ix) Turkish Journal of Fuzzy Systems. (x)Journal of Intelligent Systems: Theory and Applications (JISTA), 2013-.

3.     Referee: (i) IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems. (ii) Fuzzy Sets and Systems. (iii) Information Sciences. (iv) IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering. (v) IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics. (vi) IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering. (vi) Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications. (vii) Journal of Social Sciences. (viii) Applied Computational Intelligence and Soft Computing. (ix) International Journal of Approximate Reasoning. (x) Neural Computing and Applications. (xi) Journal of Multiple-Valued Logic and Soft Computing. (xii) For several international conferences.

Conference activities, academic visits (in four continents)

1.     Visiting scholar, BISC Group, Univ. of California, Berkeley, Computer Science Division, (i) May 24 to June 24, 1997. (ii) Aug 1 to Aug 7, 1998. (iii) May 28 to June 11, 2000. (iv) June 12 to 22, 2001. (v) May 17 to 28, 2002. (vi) Nov 29 to Dec 8, 2003. (vii) Dec 31 to Jan 8, 2005. (viii) Nov 1 to Nov 7, 2005. (ix) June 23 to July 1, 2007. (x) Oct. 16-23, 2009. (xi) Dec. 15-31, 2010. (xii) May 21-28, 2011. (xiii) Dec. 17-26, 2014.

2.     Member of conference advisory, program or organizing committee: Conference on Artificial Intelligence Research in Finland in 1992 and 1994. * EURO XII/TIMS XXXI '93, Helsinki. * VI Scandinavian Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Helsinki, Finland, 1997. * IASTED '99, Honolulu, USA, 1999. * KES '01, Osaka, Japan. * IFSA '01, Vancouver, Canada. * ICAIET '02, Malaysia. * SCIS '02, Tsukuba, Japan. * KES '03, Oxford, England. * IFSA '03, Istanbul, Turkey. * SCAI '04, Bergen, Norway. * FiF '04, Helsinki, Finland (conference chair). * FIC '04, Fukuoka, Japan. * FUZZ-IEEE '04, Budapest, Hungary. * International Conference on Informatics (ICI-2004), Izmir, Turkey. * IMS '04, Sakarya, Turkey. * IFSA '05, Beijing, China. * ISME '06, Kitakyushu, Japan. * KES '06, Bournemouth, UK. * ISME '07, Kitakyushu, Japan. *  KES '07, Salerno, Italy. * IEEE-SOFA '07, Hungary & Romania. * ISME '08 Kitakyushu, Japan (tutorial). * The 9th International Symposium on Econometrics and Statistics, Izmir, Turkey, 2008 (invited speaker). * The Eighth International Conference on Applications of Fuzzy Systems and Soft Computing (ICAFS '08), Helsinki, Finland, 2008 (also a session chair). * Int. Symposium on Intelligent and Manufacturing Systems (IMS '08), Sakarya, Turkey (also an invited speaker)* IFSA '09, Lisbon, Portugal. * KES '09, Santiago, Chile (also an invited session organizer). * FUZZ-IEEE '09, Jeja, Korea (session chair, member of program committee). * FUZZYSS '09, Ankara, Turkey (member of honorary committee, keynote speaker, session chair). * IPMU '10, Dortmund, Germany (invited special session organizer ). * KES '10, Cardiff, UK (invited special session chair). * ISCSE '10, Turkey (organizing committee). * WCCI '10, Barcelona, Spain (Reviewer, IFSA Council)* ICAFS '10, Prague, Czech Republic. * ISCSE '10, Kusadasi, Turkey (Programming committee, invited speaker, session chair). * ISME '10, Kitakyushu, Japan (Advisory committee member). * IFSA '11, Bali, Indonesia (Advisory Committee Member). * Workshop on Fuzziness and Medicine '11, European Centre for Soft Computing, Asturias, Spain (invited speaker). * World Conference on Soft Computing '11, San Francisco, USA (session chair). * ISME '11, Kusadasi, Turkey (invited speaker, session chair, committee member). * KES '11, Kaiserslautern, Germany (International Programming Committee). * FUZZ-IEEE '11, Taipei, Taiwan (referee). * IPMU '12, Catania, Italy (session chair). * FUZZ-IEEE '12, Brisbane, Australia (referee). * 5th Gyor Symposium on Computational Intelligence '12, Gyor, Hungary (invited speaker). * IMS '12, Antalya, Turkey (invited speaker). * WconSC '12, Baku, Azerbaidjan (keynote speaker). * IFSA '13, Edmonton, Canada (International Programme Committee). * ISAE '13, Fukuoka, Japan (Symposium committee). * FUZZ-IEEE '15, Istanbul, Turkey (Advisory Committee). * IFSA-EUSFLAT '15, Oviedo, Spain (Programme Committee). * University of London, London, Aug. 21-24, 2014 (academic visit). * UC Berkeley, BISC Group, Dec. 17-26, 2014 (visiting scholar). * NAFIPS '15, Redmond, USA (Programme committee). * ICSCCW-2015, Antalya, Turkey (Program committee). * ISME '15, Kitakyushu, Japan (Advisory Committee). * FUZZ-IEEE '16, Vancouver, Canada (referee). * WConSC’ 16 (Berkeley, USA, Programme Committee). * Nafips ’16 (El Paso, USA, Program committee). * FCTA '16, Porto, Portugal (Programme committee, referee). * ICAFS '16, Vienna, Austria (Program Committee). * IFSA-SCIS '17 (Otsu, Japan, Programme Committee, reviewer, co-author). * IJCCI '17 (Funchal, Portugal, Program Committee, referee). * University of London, UK, 2017 (academic visit). * CogInfoCom '17 (Debrecen, Hungary, participation, co-author). * ESCIM '17, Faro, Portugal (co-author). * CATO Institute, Washington DC, USA, 2017 (academic visit). * IJCCI ’18, Seville, Spain (Programme Committee, reviewer). * NAFIPS ’18, Fortaleza, Brazil (Programme Committee, reviewer). * ICAFS ’18, Warsaw, Poland (Program Committee, reviewer). * SCIS & ISIS ’18, Toyama, Japan (reviewer). * Kaunas, Lithuania, ’18 (Aleksandras Stulginskis University, academic visit, lecturer). * FCTA ’19, Vienna, Austria (Program committee, reviewer). * FUZZ-IEEE ’19, New Orleans, USA (presentation). * ICSCCW ’19, Prague, Czech Republic (Intl. Programme Committee). * Conference on Rural Development ’19, Kaunas, Lithuania, Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy (session chair and academic visit). * FCTA ’20, Budapest, Hungary (Program committee, reviewer). * IEEE Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century ‘20, Chennai, India (Program committee, reviewer). *  ICIN4.0-SS 20, Canakkale, Turkey (Program Committee). * IFSA-EUSFLAT ’21, Bratislava, Slovakia (Programme Committee). * IMSS ’21, Sakarya, Turkey, (Scientific Committee).

