International community discusses the Viking Age in Tartu

2 months 3 weeks ago

On December 1-3, Tartu hosts the conference Crossing Disciplinary Borders in Viking Age Studies, the 7th Austmarr Symposium, which brings together experts from different parts of the world.

The Austmarr Symposium is a series of international research conferences, which have been arranged annually since 2011, addressing topics of Viking Age and Medieval contacts across the Baltic Sea. Three keynote speakers have been invited: Prof. Jens Peter Schjødt (Aarhus University), who speaks about Odin and pagan Nordic religion, Prof. Anne-Sofie Gräslund (Uppsala University), who speaks about her experience as an archaeologist of interdisciplinary cooperation on Viking Age topics, and Ass. Prof. Henrik Janson (Gothenburg University), who speaks about the dangers of the use of different types of material in the studies of Nordic pagan religion.

This year’s conference brings researchers to Tartu to discuss the problems, challenges and solution in all kinds of interdisciplinary approaches to Viking Age studies, the use of material from different disciplines to shed light on the material from others. Tthere will be a special focus on the problems and possibilities in the combination of archaeological finds and Icelandic written sources as well on the use of archaeological finds and Icelandic texts in the reconstruction of pagan Nordic religion. The Austmarr symposium is organized in rotation, and it now returns to Tartu, where this series of conferences started in 2011.

"This is a perfect opportunity to discuss currently debated issues such as the existence of female Viking warriors and the interpretation of the Salme finds, issues which are much discussed in Estonia too. There will be special sessions at the conference for both these topics, and everybody interested is welcome to listen", the conference organizer Daniel Sävborg says.

The three-day conference is held at the main building of the University of Tartu with 85 registered participants. 40 researchers from Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, UK, USA, Russia, Lithuania, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Italy will present their research within the field. The main organizer is the Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Tartu, Daniel Sävborg.

Contact: Daniel Sävborg, conference organizer, 737 6250, daniel.savborg [ät] (in English)
Viivika Voodla, academic affairs specialist, 737 5212, viivika.voodla [ät] (in Estonian)

Category: ResearchPress release
Maria Kristiina Prass (b14327)

Research focuses on Russia’s role and activity in the European Court of Human Rights

2 months 3 weeks ago

A new volume "Russia and the European Court of Human Rights: the Strasbourg Effect" has just been published at Cambridge University Press, which sheds a light on how Russia has managed in the European Court of Human Rights during the last nearly 20 years.

The volume has been co-edited by Lauri Mälksoo, Professor of International Law at the University of Tartu, and Wolfgang Bendek, Professor Emeritus of International law at the University of Graz in Austria. Both lawyers and political scientists from the EU countries as well Russia have contributed to the book as authors. The main research question is whether and in what sense we can speak of Russia's human rights-friendly socialization in the Strasbourg system. The secondary focus is also on Russia’s effect on the system.

According to Professor Lauri Mälksoo when Russia became member of the Council of Europe in 1996, the optimistic socialization theory prevailed. The hope was that human rights-friendly institutions, such as the European Court of Human Rights itself, would eventually help new and 'weaker' member states to improve their record. Instead, the story of Russia's 'socialization' has been one of difficulties.

“The writings of Valery Zorkin, the head of the Russian Constitutional Court and Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, are quite significant in this sense, and are also studied in the volume. In 2015, the Russian Constitutional Court decided that the country would not implement judgments of the Strasbourg court that it finds would contradict the Russian Constitution. So in the final analysis, the Strasbourg effect has been mixed - it has supported progress in some areas but in other and in some ways foundational aspects has fueled official Russia's opposition to liberal, secular and individual-centered human rights protection system,” the editor Lauri Mälksoo states.

The research informing this book was supported inter alia by the Estonian Research Council (grant IUT20-50) and the European Inter-University Centre (EIUC) in Venice, Italy.

