Arqus Twinning Activities Accelerated – Dates and Mobilities Planned

The Arqus European University Alliance, which brings together the universities of Bergen, Granada, Graz, Leipzig, Lyon, Padova and Vilnius, completed the application process for its unique Twinning activities and announced the selected participants. Vilnius University, which received the most applications out of all seven universities, is planning to carry out the first exchange in September 2021.

2021 03 17 map380x250According to Head of Studies Quality and Development Department Andrius Uždanavičius, Arqus Twinning aims to strengthen subject-related collaboration of staff and students and create possibilities to carry out joint learning and teaching activities through piloting short-term mobility schemes: “The Alliance’s aim is to respond to the societal challenges and to advance towards deeper European integration”.

During the application period, Vilnius University received and will carry out a total of 12 mobilities. The first exchange is expected to take place in September 2021 – Prof. Dr Aistis Raudys from the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, and his students, will visit the University of Granada in Spain. The team will be working on a joint research project to improve the accuracy of people counting on public transport during crowded conditions to allow for better transport planning, optimisation, and a less polluted environment. The aim is to create a joint paper on the topic of passenger counting and flow forecasting.

Other activities are scheduled for the year 2022. Dr Jolanta Šinkūnienė from the Faculty of Philology and a group of students, will visit Granada in March. Her team will work on building a body of specialised language for tourism, focussing on aspects of discourse analysis, as well as translation challenges, cultural conceptualisation differences and their implications. Ieva Giedraitytė, from the Institute of International Relations and Political Science, and students, will travel to Padova in Italy. This exchange will be intended for master degree level students, who will participate in the virtual module “Europe as a Global Actor”.

During the fall semester of 2021, other Arqus universities will also carry out different types of Twinning activities. Up until the end of September 2022, Granada will implement 10 mobilities: Bergen and Padova will have 4 teams, another 3 will visit other universities from Leipzig and there will be 2 teams from Graz and Lyon. A total of 4 activities from other Arqus universities will be carried out at Vilnius University.

“Even though originally it was planned to fund 14 initiatives (2 per university), seeing the success of this initiative, the quality of the applications and motivation of our academic staff, almost all universities decided to find more resources and fund more. As a result, 37 accepted applications will be funded: 25 by Arqus and the rest from other sources, (other programs or internal budgets). That is not the end, we still have plans to announce another call next academic year,” Andrius Uždanavičius says.

The exchanges that will be carried out by Vilnius University are blended Twinning activities. According to Uždanavičius, this is a unique way to follow the plan even in difficult circumstances, while adjusting to both physical and online activities.

“Twinning activities are expected to contribute to the achievement of the Alliance’s objectives and may vary in their mode and type. They may include joint workshops, internships, participation in international conferences, summer schools, group projects, etc. They may be implemented only physically when students from different universities meet for workshops face to face or be blended – when students from two universities are working virtually on a common project and eventually meet physically to complete and present the results,” Andrius Uždanavičius explains.

The eligibility deadline for Twinning visits is end of September 2022. Another call for Twinning initiatives is planned to be announced during the 2021 fall semester.

VU and Partners Aim to Improve the Competences of Cybersecurity Specialists

2020 12 30 saugumas380x250Highly skilled cybersecurity specialists are in demand all over the world. In more than 90% of cyber incidents an individual is either an indirect perpetrator of a cybercrime (a victim) or a specialist who protects infrastructures and has sufficient subject-related and generic competences. There has been little research to properly measure the importance of personal traits and their role in the cyber kill chain.

The project ADVANCES, which aims to improve the performance of cybersecurity specialists, will bring together scientists of Vilnius University (VU), General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Østfold University College, Riga Technical University, Tallinn University of Technology, the University of Liechtenstein, and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. Researchers will analyse the human biological system and people’s behavioural habits and will assess the skills and expertise of cybersecurity specialists involved in the project.

Cyber Security Depends on More than Technological Skills

Leader of the project, Dr Agnė Brilingaitė, also a researcher at the Institute of Computer Science at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (FMI) of VU says that up to now no appropriate methodology has been developed to train cybersecurity specialists, or to allow for their continuous professional development. The only materials available at the moment are really only geared towards computer science professionals.