3.     Chair of International Relations in Organizing Committee & Chair of Program Committee in BISCSE '05 - 40th Anniversary of Fuzzy Pioneers.

4.     CITRIS (UC Berkeley-Tekes) in Europe meeting, Helsinki, 2006: Workshop on Soft Computing, co-chair.


VI Pedagogical experience & student training:

1.     Member of staff of the Dept. of Economics & Management, University of Helsinki.

2.     Candidate’s and Master’s courses on ICT, statistics, methodology, philosophy of education, neuro-fuzzy systems and genetic-fuzzy systems at the Open University in Helsinki, in the Computing Centre and in the Faculties of Medicine, Veterinary Science, Education and Agriculture & Forestry at the University of Helsinki since 1973 (also in English). Courses on methodology at the University of Art & Design, 1997-1999. Courses on neuro-fuzzy systems at the Helsinki University of Technology (Aalto) in 2003- (in English). 

3.     Responsible for organizing the courses on informatics for about 500 students per year in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, 1992-2016.

4.     Doctoral school courses in statistical computing and AI in the Faculties of Medicine, Pharmacy, Biology, Education, Veterinary Science and Forestry & Agriculture, at Univ. of Helsinki, 2010-.
At Aalto Univ. on computational intelligence, Otaniemi, 2017-.

5.     International NOVA-BOVAcourses on computational intelligence in the Faculty of Agriculture & Forestry, Univ. of Helsinki, 2016, 2017, 2019.

6.     Several experiments on distance education and on e-learning systems at Univ. of Helsinki and Open University. Regular user of distance education and e-learning techniques, such as audio, audiographic and video techniques as well as ICT services, 1988-. Consultant and a Finnish pioneer in distance education.

7.     International summer schools: (i) Helsinki Summer School 2000 - Top Learning at the Top of Europe, responsible organizer of the course "Soft computing in intelligent systems" at the University of Helsinki in 2000. (ii) Helsinki Summer School 2001 - Top Learning at the Top of Europe, responsible organizer of the course "Adaptive and intelligent systems in information society" at the University of Helsinki in 2001. (iii) Helsinki Summer School on Soft Computing 2004.

8.     Undergraduate and postgraduate training also includes: 

·      Ex officio opponent, Helsinki Univ. of Technology, Espoo. 

·      Doctoral thesis referee (ten times): (i) Univ. of Helsinki. (ii) Univ. of Oulu. (iii) Univ. of Jyväskylä (twice). (iv) VTT, Oulu. (v) Helsinki Univ. of Technology (Aalto), Espoo (four times), Kaunas (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania). 

·      Referee for Readership (Docent), Lappeenranta Univ. of Technology. 

·      Several methodological consultations for Undergraduate and Doctoral students as well as for Post Doctoral researches.

·      Undergraduate training: Guidance, counselling and referee on reports on methodological, statistical and soft computing aspects for dozens of students at University of Helsinki, Helsinki University of Technology (Aalto), etc.

Part-time expert in e-learning services in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Univ. of Helsinki, 2000-2005. 

Books and hand-outs on methodology, statistics, informatics and fuzzy systems (also e-material on the web, cf. list of publications). (ii) Audio and video cassettes on methodology and fuzzy systems. (iii) TV programs and TV appearances on fuzzy systems. (iv) Medal of Honor for acting over 10 years as a teacher in the open colleges.

Diploma in the course on constructivistic and learning-based education (JUONTO, 5 credits), Univ. of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, 2000-2001. (ii) Diploma in the course on e-learning methods and techniques (OPE.FI II, 5 credits), Univ. of Helsinki, Centre for Teaching Technology, 2000-2001.

Director of Digimat Project (digital material project) on producing metadata for instructional videos of National Broadcasting Company (YLE), Univ. of Helsinki, Faculty of Education, 2003-2004.


VII Other activities

    1. Consultant on computational intelligence, quantitative methodology and e-learning: (i) Partnership in Tenerum Oy (Tenerum Ltd., my business consultation is provided thru this firm). (ii) Permanent advisor, Meltron Ltd. (iii) Various short-term business partners.
    2. Several appearances in mass media concerning the neuro-fuzzy systems, see e.g. YLE's video clips.