UBI Oulu Forum

UBI Oulu Forum invites researchers, practitioners and general public to get together for engaging discussions on the broad and multidisciplinary fields of ubiquitous and pervasive computing.

The stage is set by stimulating and maybe even provocative position statements by senior scholars. The ensuing discussion is anchored by the scholars serving as a panel for Q&A with the participants. Designated scribes record the discussion and present an immediate summary at the end.

Everybody is welcome to join the discussion which will take place in English. No prior registration is required.

Vol. 1

Video recording of the forum is available here.

Time: Monday, August 30, 2010 at 12:15 – 16:00

Place: University of Oulu, Linnanmaa, OP-sali (L10)

Theme: Real world relevance

Since Mark Weiser coined the term “ubiquitous computing” in the 1980’s, we have seen an immense research investment in ubiquitous (and pervasive) computing. This investment has produced numerous scientific publications laying the existing theoretical foundation. As the related computing technology has finally broken into the real world for example in form of ubiquitous high-speed wireless Internet access networks, powerful mobile devices and large public displays, the time would be ripe for research results to break out into the real world, as well. However, not that many visible and lasting contributions to the urban digital fabric have emerged from the mainstream ubiquitous computing research. Why is this so?


12:15 Opening words (Prof. Timo Ojala, University of Oulu)
12:30 Position statements (20 mins each)

  • Lab vs real world (Prof. Timo Ojala, University of Oulu)
  • Networking (Prof. Henning Schulzrinne, Columbia University)
  • Privacy (Prof. & FiDiPro Fellow Vassilis Kostakos, University of Madeira & University of Oulu)

13:40 Coffee break
14:00 Open discussion commences
15:30 Summary of the discussion (Hannu Kukka & Marko Jurmu, University of Oulu)
(the program is subject to change)


Professor Vassilis Kostakos is an Assistant Professor in the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute at the University of Madeira, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He holds a BSc and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Bath. He was a member of the Cityware project, and worked closely with the Space Syntax group at the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL and HP Research Labs. His research has been reported by popular media such as the BBC and New Scientist, and he regularly consults on social networking systems. His current projects address security and privacy for the web and situated services, novel sensing techniques for urban transport, sustainability, and modeling of city-scale mobility. His interests include: mobile and pervasive computing, human-computer interaction, social networks, security and privacy, modeling and simulation, epidemics, wireless technologies, and space syntax.

Professor Henning Schulzrinne is Julian Clarence Levi Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. He received his undergraduate degree in economics and electrical engineering from the Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany, his MSEE degree as a Fulbright scholar from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts. He was a member of technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill and an associate department head at GMD-Fokus (Berlin), before joining the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering departments at Columbia University, New York. From 2004 to 2009, he served as chair of the Department of Computer Science. He has published more than 200 journal and conference papers, and more than 50 Internet RFCs. Protocols co-developed by him are now Internet standards, used by almost all Internet telephony and multimedia applications. His research interests include Internet multimedia systems, quality of service, and performance evaluation.

Professor Timo Ojala is a Professor of Computer Engineering at the Computer Science and Engineering Laboratory and the Director of the MediaTeam Oulu research group at the University of Oulu. He is the scientific director of the UBI (UrBan Interactions) research program, which is the driving force behind the concept of the Open Ubiquitous Oulu. His research interests span from distributed systems to ubiquitous computing, with special emphasis on empirical research in real world setting. He has authored about 100 international scientific papers, including the most cited ICT related paper in Finland in the 2000's. He is the founding co-chair of the International Conference Series on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM). He obtained his M.Sc. and Dr.Tech. degrees from the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of Oulu in 1992 and 1997, respectively.