“Our goal is to attract as many specialists as possible to develop this particular approach and to develop a methodology to allow us to personalise it for specialist development or competence improvement. We will perform an in-depth analysis of people’s behaviour, their characteristics from the perspective of genetics and their technological competences,” the researcher explained.

The price of a cyber incident is leaked personal or sensitive data, malfunctioning in service provision, and, certainly, damaged reputation, and in the most extreme cases – lost lives.

“Everyone needs to be reminded that human beings are not robots. Most cyber incidents are prevented by technology controlled by specialists. However, containment of some incidents requires precise and fast use of personal skills and personal characteristics in response to the continuously changing environment,” Dr Brilingaitė added.

According to Dr Brilingaitė, people usually think that cyber security depends only on the skills and expertise of a cybersecurity specialist. But, she emphasises, cyberattacks and incidents also result from stress, fast-changing technology and external threats, when in addition to the technological component human factors are availed of to create a cyber incident.

Psychologists and Geneticists Engaged in the Project

For the purpose of the project, an international cross-disciplinary group of scientific research is to be established. The group will explore human potentials and risks in all stages of the cybercrime chain. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and their partners from Norway and Liechtenstein will examine the behaviour of cybersecurity specialists under stress conditions through a combination of data on computer science technology, psychology and the human genome.

“It is not only the scientific results of the project that will be important; the project is also significant for its cooperation with different partners, sharing knowledge, and creating added value for society. Specialists from many different fields are involved in the project, including psychologists, human geneticists, cybersecurity specialists, IT specialists; they have educational, training experience or experience of developing environments to help improve subject-specific competences,” Dr Brilingaitė elaborated.

VU is the project promoter. For this international consortium, it will contribute researchers from the Cybersecurity Laboratory of the Institute of Computer Science of FMI and the Department of Human and Medical Genetics of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine.

The project is aimed at developing a science-based interdisciplinary methodology to help evaluate the generic and subject-specific competences of cybersecurity specialists, as well as the personal risks in the competence development process. Development of the methodology will be based on research of the behaviour of real participants in an international cyber security exercise.

Risk assessment, testing and educational components of the methodology will be verified by working with computer science students and students of computing-related fields. Data analysis and artificial intelligence methods will be used to process and interpret the multidimensional data.

The "Advancing Human Performance in Cybersecurity", ADVANCES, benefits from an almost €1 million grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants. The aim of the project is to advance the performance of cybersecurity specialists by personalising the competence development path and risk assessment. Project contract with the Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT) No is S-BMT-21-6 (LT08-2-LMT-K-01-051


Dr. J. Jankauskas: “It is time to create added value for Lithuanian science”

Dr. Jonas Jankauskas, after almost 9 years spent abroad, is returning to Lithuania and will be running exercise classes for the students at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of Vilnius University (VU) from this semester on. Recently he also has been elected to the Young Academy of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences (YALAS). We talk about the career of a scientist and lecturer, as well as problems of cooperation between researchers working in Lithuania and abroad, and his future goals.

2021 02 11 J Jankauskas380x250Experience as a lecturer was gained in Lithuanian and foreign universities

"I started my teaching career while I was still studying. I worked at ISM, and later, during my PhD years, as a teaching assistant I did tutorials in mathematics (problem solving practice classes) for students of the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at VU" the researcher said.

J. Jankauskas also gained significant teaching experience abroad during his postdoctoral years in Canada. It is mandatory for early career academic staff to gain experience in teaching.

"In Canada, I worked at two universities - Simon Fraser University and Waterloo. At the first one I would teach the first course in mathematical analysis (Calculus-I), and at the second - Calculus II and linear algebra for students in sciences and engineering. So I saw all the ins and outs. For example, linear algebra lectures were given to more than a thousand students at a time. The team of lecturers consisted of 6 lecturers who taught groups of 100 to 200 students each, " dr. J. Jankauskas said.

