Teuvo Kohonen, Academician of Science, dies at 87

16 Dec 2021

Academician of Science Teuvo Kohonen (b. 1934) has died at the age of 87. Kohonen was a pioneer in research and education in the field of computer science.

During his career, Kohonen focused on research into computing based on neural networks, and he was one of the most prominent researchers in the field internationally. Kohonen is also widely known for his publications on pattern recognition and machine learning. His scientific work has had very wide impact.

The self-organizing map (SOM) method developed by Teuvo Kohonen in 1981 is one of the most famous neurocomputing algorithms. Also known as a Kohonen map, the SOM has been used, for example, in document and image analysis, process technology, electrical engineering, chemistry, medicine, economics and linguistics.

Kohonen worked at Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) in research and teaching from the 1950s to 1993. He was a research professor and an Academy Professor of the Academy of Finland almost without interruption between 1975 and 1999.

Kohonen was internationally one of the most distinguished researchers in the field of neural computing. His impact on the development of computer science research and training, both internationally and in Finland, was extensive and long-term.

Among his many awards and recognitions are the IEEE Pioneer Award and the IEEE Lifetime Achievement Award by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. In 2000, Kohonen received the honorary title of Academician of Science, the highest honour that can be bestowed on any individual scientist in Finland.

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