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Vilnius University Signs Cooperation Agreement with the Lithuanian Armed Forces

2022 11 11 Kariuomene3 380x250On 11 November, a cooperation agreement was signed between Vilnius University (VU) and the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The agreement was ratified by representatives of the institutions, who met in person and signed the document – the Rector of Vilnius University, Professor Rimvydas Petrauskas, and the Chief of Defence Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, Brigadier General Mindaugas Steponavičius. The institutions agreed to strengthen and develop their cooperation, to educate and inform the public on the issues of cybersecurity and to foster civil society.

"Close cooperation, sharing of competencies and mutual support are always essential for a country, and especially in the current geopolitical situation. The University welcomes this cooperation agreement and believes that with our knowledge, intellect and technological solutions we can contribute to the strengthening of the security of the state and to the support of our military forces," said Professor Rimvydas Petrauskas, Rector of Vilnius University.

2022 11 11 Kariuomene2 900x600"The agreement confirms what is very important for the institutions we represent. It is in our interests to strengthen and develop the cooperation, to educate and inform the public on the issues of cybersecurity. We are pleased to have such an understanding and such a sense of responsibility for public safety in academia. I believe that by bringing together the expertise of the soldiers and the intellectual capabilities and efforts of the VU community, we will strengthen our ability to safeguard the interests of the state and its citizens," said Brigadier General Mindaugas Steponavičius, Chief of Defence Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, after the agreement was signed.

The agreement includes cooperation on joint projects, exchange of expert information, cooperation on curriculum development, organization of internships and training, sharing of knowledge and new developments with students, non-regular lectures, discussions and scientific conferences at the University.

2022-11-11

MIF Researchers Awarded for Their Outstanding Contributions to Mathematics and Computer Science

2022 11 11 Researchers380x250"You are special and you have no limits. You are the carriers of scientific thought in Lithuania," Virgilijus Dirma, Head of EU and International Relations at Infobalt, addressed the scientists of the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (MIF) of Vilnius University (VU), who gathered for the Lithuanian Luminaries 2022 award ceremony.

On 8 November, the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences hosted the award ceremony "Lithuanian Luminaries for Mathematics and Informatics 2022" of the project “Lithuanian Luminaries 2022” carried out by M.K. Čiurlionis Foundation, the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of VU and the Infobalt Association. During the event, M. K. Čiurlionis Foundation awarded the REX cups to bright, distinguished personalities who have left a distinct mark in mathematics and computer science in Lithuania.

"I have to admit that this nomination was unexpected but delightful," said Professor Dr. Habil. Vilijandas Bagdonavičius, one of the founders of accelerated testing theory, as he took to the stage to receive the award. He has published over 130 theoretical and applied papers in reliability theory, survival analysis and mathematical statistics.

Professor Dr. Habil. Valentina Dagienė, a computer scientist, Doctor of Physical Sciences, actively works in the field of children's education. She has published more than 150 scientific papers and more than 100 science popularization articles on education, lithuanianisation of computer software, and has prepared many educational books and textbooks on computer science. For her, this award is yet another challenge: "It is one more responsibility for me to say that my aim is to contribute as much as possible to the work of those who educate. I want all my energy to be devoted to the teachers of Lithuania and the world."

Professor Dr. Habil. of Physical Sciences Vygandas Paulauskas, a mathematician and author of textbooks on functional analysis, has published more than 120 scientific papers. His research interests include limit theorems on infinite-dimensional spaces, approximation of operator semigroups.

Professor Dr. Habil. Mifodijus Sapagovas, a mathematician and textbook author, has developed a method for studying the stability of difference schemes for the nonlocal conditions of parabolic equations. He has received numerous awards for his scientific achievements.

Professor Dr. Habil. Šarūnas Raudys, a cybernetician and computer scientist, stressed that science is not a job for him – it is a way of life that he enjoys. He has developed a way to link theoretical knowledge from two fields – multi-annual statistics and neural networks – by creating qualification and prediction rules.

One of the cups was awarded to the late Professor Dr. Habil. Adolfas Laimutis Telksnys. Up until his death, even in his old age, the professor remained committed to science. He was awarded the Commander's Cross for services to Lithuania and for promoting Lithuania's name worldwide. He published 163 scientific papers and made six inventions during his career. He is known as the Godfather of the Lithuanian internet. Linas Aidokas, the last PhD student of Professor Telksnys, who took the award, talked about his work with the scientist, his ambitions, and emphasized the professor's ability not only to enjoy the processes of his work but also to appreciate the results.

