Research in Media Lab

Research Groups

Game Research Group

The game research group is led by prof.Perttu Hämäläinen, who joined Aalto in 2012 after a six-year period as the CTO of Virtual Air Guitar Company (e.g., Kung-Fu Live and Kung-Fu High Impact). Hämäläinen’s professorship and the research group are divided 50/50 between Aalto’s department of Computer Science (School of Science) and the department of Media (School of Arts, Design & Architecture).

Games are a multidisciplinary field, and our research interests include physics simulation, procedural animation, control optimization, AI, full-body human-computer interaction, virtual and augmented realities, games and learning. The group has contributed in particular to exergame design (games and systems that aim to motivate physical exercise and teach movement skills, e.g., the Augmented Climbing Wall) and movement AI of physically based simulated characters or “active ragdolls”.


Learning Environments Research Group

The Learning Environments Research Group (short name: LeGroup) is involved in research, design and development of New Media tools, as well as their use and application, in the field of learning. The group has collaborated in, generated and coordinated several research and development projects at national, Nordic and European levels.

The research group was founded in 1998 when the Media Lab launched its initiative on future learning environments in cooperation with the Centre for Research on Networked Learning and Knowledge Building at the University of Helsinki. Since then the group has collaborated in, generated and coordinated several research and development projects at national, Nordic and European levels.

Research topics:
Computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL)
Information and communication technology (ICT) in learning (PCs,PDAs, mobile phones etc.)
ICT in creative group work and design
ICT in empowerment through learning
Learning environments enhanced with technology.

The group's approach to research and design of New Media and learning is theory-based but design-oriented. This means that besides the academic research papers the outcomes of the group are often software systems, software prototypes, applications and scenarios. The group's works are based on the social constructivist theory that sees learning as a participation in social processes of knowledge construction. Members of the group come from very different backgrounds covering education, computer science and design, but they all share the same pedagogical thinking.

Teemu Leinonen, Professor, Director of the group,

Systems of representation

The group researches and studies the role of representation and how it is used in the creation of meaningful cultural artifacts.

The work focuses on the following areas:
• Digital heritage
• Visualization methods and tools, especially digital cartography, cybercartography and ontology design and implementation
• 3D user interface design.

Current projects:
• Finnish Pavilion at the 1900 World Fair in Paris, 2007 to the present.
• Discovering Vrouw Maria, 2011-2012
• Design Fest, 2011-2012?
• Museum Laboratory (Muse Lab), Organizational stage.

Lily Díaz, Professor, Director of the group,

Sound and Physical Interaction

Sound and Physical Interaction research group (SOPI) is focusing on sound and its emerging role in New Media practices. SOPI research group deals with digital sound in more aesthetically engaging forms. The group is interested in the research and implementation of sound design together with physical interaction practices on various levels to advance their roles and impact in the future of media and interactive art. The research group combines the knowledge in Sonic Interaction and expertise in Interactive Art/Music. SOPI research group aims to broaden this focus by collaboration at a national and an international level.

The scope of the SOPI research group includes all aspects of computational analysis, synthesis and processing as applied to sound in New Media practices; communication, audio-visual production, computer music and interactive art.

SOPI research focus areas include but not limited to;

- Multimodal Interfaces

- Physical Interaction

- Mobile Music

- Embodied approaches to Sonic Interaction

- Participatory Music Experience

- Computational Models for Audiovisual Performances


M.Koray Tahiroğlu, Director of the group, tel: +358 45 233 627


Graduated Doctors of Arts