According to the interviewee, each of these large courses had one coordinator appointed. The coordinator was responsible for setting up a course plan (the subject content and the teaching schedule) and supervising other lecturers. “In my second year at Waterloo I was assigned to coordinate the linear algebra course and prepare all the lecture material, assignment problems etc. It's not that simple and takes a lot of time".

In mathematics - already 18 years

As dr. J. Jankauskas says, to achieve success in any academic field, a systematic work and good self-discipline is a must: “I am not exactly an ideal type of a scientist. I am more of an owl type person, I like to sleep longer in the morning. I prefer working in the evening. It is very good when I also teach while doing scientific work - it helps to keep up with the day cycle and improves my work discipline”.

Dr. J. Jankauskas research area covers polynomials, matrix based digit systems, and computations. He obtained his PhD in mathematics at Vilnius University. His PhD thesis was recognized as one of the best in Lithuania in 2012, and the dissertation made into the final round of the Stefan Banach contest organized by the Polish Mathematical Society. The young researcher has published more than 20 papers in international peer-reviewed scientific journals.

In his research, dr. J. Jankauskas does a lot of calculations on a computer: “Many hypotheses arise first when performing a computer experiment, seeing the regularity, the patterns, and then one gets an idea how it all functions. Then you have to prove it mathematically”. He also enjoys deriving and writing down formulas. “By trial and error, one observes what works and what doesn't - it's probably what mathematics is".

Having started studying at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics almost 18 years ago, J. Jankauskas recalls professors who made him fall in love with mathematics, who got him and other students interested in their topics: "Hamletas Markšaitis, for instance, was considered to be ‘an axe’ (a lecturer who is hard to a common folk), but I liked him, he inspired me and many other people so much”. “I can also mention Ričardas Kudžma for his non-standard, but interesting approach to the first year Calculus course, and Vigirdas Mackevičius for his classical, carefully worked out second year Calculus course in multiple variables and Fourier series. And, of course, the unforgettable Romualdas Kašuba – later, I had the privilege to work side by side with him at many mathematical contests and at “Kangaroo” math summer camps. That's how mathematics got me and I chose to remain in this field."

Reasons that led to the return to Lithuania

Dr. J. Jankauskas says that he had job offers abroad, but decided to return. One of the reasons is personal - the wish to be closer to friends and family members. In addition, he says he remained in close touch with Lithuania all these years, by following the Lithuanian media and news, and writing papers with his Lithuanian colleagues: “I feel that it’s time to come back and give something in return. There is an opportunity to build your own research team and achieve results here".

A member of the LAS Young Academy notices the lack of cooperation between local scientists and émigrées working abroad. He is convinced: we need to communicate more pro - actively so that we do not become alienated.

“Two separate scientific communities are emerging: the local one in Lithuania and that of emigrants working abroad. The ties between them are not particularly strong. Lithuanians living abroad have little idea what can be done in Lithuania, whether there would be any prospects or not. They create their own images of how it is here. On the other hand, there exist somewhat conservative, defensive attitudes among the local Lithuanians, there is a lack of live communication. Each side is waiting for the other to reach out first,” the scientist said.

One of the goals of dr. J. Jankauskas, as a member of the LAS Young Academy, is to establish and maintain active contacts with Lithuanian scientists who are working abroad. “The idea is to build an active community of early career mathematicians in Lithuania and abroad - and try to do things together, like organize visits of our émigrée working abroad with lectures and seminars. For those returning to live and work in Lithuania - to help orient themselves, maybe to help to write a funding application, and things like that”, says a member of the LAS Young Academy, a coordinator of the Annual Meeting of Lithuanian Early Career Mathematicians, adding that he would like as well to contribute to the revival of the community.

Graduation event

2021 01 20 Graduation event900x342

On the 3rd of February at 10 a.m. there will be a graduation event for graduates of the Bachelor of Information Technology and Master of Modeling and Data Analysis, Computer Modeling, Financial and Actuarial Mathematics.

Graduates will be greeted by University representatives, guests, lecturers and classmates.

