University of Tartu (UT) prides itself on being Estonia’s premier institution of higher education. Established in 1632, it is the oldest and largest university in Estonia both in terms of numbers of staff and students, as well as in terms of the volume of its teaching, research, and development activities. Being the country’s only classical university, UT embraces a wide variety of academic fields ranging from medicine and genetics to philosophy, literature, and computer science. Currently, UT ranks in the top 1% of the world’s most highly-cited research institutions in 14 fields of research, and 67 of its researchers are among the 1% most cited researchers in the world (according to the Web of Science citation database). As a member of several high-level research university networks such as The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, the Coimbra Group, the Europaeum, and an associate member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), UT actively participates in the formulation of European research and higher education policies. The University of Tartu has extensive academic contacts and collaborative research projects with universities worldwide. During the period 2019-2021, the UT’s research- and study-related foreign financing contracts amounted to 75,1 million euros (and included 134 projects related to teaching and curriculum development (€ 8,8 m) and 291 research-oriented projects (€ 65,8 m). Erasmus+ projects make up more than one-third of study-related projects (53) with the contracts amounting to 5.9 million euros.
The Institute of Computer Science has grown rapidly: our staff reaches nearly 300 people, and more than 90 doctoral students are on their way to a degree. There are 1,400 students here, and every academic year, we have more than 220 undergraduate and 220 graduate students. The institute is in the Delta Centre in Tartu, which offers a truly modern environment for studying, researching, and creating new solutions in cooperation with companies and students. In addition to our primary mission – providing higher education – we also consider general education to be important. For example, there are engaging IT workshops for schools and free e-courses on programming, IT training for teachers, and much more. It is widely recognized that Estonian IT specialists possess two distinct qualities: firstly, creativity, and secondly, a unique way of thinking, where emerging obstacles serve as both inspiration and driving forces. Despite the small population, the teams that grew up in Estonia have created “unicorns” of the digital age, such as Skype, Playtech, Wise, Pipedrive, and Bolt. The future founders and employees of such companies are currently studying computer science.
In the MachineLearnAthon project, the University of Tartu will be mainly responsible for Platform Implementation and Deployment & Running MachineLearnAthon and co-supervising the Pre-challenge Micro-Lectures & ML Tool Introduction Units.