Contact: Lauri Mälksoo, editor of the volume, 737 6042, lauri.malksoo [ät]

Category: Research
Maria Kristiina Prass (b14327)

Inaugural lecture by Peter Hwang “The Rise of Asia and Differences of Management Styles between East and West”

2 months 4 weeks ago
22.11.2017 On November 22 at 16.15, UT Professor of Asian Economy Peter Hwang will deliver his inaugural lecture in the University of Tartu assembly hall. The lecture deals with the rise of Asia and differences in Eastern and Western management styles.  The economic and political capabilities and importance of Asian countries, especially China, has been on the rise in the world.  This forces the current leading countries in the Western world to constantly put in more effort to stay in competition with Asian countries in terms of their rising production capabilities and ability to find innovative solutions.  The lecture will discuss the fast progress of China’s economic rise and the management issues supporting the rise. “In what ways are the management styles different in the East and West?  What influence do they have on the economy, entrepreneurship and business culture in general? How it all connects to a deeper cultural background, differences between Eastern and Western cultures?” says Professor Hwang to describe the topics discussed.  Peter Hwang is from Taiwan, where he started to pursue higher education. He defended his doctoral thesis at Michigan State University, USA, in 1988, and from 1988 to 1999, he worked as associate professor in the City University of New York, in the National Taiwan University and in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Professor Hwang has also been a Dean and Professor for the School of Business of Sampoerna University (Indonesia) and Chairman of the Board for Yangzhou Bulb Group (China). In the spring of 2017, Peter Hwang was elected as Professor of Asian Economy in the University of Tartu. Professor Hwang’s work in Tartu is supported by the University of Tartu’s ASTRA project PER ASPERA and financed by the European Regional Development Fund. All are welcome to the inaugural lecture. Live webcast and later viewing of the recording is available on UTTV.  Additional information: Kady Sõstar, Senior Specialist for Protocol, International Cooperation Unit, 511 9188, kady.sostar [ät] Category: StudiesPress release
Maria Kristiina Prass (b14327)

Hackathon uses data to make an impact on society

3 months 1 week ago

On Friday, November 10, a 48-hour "Social Impact Data Hack 2017" will begin at the University of Tartu, which explores the possibilities of contributing to society by using big data from various public institutions and private enterprises.

The datathon, organised in cooperation with the UT Institute of Computer Science and the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, aims to identify social problems, raise awareness, untangle myths and fallacies and provide potential solutions to issues in the society by means of data analysis and machine learning. Marlon Dumas, one of the organisers of the event and Professor in Information Systems, explains the focus of the hackathon: “We keep hearing that data is power. Companies use it to gain competitive advantage in all kinds of businesses. Why not use it to benefit society?”

Over 20 social ideas will be pitched at the hackathon. These include, for example, issues of child welfare, monitoring of crowdsourced processes, analysis of court cases data, predicting the election results, and automated discovery of corruption cases. The participants choose among the ideas and start developing them until Sunday when the results are presented and winners announced.

The hackathon brings together about 200 data and computer scientists, journalists, economists, political scientists, as well as other students and experts. Social Impact Data Hack 2017 is supported by the H2020 grant SoBigData research infrastructure.

For more information, please visit the website of the hackathon and the Facebook event.

Additional information: Marlon Dumas, Professor in Information Systems, 56377557, marlon.dumas [ät]

Category: International
Maria Kristiina Prass (b14327)

International community discusses cybersecurity in Tartu

3 months 1 week ago

On  November 8-10, Tartu hosts the Nordic Conference on Secure IT Systems, which brings together experts from different parts of the world.

NordSec is an annual research conference series of the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia), addressing topics of data security. The conference papers are published by the renowned Springer publishing company. Three keynote speakers have been invited: Prof. Aggelos Kiayias of the University of Edinburgh, who speaks about blockchain; Senior Research Fellow Ilya Mironov of Google, whose topic is privacy in machine learning; and Senior Research Fellow Dario Fiore of IMDEA Software Institute, who speaks about authentication of computing. The conference has eighteen subtopics in which authors introduce their research.

This year’s conference brings researchers to Tartu to discuss cybersecurity, cryptography and privacy. The conference is organised in rotation and Estonia is the organiser in every sixth year. “Previously, NordSec has been held in Tartu in 2005 and in Tallinn in 2011. This time it is held in Tartu again, namely because a large community of our cryptography specialists work here,” explains the general chair of the conference, UT Lead Research Fellow of Cryptography Helger Lipmaa.

The three-day conference is held at Dorpat Convention Centre and convenes more than 50 scientists from the USA, Japan, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and several other countries. The organising committee is led by UT associate professor Raimundas Matulevičius.

Additional information: Helger Lipmaa, General Chair, 5333 0233, helger.lipmaa [ät]

Category: Research
Maria Kristiina Prass (b14327)

21 research institutions signed the research integrity agreement

3 months 1 week ago

On 1 November, Estonian universities, research institutions, the Estonian Research Council and the Ministry of Education and Research signed the Estonian Code of Conduct for Research Integrity Agreement.

