University of Tartu improved its position in the reputable ranking of world universities

1 day 7 hours ago
17.08.2017

After first entering the well-known Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) or the Shanghai ranking in 2016, the University of Tartu has risen to a position between 301 and 400 this year.

The highest position in the ranking is held by Harvard University, followed by Stanford University and the University of Cambridge. The University of Tartu was first included in this reputable list in 2016, ranking between 401 and 500 last year. This year, UT has improved its ranking by one hundred positions. 

Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Anneli Saro said, “The fact that the university’s position in reputable rankings is improving year by year is undoubtedly a recognition for our academic staff, researchers and alumni, whose everyday work is appreciated and deemed competitive on the international level. Being included in a ranking is not a separate goal for the university, but it gives confidence for future students that the education they receive here is competitive anywhere in the world and the University of Tartu diploma is of high value on the labour market.”

Shanghai Jiao Tong University has published the international Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as Shanghai ranking, since 2003. Every year more than 1200 universities are evaluated and the best 500 are included in the ranking. The evaluated universities are ones in which alumni and staff have won Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, or whose researchers have published articles in Nature and Science journals. An institution may also be considered if a significant number of its publications have been indexed in Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCIE) or Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI).

Universities are ranked according to several criteria. Each criterion has a certain weight, which total to 100 percent.

Universities are assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

1. Quality of education (alumni of the university winning Nobel prizes and Fields medals – (10%);
2. Quality of faculty (number of Nobel Prize or Fields Medal winners among faculty – winners of different periods are weighted differently) – (20%);
3. Number of highly cited researchers in 21 broad subject categories (based on Thomson Reuters database) – (20%);
4. Research output (number of publications in Nature and Science journals in the last five years) – (20%);
5. Number of papers indexed in SCIE and SSCI in the previous year – (20%);
6. Per capita performance (FTE), i.e. the weighted scores of the above five indicators divided by the number of full-time equivalent academic staff – (10%).

Additional information: Lauri Randveer, UT senior specialist for international cooperation, 737 5510, lauri.randveer [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 


 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Tongji University (Shanghai) and University of Tartu Summer School in Economics

3 days 9 hours ago
15.08.2017

Tongji University (Shanghai) and University of Tartu Summer School in Economics

On the 7th and 8th of August, a delegation from Tongji University (Shanghai, PRC) visited University of Tartu School of Economics and Business Administration. This was the second doctoral seminar since Tongji is an official partner university. The previous event took place 27-28th of March 2017, in Tongji.

Professors Feng Xiao and Zhu Yanyuan visited Tartu together with 24 students from different programs. They were met by professor Urmas Varblane, professor emeritus Peter Friedrich, freshly arrived professor Peter Hwang, Asian co-operation specialist Reelika Alunurm and Mart Veliste and Elo Süld from the UT Asian Centre.

On Monday, the 7th of August, the guests were shown around Tartu. In the afternoon the group visited the Southern Estonian business and community centre SPARK, where the demo centre and Makerlab area was demonstrated. The day ended with a trip to Tehvandi skii jumping tower and Pühajärve lake, followed by a visit to Kääriku sports centre. The fresh nature offered a lot of joy to students studying in Shanghai.

On Tuesday, students from both Tongji and UT gave presentations about their research projects. Each side had three presenters. Among others, topics such as the Chinese stock market, the effect of the Chinese population age structure on the economy, effectiveness of European municipal units, and innovation patterns of business were discussed.

After academic discussions, the group headed to enjoy the summer in Tartu and had a boat trip on Emajõgi river. The day was finished by a dinner to discuss further plans for mutual co-operation. The two universities will definitely co-operate more and more in the future.

The event was organized by the Doctoral School in Economics and Innovation, University of Tartu ASTRA project PER ASPERA.

Additional information: Reelika Alunurm, reelika.alunurm [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: International
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Tartu Observatory’s researcher developing future space exploration missions at NASA

1 week 4 days ago
07.08.2017

Tartu Observatory researcher and former ESTCube Program leader Andris Slavinskis is participating in NASA’s Exchange Visitor Program for one-year period at NASA Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. Slavinskis is working in the Mission Design Division at Ames to study advanced concepts for future NASA missions that could use small satellites for interplanetary exploration.

NASA is interested in developing swarm and deep space small spacecraft missions and will benefit from the mission concept studies. One of the concepts is to tour hundreds of asteroids with tens of nanospacecraft which are equipped with long single-tether electric solar wind sails (E-sails). The work at Ames is to elaborate the concept’s science case by analyzing and setting scientific objectives, instrument requirements and expected outcomes of the mission.

“For example, how such a mission could help to understand the early evolution of the solar system, as well as which asteroids contain water and how to mitigate potentially hazardous asteroids,” says Slavinskis.

