Jaakko Lehtinen

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Aalto University
Distinguished Research Scientist, NVIDIA Research
ELLIS Fellow


Email: first.last at aalto.fi, jlehtinen at nvidia com
Mailing address: PO BOX 15400, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland
Office: B308, Aalto CS Building (Konemiehentie 2, Espoo, map)

Important Note to prospective international students: unless accompanied by a strong recommendation from a faculty member I personally know, I will only be accepting new PhD students who I have not worked with before through the yearly call of the ELLIS PhD Program. If I'm not listed in the call, I will not be accepting new candidates.

Advice for (prospective) students
Important! Read this before contacting me on potential student exchanges etc.

Peer-review conflicts

Bill Freeman's excellent notes on how to do research
Frédo Durand's fun notes on writing.
Kayvon Fatahalian's advice for CMU CS students. Applies to everyone ambitous here too.

I am a tenured associate professor at Aalto University, and a distinguished research scientist at NVIDIA Research. I work on computer graphics, computer vision, and machine learning, with particular interests in generative modelling, realistic image synthesis, and appearance acquisition and reproduction. Overall, I'm fascinated by the combination of machine learning techniques with physical simulators in the search for robust, interpretable AI.

Prior to taking my current positions, I spent 2007-10 as a postdoc with Frédo Durand at MIT. Before my research career, I worked for the game developer Remedy Entertainment in 1996-2005 as a graphics programmer, and contributed significantly to the graphics technology behind the worldwide blockbuster hit games Max Payne (2001), Max Payne 2 (2003), and Alan Wake (2009).

In my free time, I enjoy rock climbing, photography, cooking, and music (e.g. singing).

Suomeksi (in Finnish)

Practical impact

My research has had direct practical impact in at least the following ways:


PhD students

Undergraduate RAs

Seyed Alireza FatemiJahromi, Dann Mensah, Emil Levo.

Former Students


Timo Aila, Samuli Laine, Tero Karras, Frédo Durand, Tim Weyrich, Jonathan Ragan-Kelley, Ilya Baran, Jiawen Chen, Matthias Zwicker, Marco Manzi, Fabrice Rousselle, Tzu-Mao Li, Luke Anderson.


My research is supported by the European Research Council (ERC), Academy of Finland (grant# 277833), Helsinki Doctoral Education Network in Information and Communications Technology (HICT), Aalto Media Factory, Aalto University, and NVIDIA Corporation.

CS-C3100 Computer Graphics (Fall 2018)
CS-E5520 Advanced Computer Graphics (Spring 2019)

I had the honor to be elected Teacher of the Year 2013 in the Computer Science Degree Program at Aalto, and received the Aalto University School of Science Teaching Award in 2018. Also, both my introductory and advanced computer graphics classes have been chosen by the students to be among the Best Computer Science Classes at Aalto every year I've given them. In addition, I've helped Prof. Jukka Suomela to design and teach his multiple award-winning Programming Parallel Computers class.