We invite everyone to watch the live broadcast via Vilnius University's Facebook

! As we will not be able to provide diplomas during the remote broadcast, we invite graduates to choose the most appropriate option for collecting the diploma.

!! We also invite all graduates to contribute to the joy of creating a festive mood and submit your photo to display during a virtual event until the 31st of January.

Information about settlement with Vilnius University can be found here.

We invite you to celebrate together with the graduates!

Experts in Cyber Security say that it is too late to worry about the security in the event of a hack

2020 12 30 saugumas

Often, both in companies and in everyday life, cyber security is only a concern only after cyber incidents. What do cyber-attacks look like? What is the most important thing to know about cyber security? What are the competencies of cyber security professionals?

All the answers to these questions are from Giedrius Markevičius, a representative of “Check Point Software Technologies”, Marijus Briedis, a representative of “Nord Security”, Eduardas Kutka, a lecturer at Vilnius University Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (VU MIF), and the head of the Cyber Security Laboratory Assoc. Prof. Dr Linas Bukauskas.

Most often cases are where ransoms are demanded

Cyber security is a set of actions and technologies that needed to protect the data and ensure the stability of services. It is all technological tools used by the experts protect not only the data but also the legal aspects of the organization.

“Businesses are increasingly noticing that they are being spied on their plans or strategies. Data leakage is an everyday problem that exists internationally. Without following and controlling where the information goes, there is a high risk that the information will end up where it really should not be,” G. Markevičius says.

The expert says that businesses are most often faced with cyber-attacks - data leakage - and demand of ransom.

“Malicious people using e-mails send electronic files that are not only able to encrypt data on the recipient's computer, but also access other devices on the network. A message is then received stating that the data is encrypted and a ransom is required to recover it. Usually this amount is from 300 to several hundred thousand euros,” G. Markevičius says.

Marijus Briedis, Nord Security's NordVPN technology manager, also confirms that. According to him, the biggest damage to companies is caused by data theft (ransomware) attacks, which often cause not only financial losses - but also the reputation of companies and the relationship based on trust with customers.

“Often, cyber-attacks start when an employee clicks on the wrong link or opens a phishing e-mail. Therefore, employees need to be constantly informed and trained to recognize various threats and how to respond to them,” M. Briedis is convinced.

Cyber security requires constant attention

VU MIF lecturer E. Kutka points out that in order to protect one‘s data, it is necessary to pay attention not only to the electronic, but also to the physical environment.

“Many people are well aware of cases where e-mail systems fail due to physical damage to equipment or the environment. Then people can’t access certain data or perform certain actions. This is usually due to poor maintenance of equipment, but it is important to understand that cybersecurity is not possible without proper physical security,” E. Kutka says, who emphasizes that cybersecurity is quite expensive - for example, it can take up to € 1,000,000 a year investments.

VU MIF Institute of Informatics Head of Cyber Security Laboratory Assoc. Prof. Dr L. Bukauskas notes that although these investments may seem to be expensive, questioning their importance might bring inevitable losses.

“It is important to understand that it is too late to start taking care of security in the event of a cyber-attack. Therefore, the focus on it should be constant. I recommend not to forget about cyber security to talk within the organization, to allocate funds for the prevention of incidents, as well as for the development of specialist competencies,” - Assoc. Prof. Dr L. Bukauskas advises.

Ethical hackers enhance the security of systems

VU MIF researcher emphasizes that not all cyber-attacks are carried out in order to harm the organization or profit from it. For example, thanks to ethical hackers, the defense of Lithuanian cyberspace is constantly being strengthened.

“Ethical hackers are cyber security experts who do not maliciously damage systems. On the contrary, they test publicly available system functions and report their shortcomings to both the system operator and the National Cyber Security Center,” L. Bukauskas says.

According to the researcher, the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Lithuania has already prepared amendments to the Law on Cyber Security, which would define what ethical hackers can and cannot do, how an ethical hacker should report found system gaps without possible prosecution.

“I believe that these changes will help strengthen the security of the public sector and business systems. An ethical researcher who finds critical errors left by programmers or administrators will feel safe and will not face any inconveniences when reporting it,” he is positive.