“In its simplest form, the concept is that nanospacecraft will perform flybys, spending only a few of minutes in an asteroid’s proximity. Follow-up mission concepts include detailed studies of selected asteroids with advanced instruments, such as hyperspectral, x-ray, gamma, neutron, radar and thermal infrared, performing of rendezvous, taking in situ measurements and even sample return,” explains Slavinskis. In addition to the groundbreaking scientific potential, prospecting of asteroids is crucial for planetary defense against asteroid impacts and the key for the emerging field of asteroid mining.

This visit opens the door for potential cooperation between Estonia and NASA in the future. The study at NASA is funded by Tartu Observatory’s project KOMEET (Benefits for Estonian Society from Space Research and Application). For Slavinskis, it is an excellent opportunity to work with leading mission designers and to establish personal contacts with the US planetary science community who can provide measurement requirements as potential data users.

 

Additional information:
Andris Slavinskis, PhD
andris.slavinskis [ät] nasa.gov
Mobile/WhatsApp: +16505375099

  Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: UniversityPress release
Iris Herman (iris93)

The new Director of Administration is Meelis Luht

2 weeks 1 day ago
03.08.2017

Meelis Luht, former management board member of Eesti Meedia Group, will start work as the Director of Administration of the University of Tartu on 21 August.

Rector Volli Kalm said the new director of administration has been in charge of several different areas of activity in his career and is a top leader with international work experience. We can see his capability as well as his desire and ambition to actively contribute to the implementation of the university’s development goals.

Meelis Luht was born on 20 June 1970 in Viljandi. He completed secondary education in Ülenurme Gymnasium, studied physics at the University of Tartu and graduated from the University of Tartu in Marketing and Commerce in 1995. Luht has worked as an economics journalist in Postimees, and was a management board member of the Bigbank Group from 1995–1997. Since 1997 he worked for the Eesti Meedia Group, and was a board member and the chief financial officer of the media group since 2000. In addition, he has belonged to the supervisory boards of several media organisations in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Additional information: Volli Kalm, University of Tartu Rector, rektor [ät] ut.ee, 737 5600
 

Kadri Kunnus UT Senior Specialist for PR Tel: +(372) 737 5509
Mob: +(372) 50 70 963 E-mail: kadri.kunnus [ät] ut.ee 
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: UniversityPress release
Kadri Kunnus (kadrikir)

School of Economics moves for two years to former National Archives building

2 weeks 2 days ago
02.08.2017

On 7 August, the University of Tartu School of Economics and Business Administration starts moving to the former National Archives building in Liivi Street to operate there until the new academic and research building Delta is completed.

Moving starts on 7 August and probably lasts for the whole week. According to Tuuli Ruus, Managing Director of School of Economics, there will be disruptions in telephone and internet connection during that period but the most important tasks like admissions to the Open University’s master’s programmes will work and employees who are involved in admissions are the first to move into new rooms. “On the morning of 8 August, student candidates are already expected to come to the new address J. Liivi 4, room 108,” Ruus added.

Delta, the academic and research building that will house the Institute of Computer Science, the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics and the School of Economics and Business Administration is to be completed by the beginning of the academic year in 2019. Head of UT Institutional Development Service Viljo Vider said that the former building of School of Economics and Business Administration will be demolished to make room for new units and requirements. “We already have the plan of demolition works; the demolition is a part of the procurement for construction. We announce the procurement by the end of August at the latest. The earliest we can start with demolition is at the end of October or beginning of November,” Vider added.

Delta, which provides sufficient space for more than 1500 students will be built in the city centre in place of the current School of Economics building and in its surrounding lots at Narva mnt 4, 10, 2b and 2d. The new address will be Narva mnt 18. The designed total area of the building is approx. 17,000 square metres, plus the underground parking lot. The project is partly financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the University of Tartu’s ASTRA project PER ASPERA. The architectural solution ICONICUM was created by a group of authors led by Illimar Truverk.

Until Delta is completed, the School of Economics will use a library, a computer classroom, six lecture halls and employees’ offices in Liivi street. There is not, however, space for all studies and this is why some of the lectures will be held in the university’s main building at Ülikooli 18, and in the academic buildings at Lossi 36, J. Liivi 2 and Näituse 2.

Additional information: Tuuli Ruus, Managing Director, UT School of Economics and Business Administration, 737 6316, tuuli.ruus [ät] ut.ee
Viljo Vider, Head of Institutional Development Service, UT Estates Office, 737 5136, viljo.vider [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: UniversityStudiesPress release
Iris Herman (iris93)

The joint offer of AS Ehitustrust and OÜ Tallinna Ehitustrust won the tender for continuing the construction work of the University of Tartu Library

3 weeks 1 day ago
27.07.2017

4 offers were made for the tender for finishing the construction work of the University of Tartu Library. The winner of the public tender was AS Ehitustrust and OÜ Tallinna Ehitustrust, which made a joint offer in the amount of 5.75 million euros (plus VAT).