2022-11-11

MIF representatives in the cyber security project: "The goal is to involve students in scientific activities"

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In September, the Cybersecurity Laboratory of the Institute of Computer Science, together with the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, organised a three-day cybersecurity event as part of the project "Increasing Security Awareness: the Invisible Power of Digital Traces". Guests from Albstadt-Sigmaringen University (ASU), Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (ViA), Tallinn University of Technology (TTU), and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) attended the event.

Authors: Agnė Brilingaitė, Rimantė Andrijauskaitė, Austėja Bauraitė, (Cybersecurity Laboratory, Institute of Computer Science)

One of the aims of the project was to engage students in research activities and highlight the cybersecurity challenges. Students of the VU Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics from the Information Technology and Computer Modelling study programmes and international exchange students and students from the German partner institution attended the event. The project and the Erasmus+ programme funded the German students' visit.

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LKA allowed the participants to try out the laser shooting range. After this activity, the participants played an interactive cybersecurity scenario related to the timely notification of the information security manager about a cyber incident. Prof. Dr Aušrius Juozapavičius (LKA) prepared the scenario and commented on the competencies demonstrated by the participants. Prof. Dr Olaf Maennel from Tallinn University of Technology observed how the participants made decisions based on the presented system artefacts and the described scenario conditions as the developed scenario reflects the possible challenges of a cyber professional in making decisions according to the planned cyber incident handling procedures.

During the event, Prof. Dr Stefan Sütterlin (ASU) highlighted the challenges related to internal threats in organisations due to employee dissatisfaction with work or management principles. Assoc. Prof. Dr Ricardo G. Lugo (NTNU) gave an interactive lecture on communication in cyber operations centres and communication barriers between IT and non-IT personnel. Senior researcher Assoc. Prof. Dr Ginta Majore (ViA) talked about digital twins in eco-cyber-physical systems and the security concerns in these systems - remote sensors indicate what actions the operator has to take. Therefore, it is crucial to carry out proper simulations and to have measures in place to protect the sensors.

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"The funding option of the Baltic-German Hoschulkontor enabled us to mobilize additional funding from the EU/Erasmus and gave our students a unique opportunity to meet peers, learn new technical skills, and gather a truly international experience. Cooperation across borders is crucial and will be central for the upcoming generations. But traditional education is still too focused on domestic issues and does not offer sufficient room for new experience," - Prof. Dr Stefan Sütterlin lists the advantages of implementing the project. And he continues emphasizing that this grant and exchange led to new partnerships and ongoing collaboration both on a student and academic level. "It was thus a great opportunity to develop ourselves and to create a foundation for fruitful future collaboration in education and research," – says the professor.

The project will end next month. Therefore, the project team reflected on the activities of the last half year. Prof. Dr Aušrius Juozapavičius says: "It was a pleasure to visit Germany and hear them present cybersecurity topics they found interesting. Seminars back in Lithuania were no less exciting when Vilnius University students presented their research on cutting-edge topics. I'm sure the students from both sides benefited greatly from meeting each other".

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Head of the Cyber Security Laboratory, Dr Linas Bukauskas emphasises that such events provide the community with a better understanding of the scientific activities carried out at the University, reveal the scientific challenges in the subject area, and allow the students to develop general intercultural communication competencies. "I am delighted that our students, exchange students and students from Germany actively participated in the lab events. It was a unique chance to discuss the latest cybersecurity challenges, vulnerabilities and new technologies - from the MS Teams GIFshell vulnerability to post-quantum encryption techniques".

This project of the Baltic-German University Liaison Office is supported by the German Academic Ex-change Service (DAAD) with funds from the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.

More information can be found here.

Ten years ago, the European Union declared October a Cyber Security Month. The aim of the cam-paign is to raise awareness of the threats in cyberspace and to educate the public in order to im-prove cybersecurity competences, starting with cyber hygiene.

2022-10-25

Student for a Day Lectures Week Starts at VU

2022 10 24 studentas 380x250From 24 to 28 October, Vilnius University (VU) hosts the traditional "Student for a Day" lecture week. During these days, almost 300 lectures will be given in the classrooms of the VU faculties and remotely, and students are invited to try out the student chair.

