A Journey on Game Design – interview with Gautam Vishwanath

Gautam is a talented game designer. In the interview, he shared his journey of becoming a game designer in Aalto University. We met in the studio course ‘Design for Government’ last year. He is funny, humble and versatile. We had a great time working together in the team project.

Now he is finishing his master thesis, which is dedicated to fight stage fright with virtual reality. In the research, he found the limitations of AI technology. Instead of building a real-life scenario that fails to give normal feedback, he opted for a different strategy. There are different scenarios to help users battle stage fright. I tried the game last week, when I thought I was a human surrounding by the aliens, I looked down and found out that I was a green alien creature. Wow! Gautam has an impeccable sense of humor, which makes his game design full of fun and surprises. Moreover, the game is highly practical, users can upload their own speech or presentation script into the game and practice it with VR.

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Design Your Life – interview with Frank Martela

Frank Martela started to teach a new course ‘Designing Life’ this spring for the first time in Aalto University. Aalto conducts annual AllWell? questionnaire and works on how to improve the well-beings of all the students. The course is one of the outcomes. Designing Life is one of the most unique courses I’ve ever taken, which addressed the life issues and challenges we face when we are 20 somethings. These issues usually bring stress and anxiety to the young people when they are trying to figure out about their own life and future.

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Civil engineering Day Speech

(This article mainly reviews the studies in Aalto and work after graduation)

Civil engineering day is annual alumni gathering to know what is happening in the program. An opportunity to discuss master’s programmes in Building Technology and in Geoengineering, their present and future, and to meet the students and colleagues. The target group of the event is partners of the Department of Civil Engineering and the Bachelor’s students at the School of Engineering.

I know today’s program should be in Finnish, but I can only give this speech in English, I still haven’t given up on Finnish language, but it seems that Finnish language almost gave up on me.

First of all, thanks to the invitation from Prof Puttonen and Prof Hostikka, I am really humble, honored and happy today to share my story, my thoughts and my journey in the program.

In the beginning of this speech, allow me to shortly introduce myself. I am Yiwei, graduated from the building technology program last year. During my years in the industry, my main focus is the structural calculation and structural analysis. I have the luck to be involved in the structural design of very well-known Finnish projects like Keskustakirjasto Oodi, Tripla as well as many large international projects.

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Motivation brings you the wanted results

The importance of the Finnish matriculation examination has increased, because of the quota for first-time applicants. For many, entrance exams are another option to get a degree place in a university. Still, there are a limited number of places available and competition is hard when trying to get into the best universities.

Motivation is in a key role when you are trying to succeed in exams. You can find plenty of information about how to prepare for the matriculation examinations or entrance exams from the internet, but those things come as second on the list. I think nothing is more important than inner motivation, which gives you the energy to work hard and achieve your dream degree place.

Here are three points, which I thought were the best to find my motivation when applying to Aalto University. Disclaimer; These may not work for everyone, but at least I hope it will give you some ideas on how to find your own motivation.

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Finland is like a wonderland in the winter.

Approaching Santa’s hometown Rovaniemi. The landscape sealed by the snow makes a natural black and white scene.

This week is the ski holiday in the southern Finland. I took a chance to visit Lapland for the second time after three years. In the winter, Finland is like a wonderland. The nature is stunning! In a 4-day trip, luckily I saw the northern lights, nailed the snowboarding for the first time, and hiked in the beautiful Pyhä-Luosto National Park.

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Winter Arts – Lux Helsinki

This year Lux Architecture series highlights the Finlandia Hall. The video and music created an enormous flowing water scene in the winter night to address the significant issue that water resources are exhaustible. The art work is created by Ramboll Valostudio.

Every January, the most exciting winter arts activity, Lux Helsinki lights up different corners across the city. Each year, City of Helsinki chose different district to be the main focus for the annual light arts festival. It is brilliant to bring citizens and tourists to learn the dynamics in different areas of Helsinki.

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How to survive the winter in Finland?

The water is frozen in the winter.

All my family and my friends in Taiwan are concerned that I will be freezing into an icicle when the snow season starts in Finland. Well, their concerns are not nonsense, considering that the lowest temperature during the winter time in Taiwan is only about +6°.

I thought I would be wearing much more here than what I used to in Taiwan. Actually, not that case. It’s still three layers, but certainly all the clothes are selected to fit the cold climate in Finland. For me, the first layer is the most important one, a fitted long-sleeve T-shirt with quick drying function. The second layer is usually a sweater. The last layer is a proper waterproof winter jacket. In the cold climate, waterproof wear is crucial from head to toe. Helsinki is quite a windy city. The wind can make one feel much colder than the real temperature. These three layers can get me through even -15°.

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Happy New Year

New Year fireworks in Senate Square.

Last night I went to see the New Year Eve’s show in the Senate Square. When I arrived around 11pm, it’s easy to walk around the crowd and reach a nice position in front of the stage. Comparing to my past experience in Sydney and Taipei, to be able to get a great view, one needed to be there hours before the fireworks started. Only until the fireworks was done, everyone was leaving the square, I experienced the most crowded moment in Helsinki. For the first time, I was pushed around by the crowd in Finland.

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Fight climate change in Aalto – Climate-Kic summer journey

Aalto organized team-building activities in Nuuksio National Park. Journey 10 participants and coaches enjoyed a nice vegetarian dinner and the beautiful view.

This summer was filled with joys, excitements and inspirations because of the five-week summer journey organized by EIT Climate-Kic. I met students and experts who share the same passion to mitigate climate change, the biggest challenge we face nowadays. 

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