AS Ehitustrust and OÜ Tallinna Ehitustrust will continue the construction work discontinued by YIT Ehitus at the beginning of the year; the new contract can be entered into when the time for submitting a complaint provided by law as of planning about a successful tenderer has passed. The completion time of the library is planned to be 17 months as of entering into the contract, including 5 months for repairing the library’s reading halls and the public area.

According to Heiki Pagel, the Head of the Real Estate Department of the University of Tartu, the tender results are satisfactory, as there was competition, all construction companies that participated are reliable and have enough experience in building more complex objects. The construction company that made the most economically advantageous tender was chosen as the winner.

The winner of the tender will continue construction work in stages. In the first stage, construction work in the lobby will be continued, the ground floor with repositories, the first floor, new stairwells and lifts for small goods and visitors will be built.

The second stage includes project construction in the areas closed to the visitors, i.e. basement repositories and existing stairwells. The rest of the project construction inside and outside the building will be finished in the third stage, including the partial reconstruction of the square in front of the library, then the work will be delivered to the client and the authorisation of the use of the building will be acquired.

 

Further information: Heiki Pagel, Head of Real Estate Department of the University of Tartu, (+372) 503 2021, heiki.pagel [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: ÜlikoolPressiteade
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

The University of Tartu signed an IT collaboration agreement with PerkinElmer

4 weeks ago
21.07.2017

The University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science and PerkinElmer, Inc., a global leader committed to innovating for a healthier world, have entered into a scientific cooperation agreement.  The aim of this collaboration is to investigate the possibilities of developing methods of machine learning in order to create systematic analysis tools for microscopic images of cells used in scientific research.

Jaak Vilo, Head of the Department of Computer Science at the university, explained that until now, the creation of specific algorithms for analyzing images from microscopes have been developed using mathematical models and programs written by humans. "In the framework of our initial cooperation, we will study how to implement the methods of machine learning for analyzing data generated by PerkinElmer’s Opera Phenix™ - High Content Screening System‎. The recent profound AI technology that trains the artificial neural network using examples, significantly reduces the effort of writing new algorithms," said Vilo.

High content screening systems are automated fluorescent microscopes that can capture tens of thousands of images a day, each with thousands of cells in turn. A person can read the images of such cells, for example, one can see the presence of cancer cells or the effect of a drug used, but millions of cells cannot be reviewed individually. According to senior researcher Leopold Parts, access to high-quality data from PerkinElmer and long-term experience in the competence of computer scientists at the University of Tartu make a unique combination. "Applying methods based on artificial nerve networks in bio, health and neurosciences provides the best way to understand image data faster and more accurately," Parts said.

The project is led by Senior Researcher of Bioinformatics Leopold Parts and Professor of Data Science Raul Vicente and involved in coordination Jaak Vilo, Professor of Bioinformatics. An important aspect of cooperation agreement is the inclusion of doctoral and postgraduate students.

Additional information: Jaak Vilo, Professor of Bioinformatics, University of Tartu, tel 50 49 365, e-mail: jaak.vilo [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: EttevõtlusPressiteade
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Cognitive Linguistics conference brings linguists from more than 50 countries to Tartu

1 month ago
13.07.2017

From 10 to 14 July, the 14th conference of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association (ICLC14) is held in the University of Tartu. The conference “Linguistic Diversity and Cognitive Linguistics” brings to Tartu nearly 500 participants from 50 countries all over the world.

The International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, a biennial event organised since 1989, is the most important meeting of cognitive linguists in the world. The chief organisers of the event Ilona Tragel and Jane Klavan admit that Estonia won the right to organise the ICLC conference in a tight competition in 2013. “Hosting such a significant linguistic event in Tartu will enhance high-level international research cooperation and improve the visibility of Estonian linguistics in the world,” said Dean of UT Faculty of Arts and Humanities Prof. Margit Sutrop.

Further information about the conference is available on the ICLC website

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Nearly half Estonian newspapers publish unlabelled advertorials

1 month ago
13.07.2017

Jan Richard Bærug, who recently defended his PhD at the University of Tartu, analysed the attitude of 691 newspapers and niche magazines of northern Europe to the merging of journalism and advertising. He found that three quarters of all analysed publications agreed to publish unlabelled marketing texts.

According to Bærug, such hybridisation of journalism is a problem as it may weaken democracy.

Although the study was conducted in 2006 and 2007 and ten years have passed since, Bærug believes the problem of hybridisation of journalism has not diminished. “On the contrary, data from the Press Councils of Denmark, Finland, Germany and Lithuania show an increase in the number of cases in which the problem consisted in merged marketing and journalistic content,” said Bærug, who says such hybrid content is becoming more and more justified.