Cyber security professionals need quality studies

Speaking about the competencies of cyber security specialists, Assoc. Prof. Dr L. Bukauskas emphasizes that working in this field requires good knowledge of informatics and understanding of programming languages. It is also necessary to know how different information systems work, to understand their interfaces. According to the interviewee, these competencies can be acquired by choosing an information technology study program, and a master's study program in computer modeling would help to improve it.

“IT students gain the necessary knowledge about cyber security, good network and IT management practices, risk assessment, network security and vulnerabilities. It is this important knowledge that allows to connect one‘s future with cyber security,”  said Assoc. Prof. Dr  L. Bukauskas.

Master's study program in Computer Modeling deals with the topic of cyber security in a slightly different way - students delve into general security, cloud operation by modeling algorithms and analyzing results, learn how to properly use the possibilities of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

VU MIF Informatics Institute also has a Cyber Security Laboratory, the aim of which is to create and develop a technological, virtual training platform for research on cyber security breaches and attack and defense actions. In a science lab, students can do professional internships, test software, or consult on a variety of cyber security issues.

“The scientific laboratory gives priority to practical results and solutions that can contribute to scientific and technological progress. We recommend that bachelor's students start preparing coursework together from the second year, and during them we examine the latest (state-of-the-art) aspects of cyber security. The laboratory acquires extremely important and valuable practical experience,” says the head of the laboratory, Assoc. Prof. Dr  L. Bukauskas.

Jaroslava’s Arsenjeva’s Erasmus+ staff exchange trip to Latvia

Erasmus+ is a great program that allows both University students and employees visit institutions abroad and acquire new experiences and contacts. Jaroslava is a 3rd year PhD student of Vilnius Univercity and works half-time in Vilnius University's Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at the Institute of Data Science and Digital Technologies. Jaroslava mentions being an exchange student before but recently her position allowed her to explore the other side of the spectrum.

She started thinking about this opportunity in the summer of this year when her acquaintance Patriks Morevs from Liepoja’s University came with a staff exchange trip to VGTU. He, being the head of International Affairs department, motivated Jaroslava to visit the University is Liepoja. At first, she was a little bit unsure because of the pandemic going on however everyone involved was very encouraging and surprisingly the work trip finally happened in November 2020. Luckily in the case of a work trip self-isolation upon arriving to Latvia is not necessary.

2021 01 04 Liepaja university600x450Jaroslava (right) shadowing Marija Šnaidere (left) 

Since Jaroslava was going with a visit to the International Affairs department the purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with internalization strategies of the receiving institution and how their personnel manage the situation in the current pandemic. At the time Jaroslava arrived all students and most employees have been suggested to work from home however Marija Šnaidere and Partiks Morevs showed her around, introduced their colleagues present at the University and filled Jaroslava in on their duties.

Turned out that the International Affairs department of Liepoja University has done a very good job so far establishing international mobility projects not only with European countries but also with Philippines, Russia, Dominican Republic and others. After the project is made between two countries a double-degree program is developed so participating students can have 2 diplomas and study in any of the two countries. In the current situation students have the opportunity to get enrolled and finish the first semester online from their home country and only then travel to the other institution in Latvia. Also opportunities for international internships are being actively sought out by employees of the department and an agreement established between the University and the company providing the internship.

2021 01 04 Liepaja university600x450 2Jaroslava in Liepoja University International Affairs department

Overall this was a very pleasant experience and Jaroslava definitely can recommend it to everyone. Visiting another institution not only can provide valuable insight on how thing are handled in another place but also provide valuable work contacts. Although it might have been easier for Jaroslava because she already knew someone from the receiving University, in case someone has a will to go to a specific institution they can email the person responsible for staff mobility from that institution and things can be arranged.

Algimantas Markauskas: top-level research requires knowledge, motivation and infrastructure

2020 12 02 Algimantas Markauskas380x250With the rapid growth of research potential in various fields, the need for modern tools and convenient infrastructure inevitably grows. In order to meet this need, it is planned to expand the largest and most modern research base in Lithuania in Saulėtekis - by investing in modern Faculties of Chemistry and Geosciences and Mathematics and Informatics of Vilnius University (VU), the largest nucleus of life, physical and technological sciences would form here.