By joining the Estonian Code of Conduct for Research Integrity Agreement, the research institutions confirmed that they respect the main values of research and the principles of action described in the text of the Estonian Code of Conduct for Research Integrity finalized in 2017 in cooperation between Estonian research institutions, the Estonian Academy of Sciences, the Estonian Research Council, and the Ministry of Education and Research.

 Professor Margit Sutrop, Head of the Centre for Ethics at the University of Tartu, said that we are still at the beginning of a long road ahead. Every research institution retains the right to decide how to raise its members’ awareness of these principles, how to ensure their observance and how to establish procedural rules for dealing with cases of misconduct. “Now, when the document is finally signed, it is necessary to think how research institutions, individually or in cooperation, could help researchers in practice so that they would have the best conditions for doing their work in an ethically appropriate way. The institutions must also be ready to deal with possible cases of misconduct,” Professor Sutrop explained.

As of today, 21 research institutions have signed the the Estonian Code of Conduct for Research Integrity Agreement and by signing have agreed to follow the code. In addition, the Estonian Research Council and the Ministry of Education and Research also signed the agreement.


The Estonian Code of Conduct for Research Integrity Agreement was signed by

Bio-Competence Centre of Healthy Dairy Products LLC

Cybernetica AS

Competence Center of Food and Fermentation Technology

Estonian Academy of Arts

Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre

Estonian Biocentre

Estonian Business School

Estonian Crop Research Institute

Estonian Literary Museum

Estonian National Museum

Estonian University of Life Sciences

Institute of the Estonian Language

National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics

National Institute of Health and Development

Software Technology and Applications Competence Center

Tallinn University

Tallinn University of Technology

The Competence Centre on Health Technologies

Under and Tuglas Literature Centre of the Estonian Academy of Sciences

University of Tartu, including Tartu Observatory

Estonian Research Council

Ministry of Education and Research


The proposal to sign the Estonian Code of Conduct for Research Integrity Agreement was made to all 22 positively evaluated research and development institutions in Estonia. The names of all the signatories will be published alongside the Estonian Code of Conduct for Research Integrity and the Estonian Code of Conduct for Research Integrity Agreement on the homepage of the Estonian Research Council. 

Additional information: Margit Sutrop, Head of centre for Ethics, margit.sutrop [ät]

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



Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

University of Tartu celebrates the Day of Gustavus Adolphus

3 months 2 weeks ago

On Monday, 6 November, the University of Tartu celebrates the Day of Gustavus Adolphus, the King of Sweden and founder of the university of Tartu, and the 385th anniversary of Academia Gustaviana. The programme includes lectures, a Baroque concert and an exhibition.

“The traditional Day of Gustavus Adolphus emphasises the importance of education, aspiration for higher ideals and cooperation. These important principles of the Universitas have remained essentially the same over the centuries,” said Kristina Mullamaa, head of the UT Department of Scandinavian Studies.

At 14:00, the exhibition “Travellers’ portraits” is opened in Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies (Lossi 36).

At 15:00, professor of literature at Uppsala University and director of Uppsala University Library Lars Burman delivers a lecture “From cottages to great palaces. Four careers in the 17th century“. This is followed by a lecture by Kristi Viiding, senior research fellow of Under and Tuglas Literature Centre of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, “Shaping history through poetry: Friedrich Menius' Latin and German epicedia for Gustavus Adolphus”. The lectures take place at Jakobi 2-114.

At 17:20, flowers are placed at Johan Skytte monument on Toomemägi and at the monument of Gustav II Adolf near the university’s main building.

The day ends with the Baroque music concert, which starts at 18:00 in the assembly hall. The programme “Queen Christina of Sweden and her time. Musical bridges in the 17th-century Europe” is performed by Pirjo Jonas (soprano) and a Baroque music ensemble including Meelis Orgse (baroque viola), Villu Vihermäe (viola da gamba, baroque cello), Kristo Käo (theorbo, baroque quitar). Brilliant music by Corelli, Monteverdi, Purcell, Baltzar and other Baroque composers will be played. The concert is free for all.

Celebrations of the Day of Gustavus Adolphus and the 385th anniversary of Academia Gustaviana are organised by the University of Tartu, UT Department of Scandinavian Studies, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden to Estonia and the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Estonia.

Additional information: Kady Sõstar, UT Senior Specialist for Protocol, 511 9188, kady.sostar [ät]

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




Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)