The most intense hybrid journalism could be detected in Estonian and Russian newspapers, nearly a half of which accepted and did not label advertorials.

“The United Kingdom was different from the other countries as it was characterised by almost no publications rejecting advertorials and at the same time all publications wanting to label commecial content appropriately,” the author of the doctoral thesis explained differences between countries.

Results of the research allow to argue that a quarter of the publications were loyal to readers, a tenth were loyal to advertisers and slightly more than a half agreed to publish advertising texts only if labelled appropriately.

Bærug finds that journalism is in a very vulnerable and intense situation, where the merging of journalism with the marketing content supports the weakening of democracy. “The strong tradition of freedom of the press and journalistic autonomy can act as the counterbalance,” Bærug believes.

Read further on ERR Novaator.

Additional information: Jan Richard Bærug

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

 

Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Central Asian medical universities participate in UT summer school on environmental health

1 month ago
12.07.2017

From 7 to 14 July, academic staff and doctoral students from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and North India participate in the University of Tartu summer school.

At the summer school in Tartu, participants learn about new research methods in environmental health and epidemiology, which they can use to conduct similar studies in their home universities.

“Starting such research is a great challenge for medical universities of Central Asia, because there is no political support to these scientific projects. Air pollution, however, in the cities of those countries is so high that you can nearly see it with the naked eye. Also the problem of the availability and quality of drinking water is becoming more acute in Central Asia due to climatic changes,” said leader of the summer school, Associate Professor in Environmental Health Hans Orru.

Researchers and teaching staff members of UT Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health and UT Institute of Social Studies teach at the summer university. In the TUTORIAL project also universities from Milan and Berlin are involved.

The summer school takes place within the ERASMUS+ project TUTORIAL “Strengthening Network for Education, Research and Innovation in Environmental Health in Asia”. This project aims to develop the capability of environmental health centres that were established previously under the CANERIEH project, and create master’s programmes in environmental health. Through doctoral programmes the project enables two doctoral students from each centre to work at least for a month in the University of Tartu.

 

Additional information: Hans Orru, Associate Professor in Environmental Health, 737 4203, hans.orru [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

University of Tartu and Swedbank discussed plans for future

1 month ago
12.07.2017

On 29 June, the IT executives of Swedbank Group visited the University of Tartu to discuss cooperation opportunities and share information about the future plans of the bank and the university.

Last Thursday, on 29 June, the top IT executives of Swedbank Group led by Head of Group IT Anders Ekedahl met the rector and vice rectors of the University of Tartu and lecturer of information systems Fredrik Payman Milani to discuss cooperation, each other’s interests and plans for the future.

Close cooperation between Swedbank and the University of Tartu started 10 years ago already by establishing the professorship of software engineering, the first privately funded professorship in Estonia. In 2016 the framework agreement for cooperation was signed, specifying goals for long-term cooperation in the area of economics, IT and mathematics to develop curricula, contribute to studies and support the implementation of cross-faculty projects. IT competences in combination with data science, statistics, modelling, mathematics and communicative competences play an increasingly important role in supporting the implementation of the bank’s long-term strategy. Therefore, Swedbank is willing to support the development of research and education in order to guarantee the availability of employees with necessary skills.

“For the University of Tartu it is important that graduates acquire the best possible education and are able to think outside the box. Good cooperation partners help us prepare students better for future life,” said Head of UT Technology Transfer Unit Kristel Reim.

Swedbank plans to build a larger unit in Tartu than the existing branch, and looks specifically for business intelligence employees for the unit. The bank cooperates closely with the university both through scholarship programmes and supporting existing curricula, as well as through new activities that support workplace-based learning.
 

Additional information: Kristel Reim, Head of UT Technology Transfer Unit, 5342 4023, kristel.reim [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

 

Category: Entrepreneurship
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Abandoned shopping carts give retailers valuable information about customers

1 month ago
12.07.2017

The master’s thesis by Annika Liivamägi, a graduate of Service Design and Management in the University of Tartu Pärnu College, explains that customers who leave the online shop before completing their purchase are not necessarily a problem for the retailer but may involve a positive opportunity instead.

The spread of e-commerce offers competition to traditional shopping in several product categories and this is why retailers are increasingly more interested in knowing how to attract people to their online shop and encourage them to buy there. As people may stop the purchasing process at any moment during online shopping and only a small percentage of customers actually complete the purchase and pay for the goods, Liivamägi looked into people’s shopping behaviour on the internet.

“People love to add things they like into the shopping cart, but before completing the purchase, they often decide to gather additional information about the goods and so they leave the purchase unfinished,” said Liivamägi, whose paper focused on e-commerce environments specialising in alcohol sales. “However, there is no reason to worry about such uncompleted purchases, because firstly, many people return later to review their shopping cart and may still pay for the goods, and secondly, an abandoned shopping cart gives the company lots of information about the customers’ needs,” believes Liivamägi, in whose opinion a skilful use of the obtained information enables the retailer to actually increase sales.

