Helsinki GSE gets new professorship in data sciences

Helsinki GSE gets new professorship in data sciences

The Helsinki Graduate School of Economics (Helsinki GSE) works to increase the quantity and quality of economic education and training in Finland, as well as promote cooperation between economics and other academic fields.

Helsinki GSE is a joint unit of Hanken School of Economics, Aalto University and the University of Helsinki.

Helsinki GSE’s new economics and data sciences professorship is made possible by joint 2.5 million euro donation from the Saastamoinen and Jenny and Antti Wihuri foundations. The professorship is housed at the Aalto University School of Business.

Accelerating digitalisation increases the amount of data in all sectors of society. Efficient use of digital materials in decision-making requires the ability to gather, organize and analyse data. Consequently, the decision-making process produces essential information about causal relationships.

The need to use data more efficiently in the decision-making process is why donors support the economics and data sciences professorship.

‘The professorship complements the high level of Finnish research on machine learning by introducing alongside a profound understanding of the economic behaviour of decision-makers,’ says Petteri Karttunen, Chairman of the Saastamoinen Foundation’s Board of Directors.

According to Arto Mäenmaa, Executive Director of the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, Helsinki GSE is also an appealing project.

‘High-quality science is a prerequisite for our society’s success. Collaborations are often excellent ways to increase effectiveness. Helsinki GSE combines these,’ he explains.  

The economics and data sciences professorship generates significant cross-faculty and cross-school opportunities for different universities and schools of business. Economists specialised in economics and data sciences gain employment in various sectors.

‘Combining statistical analysis with the economic modelling of decision-making creates considerable added value, for example in the technology and game industry, retail sector and public sector,’ states Otto Toivanen, Academic Director of the Helsinki GSE.

Helsinki GSE started operating in spring 2018 and its doctoral programme and research master’s programme for postgraduate studies began in autumn 2018.