The talented young Liisi Oterma studied at the University of Turku - first in mathematics, then in the newly established course of study astronomy. Together with Yrjö Väisälä, whose pupil she was at first, she was instrumental in setting up of astronomical research in Finland. She was the first woman doctorate in astronomy in the science sector in Finland. Her doctoral thesis dealt with a theme of telescope optics. She later became a professor at the University of Turku and entered the successor Väisäläs as director of the observatory at Tuorla.
During her career Liisi Oterma discovered in the course of the most intense asteroid search programs of Finland many asteroids as well as, inter alia, the comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma and 39P/Oterma. Your self the asteroid ( 1529) Oterma was dedicated, which was discovered in 1938 by Yrjö Väisälä her mentor. Oterma was interested in many things and talented, but had equally great modesty when it came to her own person. The Danish Professor Anders appeal once said Liisi Oterma silent in eleven different languages, including German, English, French, Spanish, Hungarian, Italian and Esperanto; Her dissertation she wrote in French.