Participants are invited to join current VU students in lectures at 15 faculties, including Kaunas and Šiauliai. Student for a Day classes are also organised in English for international students.

Students attending the lectures will not only have the opportunity to experience what it is like to be a student at a leading Lithuanian university, but also ask questions to VU lecturers, enrich their knowledge, discover new disciplines, and evaluate or even decide more easily what they want to study.

Registration for the remaining free places in the Student for a Day lectures is open now - registration is open 24 hours before the start of the lecture.

More information and the registration for the lectures.

2022-10-24

Cyber security workshop in Germany: "Human can be both a target and a weapon"

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In the cyber-kill chain, humans can be a weapon, target, and tool to disturb services, steal data, destroy personal and company reputations, and trigger a political crisis. Following the spring session, staff and students from the Institute of Computer Science at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (MIF), together with other researchers from higher education institutions in the Baltic States and Germany, took part in a three-day cybersecurity workshop as part of the project "Increasing Security-Awareness: The Invisible Power of Digital Traces".

Authors: Rimantė Andrijauskaitė, Austėja Bauraitė, Agnė Brilingaitė (Cybersecurity Laboratory, Institute of Computer Science)

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Albstadt-Sigmaringen University of Applied Sciences organised workshops in Albstadt, Sigmaringen and Tübingen, Germany, after the end of the spring session. Prof. Dr Stefan Sütterlin coordinated the event.

"The purpose of the workshop is to establish closer relations with partners in Germany for further joint study and research activities related to multidirectional cyber security, combining IT, psychology and public education," says project manager Dr Agnė Brilingaitė.

The project researchers aim to study human behaviour in cyberspace and the digital footprints left behind and to highlight new research directions to address cybersecurity challenges.

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VU researchers presented the types of cybersecurity exercises

The third day of the visit began with a conference attended by students, guests and other community members of Albstadt-Sigmaringen University of Applied Sciences. Assoc. Prof. Dr Ricardo G. Lugo from Norway moderated this event. The students presented their research on security culture, insider threats, the roles and responsibilities of cybersecurity professionals, cognitive warfare, communication challenges, phishing attacks, and other relevant issues.

Guests presented ongoing research and projects related to cybersecurity and information technology. Prof. Dr Aušrius Juozapavičius from the General Jonas Žemaitis Lithuanian Military Academy gave insights into leaked data research on the strength of users' passwords, and Assoc. Prof. Dr Ginta Majore, the Senior Researcher, presented the research conducted by the Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences on the challenges of the Internet of Things in the agricultural sector. Dr Agnė Brilingaitė and Dr Linas Bukauskas, VU researchers, presented the types of cyber security exercises, their objectives, their gamification elements, principles of training scenario development, and pathways for competence development of cyber security professionals, linking the research carried out at Vilnius University and the participation in the international cybersecurity exercises.

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Digitalisation is leading to changes in all industry sectors

Participants stressed the importance of paying attention to studying user behaviour in cyberspace. Despite active campaigns to educate the public, users are using weak passwords, i.e. clichéd or short words, which have been included in dictionaries of the most common passwords for several years. Global digitalisation is leading to changes in all industry sectors, where cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important to ensure the quality of service. After all, a vulnerable user or a vulnerable system can cause a data leak, a cybercrime, a damaged reputation or a political crisis.

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Students of Vilnius University Information Technology Study Programme, Rimantė Andrijauskaitė and Austėja Bauraitė, actively participated in the discussions of the event and interacted with the students of the host organisation and exchanged contacts for the purpose of future cooperation. "It's nice to meet like-minded people with whom discussions feel so interesting and natural, no matter where they are from," said VU student Austėja Bauraitė. The visit included activities that enabled the development of professional competencies, as well as discussions during coffee breaks and a cultural programme that provided a chance to improve scientific and intercultural communication competencies. The VU students' visit to Germany was funded by the VU Study Internationalisation Initiatives and VU MIF.

This project of the Baltic-German University Liaison Office is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.

More information can be found here.

Ten years ago, the European Union declared October a Cyber Security Month. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the threats in cyberspace and to educate the public in order to improve cybersecurity competences, starting with cyber hygiene.