Algimantas Markauskas, a scientist, biochemist and CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics, is also convinced of the need and importance of this investment. According to him, the right infrastructure and concentration of science in various fields in one place will not only motivate researchers, create better conditions for cooperation between science and business, but also will create opportunities for research of global significance.

Appropriate infrastructure - new opportunities and motivation

A. Markauskas claims that investment in science and knowledge and investment in infrastructure are directly related processes that are equally important in achieving strategic goals relevant to the whole of Lithuania, i.e. a closer cooperation between science, studies and business.

“I am surprised by the statement that in the case of the Faculties of Chemistry or Mathematics, it is not necessary to invest in bricks, but only in knowledge. In my opinion, knowledge is content and first of all, you need to have a container to put that content in. Anyone involved in chemical science has probably visited the VU Faculty of Chemistry and knows that it is an extremely old building that can hardly attract young people to study there. This is just one of the examples that draw attention to the impact of bricks and buildings,” says the biochemist.

According to the CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics, the VU Life Sciences Centre (LSC) is the best example of how the right infrastructure is crucial for creating a motivating and competitive environment and achieving the goals of international cooperation. According to Mr. Markauskas, it was the modern LSC of VU that determined the decision of EMBL (European Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory) to establish as many as six scientific groups in Vilnius.

“Neither in the former building of the Institute of Biotechnology nor in the Faculty of Chemistry would they have been established, and the general change before and after the establishment of LSC can be compared not by hearsay - students’ motivation differs as day and night. Therefore, it is obvious that it is not investing in bricks only - if we want to motivate young, talented people not to go to study abroad, but to stay in Lithuania, we must create conditions for that. In my mind, this project is not gaining the right momentum for too long,” Mr. Markauskas says.

Interdisciplinarity in science centres leads to the greatest achievements

A. Markauskas believes that observing the perspectives in the field of science, interdisciplinarity between various fields of science has been a clear priority for more than a decade, because this is where the biggest breakthroughs take place. “For example, without chemistry, there are no fields for application of biotechnology, physics and new lasers, and there is no nanotechnology or food industry. Therefore, the mere inclusion of chemistry in that nucleus of science ensures closer interdisciplinary links and is a top priority.”

According to the head of Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics, businesses often look for scientists from various disciplines themselves and team them up to carry out various projects. Therefore, a single joint centre and pool of researchers would not only stimulate and simplify the processes of scientific and business cooperation, but also contribute to a smoother interaction between different disciplines.

“It is also important to include the science of mathematics, which has been thought to be ahead for hundreds of years and to have far surpassed all others. With the transition of biology to digital format, with the advent of vast amounts of genetic information, it has become clear that mathematicians have room to develop further in order to process that information properly. Therefore, it is obvious that we need to create a modern joint infrastructure, which we could fill with knowledge, because bad conditions will not guarantee results of global significance,” says Algimantas Markauskas.

According to the biochemist, potential and highly applicable research areas in the business, such as lasers in physics, biotechnology, show good results in the international market due to well-organized focus and broad vision, strategically developed visions.
“When we look at the neighbouring countries, i.e. Latvia, Estonia, Poland, none of them has a company like Thermo Fisher Scientific. Although there are many reasons for this, one of the most important is that we have been able to mobilize a critical mass of competent scientists and knowledge in biotechnology in Lithuania, which have become such a combination. Professors, who saw the prospects for future top-level research in the deep Soviet era, made a significant contribution to this,” says the head of the company.

Accumulated experience and knowledge lead forward

When it comes to the relationship between science and business, investment in science is often misunderstood as a necessary guarantee of success, with a financial return in a short period of several years, and if this goal is not achieved, the accumulated knowledge is considered worthless. According to A. Markauskas, not only knowledge but also competencies acquired by people should be considered a value.

