Faculty of Science and Technology nominated Professor Jaak Vilo as rector candidate
At its meeting on 9 February, the council of the Faculty of Science and Technology decided to nominate Professor Jaak Vilo as a rector candidate of the University of Tartu.
Jaak Vilo, Professor of Bioinformatics at the University of Tartu, is pleased to have been able to contribute to the development of two success stories since returning to Estonia in 2002 – the Estonian Biobank and the Institute of Computer Science – and, in the process, to the creation of the learning and working environment at the Delta centre. Vilo emphasises that the IT specialisations of the University of Tartu are now at a new sustainable level and involve several research fields.
My experience has helped me to identify the main concerns in the development of the university and its academic units. The rector is responsible for leading the university and helping it develop and operate as smoothly as possible, based on academic values. However, in the larger picture, it is important that good people come to study and work at the university, bringing new ideas and energy. The university also deserves greater recognition. The relationship of research to education, business and national development is obvious but perhaps complex to explain, so it needs to be better explained to society. This will also ensure that the university's role is valued.
Jaak Vilo was born in 1966 and completed his secondary education at Tallinn 2nd High School (currently Tallinn Secondary School of Science). In 1991, he graduated from the University of Tartu cum laude with a degree in applied mathematics. After graduation, he took up doctoral studies at the University of Helsinki, and defended his thesis in 2002.
From 1999–2002, Jaak Vilo was a researcher at the European Bioinformatics Institute in the UK. In 2002, he returned to Estonia to develop the Estonian Biobank and was soon employed by the University of Tartu as a senior research fellow and associate professor. In 2007, he became a professor and, in 2012, was elected as a member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. His educational and research activities are related to computer science and its applications in biology and other sciences, the development of algorithms and data analysis solutions, and open infrastructure and services. He has promoted Estonian language technology and contributed to terminology work. He has also brought many international grants to Estonia. Under his supervision, 15 doctoral theses have been defended. Jaak Vilo led the Institute of Computer Sciences for 12 years, contributing to the rapid development of the university and the whole of Estonia. Jaak Vilo has been awarded the Estonian Order of the White Star, 3rd class, and the University of Tartu Medal. In 2013, the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications named him the Person of the Year.
The electoral council will elect the rector at the election meeting on 20 April 2023.