2022-10-17

Vilnius University Invites Everyone to Become a Student for a Day

A traditional event of the Vilnius University (VU) Student for a Day will take place on October 24-28. Lectures will take place in the auditoriums of VU faculties remotely and face-to-face, where everyone can step into the shoes of VU students, experience how studies at a higher school take place and get acquainted with exciting study programs and the admission procedure.

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Visit of students at MIF "Student for a day" event

Together with the current VU students, the event participants will have an opportunity to visit lectures taking place in 15 faculties, including Kaunas and Šiauliai. A remote Student for a Day classes is also organized for international students in English.

Students participating in the lectures will have the opportunity to experience what it means to be a student at a leading Lithuanian university and ask VU lecturers questions, enrich their knowledge, discover new disciplines, and evaluate or even decide what they want to study. Registration is required for those who wish to participate.

More information and registration for lectures can be found here.

2022-10-10

"Creative Emotional Journey": Creative solutions to talk about uncomfortable topics

Theatre, sculpture and creative writing are just a few tools that help you analyze complex issues. Vilnius University (VU) Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (MIF) participated in an Erasmus+ KA2 project, "Creative Emotional Journey - Operational Approach - CREATIVITY AT THE SERVICE OF EDUCATION ", on the topic of gender-based violence and bullying.

The project is ongoing for the second year. This September, its participants were brought together by a youth exchange in Italy where three MIF students: Augustina Petraitytė (Program Systems), Normantas Kuolas (Informatics) and Anastasija Volkova (Mathematics and Mathematical Applications), participated together with International Studies Coordinator Justina Krauledaitė.

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Anastasia Volkova shares her impressions

The exchange took place in a small town called Morfasso, located in the Emilia-Romagna region's mountains. You can only find a few houses in the city, a church and a theatre hall. The Sciara Progetti theatre troupe is located in Morfasso, and they hosted us for the youth exchange in their hostel, which during the whole project was only intended for project participants from Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Lithuania.

But to get to the actual beginning, I need to mention that the project did not start in September but a year ago. During this time, the representatives of the mentioned countries developed a methodology for dialogue on gender-based violence and bullying. Even the students' journey participating in the exchange started a little earlier. In May, a pilot training was held at the Faculty of Naugardukas, led by J. Krauledaitė and A. Volkova. During the training, we examined the topic of gender-based violence, watched a short film, "By the Pool" (dir. Laurynas Bareiška), and had a discussion. Later, several students who participated in the pilot training had the opportunity to join the trip to Italy.

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In the KA2 project “Creative Emotional Journey”, the theatre was not the only important thing; as the name suggests, all creative activities were the key to the exchange. The project's most important goal was to understand and learn how to talk about difficult topics, even if sometimes there are no words to express our thoughts or experiences. The tools that we used were acting, video filming, sculpting, creative writing and similar team and individual activities.

An important thing that most participants experienced was the realization that the first step to solving most problems is communicating and collaborating.

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Another memorable moment was the play we watched in the hall of the Morfasso Theatre, which perfectly revealed the discussed topic – “Malanova”. One critic described it very well: "It is the theatre. The theatre that makes you stick to your seat, takes your breath away, twists your heart and stomach...".

Of course, we can't forget the bond we created with other participants. In this project, we got to know over twenty wonderful and interesting young people whose culture we discovered through conversations and intercultural nights.

We invite you to follow the activities of the “Creative Emotional Journey” project on „Facebook“.

2022-10-07

The Institute of Data Science and Digital Technologies plans to strengthen its research activities in the field of Informatics Engineering

2022 10 06 Moksline tiriamoji veikla380x250The Institute of Data Science and Digital Technologies at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of Vilnius University plans to strengthen its research activities in the field of Informatics Engineering by initiating research in the areas of quantum computing, quantum cryptography, and quantum blockchains. The planned research is expected to contribute to the application of quantum computing in the field of blockchain technology, to the research and development of quantum-based consensus protocols, and to improving the security and performance of blockchain systems.

The research topic is closely linked to the research already being carried out at the MIF Institute for Data Science and Digital Technologies in the areas of data science, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, and blockchain technologies and is planned to become a continuous research line. This will enrich the experience of the young researchers and create a team that will focus on high-level research, which will undoubtedly increase the competitiveness of the Institute and the Faculty in the Lithuanian scientific knowledge market.

Visiting senior researcher position

2022-10-06

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