Estonians prefer to buy products and services of longer useful life online, because in these cases they perceive fewer risks. “Alcohol, for example, which is often bought online in Australia, America, England and elsewhere, remains a niche product in Estonia and, like food, Estonians prefer to buy alcohol in a regular store. Alcohol is so widely available here that people just do not feel the need to buy wine, for example, on the internet. However, they use the internet to search for additional information about goods and services. Therefore, entrepreneurs can turn the situation to their own benefit and offer in their online shop also informative and interesting product descriptions, which would encourage the customer to complete the purchase either online or in the physical shop of the company,” said Liivamägi.

Results of Liivamägi’s master’s thesis reveal that retailers should focus more on the information left behind by customers who abandon the shopping cart. Using this information, it is possible to attract potential buyers back to the store and by offering them suitable content, motivate the customers to buy.
 

Additional information:
Annika Liivamägi, author of the master’s thesis, annika.liivamagi [ät] gmail.com
Andres Kuusik, UT Head of Chair of Marketing, 516 0918, andres.kuusik [ät] ut.ee
 

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Tartu scientists showed that people’s descent plays important role in genetic risk estimation

1 month 1 week ago
09.07.2017

In a recently published article, Tartu scientists showed that unless an individual’s genetic descent is taken into account, his or her DNA-based estimation of disease risk may provide incorrect results.

In the case of many complex diseases, for example the coronary heart disease and the type 2 diabetes, the disease risk is not affected by one or two, but thousands or even tens of thousands of gene markers available in the human hereditary substance, DNA. Each one of them has a relatively small effect if taken separately but the aggregate impact is considerable.

This is why different mathematical models have been developed in the world and also in Estonia, attempting to take into account all these gene markers and sum up the combinations that increase the specific person’s risk and, based on the obtained result – the so-called risk score – determine the person’s disease risk as low, medium or high.

“In the article we showed that the thresholds required for risk estimation are not universal, but are significantly dependent on the genetic descent of the person. A risk score that means a high probability of the expression of a disease for an Estonian, may be a low one for an African,” one of the authors of the article Sulev Reisberg explained the finding. Reisberg added that therefore it is extremely important to adjust the score according to the person’s descent before giving the risk estimation. “This may prove really complicated if the individual is not a typical representative of the population genetically, and if their roots are mixed. Often the person may not even know his or her exact descent.”

Authors of the article do not say how precisely to adjust the risk score – this is a topic for further research. “It was important to first of all estimate the possible effect. When we know the problem, we can start looking for a solution – either by eliminating a part of the people from risk estimations to avoid giving them incorrect feedback, or by adjusting the score to match their genetic background,” said leader of the research group Professor Jaak Vilo.

Authors of the article are scientists from the University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science, Estonian Genome Centre, Software Technology and Applications Competence Center and Quretec.

The article was published in PLOS ONE journal and the original text is available here: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0179238

Additional information: Sulev Reisberg, PhD student, +372 524 8123, sulev.reisberg [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

UT International Summer University programmes attract learners from nearly 30 countries

1 month 1 week ago
05.07.2017

Since 1998, the International Summer University of the University of Tartu has introduced higher education and research in Estonia, incl. study opportunities at the University of Tartu, to participants from all over the world.

“This year, the aim of the summer university is to offer unique programmes in the fields of social sciences and humanities, focusing on Estonia and the Baltic Sea area, as well as courses introducing the Estonian language and culture, to the international audience. This summer we conduct ten programmes in which participants learn about the semiotics of culture, relations between the European Union and Russia, and security in the Baltic Sea region, as well as study Estonian,” says Senior Specialist for UT International Summer University Laura Roop to introduce the programme.

Programmes of the 2017 summer university bring learners to Estonia from Europe, America and Asia, incl. South Korea, Jordan, Japan, USA, Russia, Germany, China, United Kingdom, Finland, Latvia, etc. Studies take place in Tartu, Tallinn and Pärnu, but also abroad, because cooperation programmes with other universities take the participants to Utrecht and Riga.

UT International Summer University takes place from the beginning of July to the end of August. The season opens on Monday, 3 July, with the course “After the Empire”, which introduces developments in Eastern European countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the traditional summer school in semiotics “Juri Lotman and the Culture of Semiotics”.

Summer university programmes dealing mainly with the heritage of the Soviet Union and its challenges in the arena of present-day international relations, can be combined. Learners can choose the duration, location and topics of the summer university. For participants from other countries, the event gives an excellent opportunity to experience and live in different cities and countries during several weeks.