“A half-year project that has not earned a million is an investment in a person who, having accumulated new knowledge, will apply it in another project and earn that million and more. In addition, it is important to understand that there are also unsuccessful projects – sometimes ideas simply do not come true. In science, a negative result is also a result that has value - how else to know that there is no need to choose that path or that the idea does not make sense. Just as bankruptcy in business – it is not a tragedy, it is a lesson learned, after which it is possible to start again with new energy,” says Mr. Markauskas.

A. Markauskas names long-term and permanent projects of Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics and VU LSC as an example of successful cooperation. One of them is the Mobile Bio class, when VU students and company specialists visit regional Lithuanian schools and allow students to perform scientific experiments with real scientific equipment. In addition, Thermo Fisher Scientific Science Days are held annually at VU LSC and are usually attended by an exhibition of the latest scientific equipment.

“During these events, a very wide cycle of scientific reports on the latest technological platforms and products is organised. It is a synergy, when we get a place and an audience from VU, and we organise a scientific conference, which allows bringing together scientists from all over Lithuania.

In addition, we have established special scholarships, we provide about 30-40 VU students with the opportunity to complete their final theses in our laboratories, where they use the most modern equipment, the necessary reagents, have very professional supervisors, so the performed work becomes very relevant and necessary,” says A. Markauskas.

Thermo Fisher Scientific also contributes to the activities of the VU student team, which has won the largest international competition in synthetic biology contest iGEM. This year, for the second time, this team has won the award for the absolute best team, bearing in mind that teams from almost 240 universities around the world participate in the competition. The company provides the team with the necessary reagents for experiments, produced in Vilnius, and helps to implement other team projects for public education.

“I am overwhelmed with this year’s winning as well, this is the highest achievement, our students are overtaking universities like Harvard, Oxford and others. And again, they are successful because they have excellent mentors – Prof Rolandas Meškys, Prof Virginijus Šikšnys, they receive the necessary financial support, and finally - the necessary competencies and motivation from previous achievements. And when there are all these components - everything is possible even in such a small country as Lithuania,” claims Mr. Markauskas.

The Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence was established at Vilnius University

More and more often we encounter with automated solutions which create dynamic and constantly evolving science and technology environment, with new challenges searching for more accurate and effective artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. In order to solve these tasks, deeper theoretical and practical knowledge together with special equipment are required. Therefore, by the decision of the Council of the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of Vilnius University (VU), the Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence was established at the Institute of Data Science and Digital Technologies.

2020 11 20 Laboratorija380x250"Companies working in the IT sector are constantly competing for skilled workers. Artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are technologies that are now actively contributing to the development of new and existing products and processes,” says the Head of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Dr. Virginijus Marcinkevičius.

The aim of the laboratory established in cooperation with UAB "Neurotechnology” is the practical use of knowledge in solving relevant problems of application of science and technology related to artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation and robotics technologies. The Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence is expected to become international level applied computer science center, uniting the interests of science and business in the development of artificial intelligence methods and technologies, training international level specialists for work in the field of artificial intelligence research and applications.

"Students will be able to contribute to the development and improvement of these products and services through internships, bachelor's or master's theses led by the scientists from the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, applied research using artificial intelligence, machine learning methods, automation and robotics technologies, to continue research in doctoral studies,” says Dr. Marcinkevičius.

The work of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory will be focused on the development of competencies in the field of artificial intelligence inside and outside the Faculty, in collaboration with business and governmental organizations. Researchers working in the artificial intelligence laboratory will seek to carry out projects with business organizations that are relevant to science and promote innovation in business.

According to the Head of the Laboratory, the topic of artificial intelligence is vast: systems and software are being developed that are able to perform learning, decision-making or assessment tasks, analyze images and natural human language, help automate standard processes.

"Every major university has a lab or even several that work with a variety of artificial intelligence issues, e.g. “MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory“, “Oxford Machine Learning Research Group“, “Berkeley AI Research Lab“. In order to be a leader in the region, Vilnius University will also actively contribute to the development of this field,” says Dr. Marcinkevičius.

Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies. More information