Category Archives: teaching

Explaining the internals of a computer to 9-year olds

About a week ago I organized a workshop on the internals of a computer as part of the UniJunior project that i have been involved with for a couple of years now. While this was not the first workshop I have been responsible for, it was the first one for which I had created most of the content on my own—which made it that much more nerve-wracking. Luckily the coordinator for UniJunior and the assistants we hired for the workshop were really great (as always).

The 3 hour long workshop was divided into two parts. The first part was spent discussing what a computer is, the kids had a number of differing opinions on that front (can a playstation be considered to be a computer? How bout a tractor?). Afterwards we then opened up a desktop computer, a laptop and an iPhone and looked at which parts they contain.

After a light snack, the second half of the workshop was spent on an exercise designed to simulate the cycle that a processor of a computer performs. Those of you who know Swedish can read detailed instructions on .

While the overall opinion of the task was positive, it did suffer a bit from the fact that most parts of the processor spend most of their time doing nothing :). Luckily the tables on the mother card could be drawn on.

I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone who helped with the workshop! Hopefully we will get the opportunity to do it again in the fall. If you have a Swedish-speaking child of ages 6-9 or know of someone who does, I strongly recommend the UniJunior workshops. All of them are well organized, fun, and inspiring!

First Workshop at the Junior University

During this year I have been a part of the steering group of a project called UniJunior. The aim of the project is to increase the curiosity of children in elementary school towards science and research by organising a series of interdisciplinary workshops in Swedish once per month during the fall and spring of 2021-2022. The project especially targets kids coming from non-academic homes. It is funded by Svenska Kulturfonden and Stiftelsen Brita Maria Renlunds minne.

Last Saturday the project kicked off with a workshop on colors, a workshop planned mainly be me and Christoffer Fridlund. The kids got to learn about what kind of a role color plays in different chemical reactions, how rainbows are formed by light refraction and how computers represent color as numbers. I thought the whole things went really well and—based on the feedback we collected—so did the kids!

I would especially like to thank Martina, Eva and Jim for planning, organising, and running the workshop with me and the ChemistryLab Gadolin for lending their premises and suplies for the workshop. I would also like to express my gratitude to everyone in the steering group of UniJunior, including its chair Prof. Gunilla Holm.

MaxSAT tutorial at ECAI 2020

Tomorrow (4.9.2020 at 14:00 Helsinki Timezone) I will be giving a tutorial on MaxSAT at the ECAI 2020 conference together with Matti Järvisalo and Ruben Martins. The event is virtual and attendance is free, so any interested people should attend.

I am looking forward to the (new) experience of giving a tutorial, I am happy with the material and am sure we will be able to tech people about modern MaxSAT in an affective way.

Supervising Master’s Theses

This spring was the first time I co-supervised Master’s theses. In total three students got their theses accepted during June:

I’d like to congratulate all students on finishing their theses. Even if I had supervised Bachelor’s theses before, supervising Master’s level students was a new experience for me. I learned a lot and can only hope I could provide useful supervision for them as well.