Higher education in Estonia is introduced to international students with the help of grants of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Archimedes Foundation. With support from the ministry’s Development Cooperation programme, 19 students from Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova are given the opportunity to participate in the summer university programmes. The national grant programme for students, researchers and academic staff of foreign countries, coordinated by Archimedes Foundation, supports the participation of six students in Estonian language courses and in studies of cultural semiotics and European Union-Russia relations.

In summer also several other international programmes take place in the university, organised by UT faculties. To see the programmes, please visit the International Summer University homepage www.isu.ut.ee.

Additional information: Laura Roop, Senior Specialist for UT International Summer University, 5349 0995, laura.roop [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: InternationalPress release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

More applications than last year submitted to the University of Tartu during the admission period

1 month 2 weeks ago
04.07.2017

The admission period for most Estonian-language bachelor’s and master’s curricula in the University of Tartu ended last week. Application for English-taught curricula took place in spring. In total, the university received more than 12,100 applications for admission to Estonian and English curricula of all study levels.

8242 applications were submitted to programmes of the first level of higher education, 3465 applications for master’s curricula and 405 applications for doctoral studies. More than 10,200 applications were submitted for Estonian curricula and more than 1900 applications for international programmes.

Similarly to earlier years, on the first level of higher education the highest number of applications were submitted for the curriculum of Medicine (629 applications), followed by Information Technology with 488 and Law (in Tartu) 347 applications. The tightest competition for student places was in Open University admissions: there are 9.8 candidates for one student place in the programme Early Years Teacher, 8.7 candidates for one place in Entrepreneurship and Project Management in Pärnu College, and 8.2 candidates for one place in Special Education.

An admission threshold, i.e. a minimum score which guarantees admission has been established for several first-level curricula of the University of Tartu; so there are already 1335 student candidates who have exceeded the threshold and guaranteed themselves a student place in the university. Depending on the curriculum, the other candidates have to either sit an entrance examination during this or next week or apply based on their state examination results. 

In master’s study, the biggest number of applications were submitted for three IT programmes: 363 applications for Conversion Master in IT in Estonian, 262 for Computer Science in English and 242 for Software Engineering programme. These were followed by the English-taught programme International Relations and Regional Studies with 214, and Marketing and Financial Management with 197 applications.

The most popular doctoral programmes are Political Science, Medicine, and Literature and Cultural Research.

The first admission decisions are made on 14 July. Admitted candidates have to notify the university of commencing their studies via the application system SAIS on 17 July at the latest. In case a candidate refuses the student place, the university offers the vacant place to the next candidate in the ranking list until 18 August.

From 24 July to 10 August applications are accepted for four master’s programmes: European Studies, Entrepreneurship and Technology Management, Strategic Management, and Service Design and Management.
 

Additional information: Tuuli Kaldma, UT Head of Student Admissions, 737 6391, tuuli.kaldma [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: AdmissionPress release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

200-year-old painting of G. F. Parrot to be exhibited for the first time in UT Art Museum

1 month 2 weeks ago
03.07.2017

On 5 July, the University of Tartu Art Museum exhibition “Dissecting a Painting. Portrait of G. F. Parrot” is opened in the rotund of the Old Anatomical Theatre. This is the first opportunity to see the portrait of the well-known rector and professor of physics of the University of Tartu, painted by Franz Gerhard von Kügelgen 200 years ago.

“The painting was believed to be lost until 2016, when by a lucky chance it found its way back to Estonia from the USA and now belongs to the University of Tartu. We are very pleased to be able to display the newly restored painting and dissect the different aspects of the story of the painting. The exhibition introduces the history of the portrait of Parrot, the story of its making, disappearing and finding,” says curator Ingrid Sahk. In addition, the event displays portraits of other great Germans painted by F. G. von Kügelgen, belonging to the university.

This exhibition has an added emotional value due to its venue – the historical and interesting rotund of the Old Anatomical Theatre, which is usually closed for individual visitors but accessible for everyone during this exhibition.

The exhibition celebrates the 250th anniversary of Georg Friedrich Parrot and during summer months involves several programmes for both grownup and small art-loving audience:

·      29 July at 11 Crazy Scientist’s Saturday morning experiments “Colours and vision”

·      15 August at 12 “Dissecting the painting. Studies of pigments and other aspects”. Prof. Hilkka Hiiop introduces technical research and analyses conducted on Parrot’s portrait.

·      29 August at 12 “Dissecting the painting. Secrets of the painting technique.” Artist and lecturer Rauno Thomas Moss explains the painting process in F. G. Kügelgen’s era and demonstrates the different stages in painting.

In addition to the painting exhibition, also an electricity exhibition dedicated to the anniversary of G. F. Parrot is opened on 5 July in the main building of the University of Tartu Museum, the historical cathedral.

The exhibition displays a unique collection of the museum – the oldest electrical experiment equipment in Estonia, from Parrot’s physics laboratory 200 years ago. Hands-on exhibits are of great importance in the exhibition, helping to better understand the topic of electricity by trying and testing.

