Research profile

Our research is focused on combinatorial problems connected to algebraic geometry and topology. Some questions are motivated by applications in for example biology, computer science and physics.

We organized a conference on Applications of Real Algebraic Geometry in Spring 2014.


Alexander Engström, Associate Professor.
PhD 2009 from KTH and then Miller Research Fellow at UC Berkeley. Started the group at Aalto University in September 2011, tenured in March 2014. Co-founder of the Aalto Science Institute. On sabbatical Fall 2015 - Spring 2016.

Sophie Le Coley, Financial Secretary for Discrete and Applied Math.
Primary contact person for all internal and external administrative questions regarding the Engström group.

Kaie Kubjas, AScI Postdoc fellow, associated member.
PhD 2013 from Freie Universtiät Berlin, and then postdoc at MPI Bonn. Started at Aalto in January 2014. Microsoft Research Fellow at the Simons Institute at UC Berkeley during Fall 2014.

Cordian Riener, AScI Postdoc fellow, associated member.
PhD 2011 from the University of Frankfurt, then postdoc at the University of Konstanz, and started at Aalto in October 2012.

Emanuele Ventura, PhD-student.
MSc from the University of Catania. Started doing algebraic geometry with combinatorics in August 2013 at Aalto.

Jaakko Ketola, MSc-student.
BSc-thesis Graph limits, Summer 2013. Intern in the Uhler group at IST Austria during May-August 2014.

Samu Potka, MSc-student.
BSc-thesis Higher Connectivity of Fiber Graphs of Gröbner Bases, Summer 2012.


Anton Dochtermann, Visiting Assistant Professor, May-June 2013.
PhD 2007 at the University of Washington, postdoc at TU Berlin and Stanford. Visited from the University of Miami and is currently at the University of Texas.

Jonathan Browder, Postdoc August 2012 - July 2014.
PhD 2009 from Washington University in St. Louis, and then Acting Assistant Professor at the University of Washington.

Ragnar Freij, Postdoc, August 2012 - December 2013.
PhD 2012 from Chalmers University of Technology. Partly funded by a Magnus Ehrnrooth fellowship. Continued as a postdoc at Aalto Communications and Networking.

Matthew Stamps, Postdoc, January 2012 - July 2013.
PhD 2011 from UC Davis. From Summer 2013 an NSF postdoc at KTH and currently assistant professor at Yale/National University of Singapore.

Grey Violet, Postdoc, April 2014 - April 2015.
PhD 2011 from the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas. Currently postdoctoral fellow at the zukunftskolleg of the University of Konstanz.

Patrik Norén, PhD April 2013 at Aalto University: Algebraic Statistics.
Continued with an IST postdoc fellowship and currently a postdoc at NCSU.

Erik Sjöland, PhD November 2014 at Aalto University: Real Algebraic Geometry in Additive Number Theory.
BSc and MSc from KTH. Now working in finance.

Robert Davis, PhD Fulbright Visitor 2013-2014.
PhD from the University of Kentucky, 2015. Then postdoc at Michigan State University with Bruce Sagan.

Martti Karvonen, PhD-student.
MSc 2014 from the University of Oxford. Started in September 2014. Worked on combinatorial aspects of Heegaard Floer homology. Transferred to the University of Edinburgh in October 2015.

Wouter van Heijst, MSc.
MSc-thesis The algebraic square peg problem, March 2014.

Lauri Loiskekoski, MSc.
MSc-thesis Resolutions and associated primes of ideals, Spring 2014.
PhD student in the Discrete Geometry group at FU Berlin.

Jerri Nummenpalo, MSc.
MSc-thesis Polytopal big data statistics, Spring 2014. Awarded the Ernst Lindelöf prize for best MSc thesis in mathematics in Finland. Currently a PhD student in the theory of combinatorial algorithms at ETH Zurich.

Henry Kirveslahti, MSc.
BSc-thesis Brouwer's fixed-point theorem, Summer 2012. Summer project Matching and Morse complexes of a simplex, 2013. MSc-thesis The virtual Haken theorem, August 2015.

Teemu Päkkilä, MSc.
MSc-thesis Discrete Morse Theory and Simple Homotopy Theory, October 2014.

Oscar Kivinen, MSc.
BSc-thesis Steady states in chemical reaction networks, Summer 2013.
MSc-thesis Koszul algebras, Summer 2014.
Awarded a Fulbright scholarship for PhD studies in the US. Now at UC Davis

Paul Görlach, Undergraduate student at Universität Bonn.
Aalto Science Institute summer intern 2014.

Lassi Helanti, MSc-student.
Summer project Computational aspects of Folkman numbers, 2013

Tatu Leinonen, MSc-student.
BSc-thesis Cointerval graph coverings, Summer 2013

Devlin Mallory, MSc-student at UC Berkeley.
AScI Summer 2013 intern with Cordian Riener

Chris Miller, Undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Aalto Science Institute summer intern 2014.

Tillmann Weisser, Undergraduate student at Universität Konstanz.
Aalto Science Institute summer intern 2014.