Computational Interaction

2nd Summer School on
Computational Interaction

Inference, optimisation and modelling for the engineering of interactive systems

13th-18th June 2016

Helsinki, Aalto University


The goal of the summer school is to bring computational tools to bear on enhancing interaction. This encompasses modelling of interaction, deriving and engaging with statistical models of content, automatic learning of preferences and computer-assisted optimisation of interfaces. Applied machine learning and appropriate quantitative analysis, suitable for real-time, closed-loop interactions will be key elements of the summer school programme.

The course will teach fundamental topics of computational interaction, including quantitative user modelling, machine learning, intelligent signal processing and control theory.

There will be a strong focus on developing applied skills through practical sessions integrated into the school programme, which will give students practical experience in using well-grounded, cutting edge analysis, modelling and inference in engineering interactive systems. Therefore, each topic will center around the common theme of gestural interaction, showing how to apply the techniques in concrete human-centred applications.

The summer school will close with a full-day hackathon. More details will be announced later.

Speakers and Organizers

The speakers include:
Hosts this year are:


The summer school will begin at 9 am on Monday 13th June and close with an exciting one-day Hackathon on Saturday 18th June. There will be a mix of lectures and hands-on work, with presentations interleaved by practical development sessions throughout the day.
Every morning we start at 9 am.


  • Monday, John Williamson: Machine learning
  • Tuesday, Rod Murray-Smith: Dynamics, Sensors and Shared Control in Human-Computer Interactions
  • Wednesday, Per Ola Kristensson: Touch and language models
  • Thursday, Otmar Hilliges: Gestural interaction
  • Friday, Andrew Howes: Computational rationality
  • Saturday: Hackathon

Project and Hackathon

The theme of the hackathon will be gestural interaction. We will provide you access and data of computer vision sensors and ask you to solve a design problem using techniques taught during the summer school. The top ranked projects will be awarded a prize in the closing event.

Social Program

Experience the Finnish summer in our evening program. More to come.


The summer school will take place in the Otaniemi campus of Aalto University (15 min from Helsinki city center). The exact venue will be announced soon.
Students are requested to bring a laptop to engage in the interactive portions of the school -- lab machines are not available


Aalto University can be easily reached by Bus from the city center. The nearest airport is Helsinki-Vantaa (HEL).


The summer school is primarily intended for PhD students and Postdocs, but we also welcome advanced Master students to register. People from academia are prioritized in seating. Participants from the industry will be admitted in order of registration.

Registration happens in 2 phases:

  1. Early-bird registration is open and will close on 29th of February. After that, participants will be notified about their acceptance. In the case that there are more applicants than places, the selection will be based on the advance and relevance of their studies or research topic.
  2. The second registration phase will open in mid March and close as soon as the summer school is full. Participants will be notified about their acceptance within one week. Selection is based on first come first serve.

Fees & Payment

Upon acceptance to the summer school, participants will receive a separate email including payment details.
Early-bird:  300€
Regular:  350€
Registration fee will include lunch and tea/coffee, and cover the evening program.


The summer school cannot provide accommodation for attending students. However, we have reserved 20 rooms in the Aalto Töölö Towers at a special rate of 329€ for the full week. Instructions on how to book these rooms are given in your registration confirmation. Pleasen note that the rooms must be booked before 12th of May. First come first serve.

Prerequisites & Credits


The summer school has no special prerequisites. However, examples and practical exercises will be given in Python. While this programming language is easy to pick up, programming skills in at least one other language, such as Matlab, Java, or C++, are recommended. In addition, familiarity with Machine Learning, and basic skills in Linear Algebra and Probability Theory are also beneficial.


The summer school does not have a mechanism for awarding credits for participation. A formal certificate of completion will be issued to students who participate along with a summary of the course topics and student engagement time. Prospective students may wish to verify with their own institution if they will award credit for a certain number of hours of participation, etc.

Summer School Series

This is the second installment of the summer school and part of an annual series:
2015: University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
2016: Aalto University, Helsinki
Aalto University

2017: ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich

2018: University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge


Contact Antti Oulasvirta: with any questions relating to the summer school in 2016.

User Interfaces group, Aalto University
Aalto University

White Church, Helsinki, ©Tom Mrazek via Flickr

©John Williamson
Hand gestures
©Srinath Sridhar

Open Innovation House

Open Innovation House

Open Innovation House