The exhibition in the Old Anatomical Theatre is open for visitors Tue–Sun 10–18 and remains open until 3 September 2017.

Additional information: Ingrid Sahk, 502 6168, ingrid.sahk [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Marlon Dumas elected as Professor of Information Systems

1 month 2 weeks ago
03.07.2017

University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science opens a new position in autumn – the professorship of information systems. The new position will be held by current Professor of Software Engineering Marlon Dumas, who is ranked among the world’s top 1% of most cited researchers in the area of computer science.

The objective of the professorships of information systems and software engineering is to support and supplement one another. The division of software engineering into two was caused by the faculty’s need to cover both software development processes and methods as well as the architecture and application areas of information systems. With these changes, the Chair of Software Engineering is able to better respond to the expectations of the industry. The new professorship of information systems will concentrate on identifying IT systems needed by organisations at certain moments of time, while the focus of software engineering is directed to effective creation of such systems and their compliance with the users’ needs.

“Establishing the new professorship was necessary because of the rapid growth in the number of our students in recent years. People’s workload has also increased due to the addition of new cross-faculty modules. The new full-time professorships are covered with permanent contracts, i.e. they correspond to high-level tenure,” said Head of the Institute of Computer Science Jaak Vilo.

According to Marlon Dumas, his aim as a Professor of Information Systems is to build strong contacts with local and European software industry, especially in the area of predictive and cognitive information systems. “This spring we already started two such projects, one in cooperation with Swedbank to supplement their services by means of predictive analytics. In the second project with GoSwift, we want to develop predictive tracking methods to develop effective queuing systems,” Dumas explained. Naturally, work also continues in the field of process mining, with the focus on creating open-source projects and practical applications. As a new project, Professor Dumas and his workgroup plan to work on chat interfaces and other applications of artificial intellect in companies’ information systems.

Dietmar Pfahl, who takes over the professorship of software engineering, plans to focus on data-based approaches, which help to improve the software industry development processes. “Specific research directions are related to data analytics in the development of energy-efficient software products, automated approach to open innovation, and reducing technical deficiencies in software industry,” said Pfahl, who currently works as Associate Professor of Software Engineering.

Both professors start work on 1 September 2017.

 

Additional information:

Marlon Dumas, Professor of Software Engineering, 737 5473, marlon.dumas [ät] ut.ee  

Dietmar Pfahl, Associate Professor of Software Engineering, 737 5432, dietmar.pfahl [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Volli Kalm takes oath of office as UT rector on Friday

1 month 2 weeks ago
28.06.2017

On 30 June, the inauguration ceremony where rector Professor Volli Kalm takes an oath of office for the new term as the rector will be held in the assembly hall of the University of Tartu.

On 30 June 2017 at 16:00 the inauguration of Professor Volli Kalm takes place at the open session of the university council and senate in the assembly hall of the University of Tartu. After the address by UT council chair Ruth Oltjer, the Rector takes the oath of office. President Kersti Kaljulaid hands over the chain of office to Volli Kalm, the 85th rector of the University of Tartu.

Rector Kalm, who is starting his new five-year term of office, delivers an inaugural speech in which he also introduces his team. The new Rector’s Office starts work on 1 July and includes three vice rectors who are in charge of academic affairs, research and development. New members of the Rector’s Office are Professor of Theatre Research Anneli Saro, who starts work as Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, and Senior Research Fellow in Technology Research Kristjan Vassil, who assumes the office of Vice Rector for Research. Erik Puura continues in the position of Vice Rector for Development. Next to the deans who have been elected into office for four years, also Head of Finance Taimo Saan and Academic Secretary Andres Soosaar continue as members of the Rector’s Office.

Volli Kalm said, “The vice rectors in the new Rector’s Office have a broad-based professional background – what I expect from these representatives of the younger generation is a fresh view, clear accountability and, definitely, without compromise standing for the as high as possible level of the university’s academic and research activities.” Speaking of his plans for the upcoming term of office, Volli Kalm pointed out that although several strategic decisions concerning the focus areas and laboratories of the university, new job descriptions, attracting promising young people to the university, investments in the Delta centre, sports building and the dormitory of Narva College have already been made, their actual implementation is still in progress or at an early stage. “Our recent partnership with European top universities has also opened a completely new dimension for the university in international academic cooperation. Quite soon we are going to develop the university’s new strategic plan – like those mentioned before, it will include tasks, the effects of which will be evaluated by future rectors’ offices and academic generations, and this demands us to be even more responsible when carrying out these things,” said Kalm.

The university’s 250-member electoral council elected Volli Kalm as the rector on 30 March 2017. Two candidates were running for the position of the rector of the University of Tartu: the incumbent rector, UT Professor of Applied Geology Volli Kalm and UT Professor of Practical Philosophy Margit Sutrop.

Volli Kalm was born on 10 February 1953. In 1976 he graduated from the University of Tartu in geology. In 1984 Kalm defended his dissertation “Formation, composition and usage of glaciofluvial deposits in Estonia” and was granted the candidate of science degree (PhD) in geology. From 1988–1989 he completed postdoctoral studies in the Department of Geology of the University of Alberta. Volli Kalm worked in the Institute of Geology of the UT Faculty of Biology and Geology since 1981. From 1998–2003 he was Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Tartu. Since 2012, Professor Volli Kalm has been the rector of the University of Tartu.

Additional information: Andres Soosaar, UT Academic Secretary, 5919 1116, andres.soosaar [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: UniversityPress release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Estonian Bar Association and University of Tartu make an anniversary gift to Estonia

1 month 3 weeks ago
27.06.2017

On 20 June, a cooperation agreement was signed by the Estonian Bar Association and the University of Tartu, aiming to support the development of high-quality Estonian Wikipedia and to appreciate and highlight Estonian-language wiki articles on law and the Bar. The cooperation is a part of the University of Tartu’s Million+ project, which hopes to raise the number of Estonian Wikipedia articles to one million by the year 2020. The prize fund of the article competitions is 3000 euros.

According to Chairman of the Estonian Bar Association Hannes Vallikivi, cooperation with the Estonian national university is important for the Bar. The existence and availability of Estonian-language law articles is a prerequisite for the high quality of our legal system. Wikipedia articles give a good opportunity for the wider population to get familiar with legal topics,” said Vallikivi.

According to Director of UT School of Law Peep Pruks, “The experience of writing a good wiki article could incite a more serious interest in the student in topics important for the Bar Association and lead to writing, for example, articles for the Juridica journal. Maintaining and developing high-level legal terminology in Estonian is the common interest of the Bar Association and the Estonian national university.”

In the course of cooperation, the Estonian Bar Association and the University of Tartu organise three article competitions to find the best Estonian-language law or the Bar-related Wikipedia articles written by UT students or academic staff. The three article competitions take place in 2018–2019 and mark the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia in 2018, the 100th anniversary of the Estonian Bar Association in spring 2019 and the 100th anniversary of the Estonian-language School of Law at the end of 2019. The prize fund of the article competitions is 3000 euros.

“The Estonian legal terminology and general information should be easily available in today’s information era. Wikipedia as an open online encyclopaedia is an important carrier of information, and specialists of all specialities should contribute to creating high-quality content for Wikipedia. Each new article is a significant contribution to the future of the Estonian language – terminology and general information stored in Wikipedia can easily be found both by common users and by language-technological devices,” said Million+ Project Manager Sirli Zupping.

The competitions for law and the Bar Association articles aim to appreciate the Estonian legal language and offer students a chance to make their contribution to the development of the Estonian language. The article competitions help to increase the number of law-related articles and make the terminology of legal language available in the Estonian Wikipedia.

The Wikipedia development project Million+, initiated by the University of Tartu Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Mart Noorma, has developed into a collective venture and is one of the biggest anniversary presents to Estonia. The project helps to considerably quicken the achievement of one million articles in the Estonian Wikipedia. Million+ is a collective gift for the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.

Additional information:

Merike Ristikivi, UT Associate Professor in Legal History (Roman Law and Latin), 737 5396, merike.ristikivi [ät] ut.ee

Sirli Zupping, Million+ Project Manager, 5615 5993, sirli.zupping [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Top athletes have a moral obligation to prevent other people’s immoral deeds

1 month 3 weeks ago
26.06.2017

A master’s thesis defended in the University of Tartu’s Department of Philosophy claims that top athletes, who more and more often attract media interest even outside the sports sphere, should also behave more morally than the so-called average person outside the training and competition period.

Mariann Järvela claims in her recent master’s thesis that compared to the so-called ordinary people, top athletes have two reasons for day-to-day moral behaviour – social responsibility and personal integrity.

Järvela finds that due to social responsibility, top athletes have the moral obligation to be a good role model primarily for children and young people. “Modern-day top-class sport is a global phenomenon and top athletes have an outstanding and prominent position in our society, which means that people willingly accept and embrace their behavioural models and the values they promote. When a top athlete behaves in an immoral manner, it is also a model behaviour to be followed. Therefore, athletes have a moral obligation to prevent other people’s immoral acts, which are caused by their own negative example,” Järvela argued.

In her thesis Järvela analysed and developed the argument by the reputable sports philosopher Robert L. Simon who said that sports at its best should also presume the acceptance of certain values. The author of the thesis said that as the continuity and integrity of values are of utmost importance for maintaining our identity, top athletes should remain loyal to sports values also outside the sports sphere.

Additional information: Mariann Järvela, author of the master’s thesis, jarvelamariann [ät] gmail.com

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)