COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES
Task Force Human Resources, Education, Training and Youth
Tempus PHARE Structural Joint European Project

Final Report and Statement of Expenditure for 1993/94
No JEP-06145-93/1

This document contains only the A part of this report that was prepared in Estonia.

A. FINAL REPORT

  1. Activities carried out during the academic year 1993/94
  2. Modification of activities during 1993/94
  3. Project objective
  4. Project outputs
    1. Development of courses and teaching materials
    2. Intensive courses
    3. Training of university staff
    4. Student mobility
    5. Upgrading of facilities
    6. Cooperation between university and industry (if applicable)
  5. Management of the JEP
  6. Impact and Perspectives
  7. Personal appreciation
  8. Individual Grantholder Reports for 1993/94 mobility: (not included here)

This page is under construction!!
Last updated on March 13, 1995 by MP. Comments: monika@cs.ioc.ee

1. Activities carried out during the academic year 1993/94

The events initially planned are displayed in italics

October 1993: Annual coordinating meeting in Tallinn
29.10- 30.10.93: Annual coordinating meeting in Tallinn

November 93-January 94: First stage of equipment installation at TTU and TU for future Center
26.04.94: First stage of equipment installation at TTU and TU for future Center

03.-04.94: Short intensive course on distributed algorithms in TU
7.03- 11.03.94: Short intensive course "Distributed Algorithms" at TU (Prof. Mattern from US)
14.03- 18.03.94: Short intensive course "Computer Graphics" at TU (Prof. Rauber from US)
21.03- 25.03.94: Short intensive course "Logic Programming" at TU (Prof. Hanus from US)
29.03-08.04.94: Short intensive course "Models of Parallel Computing" at TTU (Prof. Klarlund from AU)

November 93-April 94: Expertise of CS&IT curricula of Estonian universities
11.93- 04.94: Expertise of CS&IT curricula of Estonian universities

April 94: Coordinating meeting, first conclusions of the expertise of CS&IT curricula of Estonian universities (in Aarhus)
4-6.04.94: Coordinating meeting, first conclusions of the expertise of CS&IT curricula of Estonian universities (in Aarhus)

05.07.94: Second stage of equipment installation at TTU for future Center

19-20.07.94: Short intensive course "Project Management" at TTU (Prof. Möncke from US)
25-27.07.94: Short intensive course "Semantics of Programming Languages" within Baltic CS Summer School (Prof. Sieber from US)

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2. Modification of activities during 1993/94

In the
Activities Table only the activities comprising the Revised Activities Plan are included. Thus it does not consider the long term visit to Estonia of a professor from UN or the workshop on university curricula which were forseen in the Application but subsequently cancelled or postponed.

Instead of the long term visit to Estonia of a professor from UN several short intensive courses were planned in the Revised Activities Plan and held in TU and TTU.

The workshop on university curricula was postponed, because it was decided that as a starting point we need an expertise of CS&IT curricula of Estonian universities. The Estonian institutions formed a local "curriculum committee" and presented a description of the present situation in Estonia with regard to existing courses. First conclusions of the expertise were discussed at coordinating meeting in Aarhus (April, 94). The curricula workshop is planned to be held in January 1995 in Tartu (together with opening the Center).

The Activities Table does not include individual mobility flows performed within the JEP and activities on legislative preparation of the Center carried on only by Estonian organisations involved in the JEP.

There was some delay in implementing the installation of equipment at TTU and TU. It was decided to wait for the discount announced by Sun MS from the 1st of February 1994. The first instalment of equipment at TTU and TU was completed in 85% by April 26, 1994 (certificates of receiving equipment signed). The purchasing of Sun SPARCStation 5 for TTU took place in July, because we were waiting for a new model of processor to be available.

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3. Project objective

The main goal of the CIDEC Project is to integrate the teaching system of Estonian universities into the framework accepted in EC countries. For this goal it is foreseen to establish a coordinating Center of teaching and research in computer science and information technology (CS&IT). This should join people of different organisations interested in the subject, academic research and teaching staff.

Main tasks of the Center cover:

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4. Project outputs

Establishment of CS & IT Education Development Center. During the first year of the project the Estonian partners have agreed in joint activities of the Center and have prepared the documentation for setting up the Center (agreement, constitution, instructions for implementation, etc.) developed during negotiations between the project team and Rectors of Estonian universities. Most of us see the Center as an agreement between the Estonian universities and Institute of Cybernetics. Computer classrooms for the Center have been established in Tallinn and Tartu (at the corresponding unversities), that will later become part of the Center. The Center is planned to be opened in January 1995.

The Estonian partners have held negotiations with representatives of Estonian Ministry of Culture and Education concerning financing aspects. Tallinn Technical University, Tartu University and Institute of Cybernetics have provided limited financial aid for the activities related to the JEP. For example, all expenses related to the negotiations and legal aid for preparation of documentation needed for the establishment of the Center have been paid by Estonian side. The question to include financing of the Center into Governmental Budget from 1996 have been discussed at the level of Ministry, and we have quite realistic hopes to succeed.

Discussions have been held to find a suitable director for the Center for the first year. Setting going a new institution is not an easy job, therefore it should be a person with necessary experience. Within the framework of Estonian-Finnish co-operation in Informatics we have considered as a candidate a professor from Finland, who already has had experience in starting a graduate school in computer science with similar functions as our Center. However, Finland is not an EU country yet and for a proper salary we have to find financing outside Tempus. We have applied for help to the Finnish Embassy.

Until the Center is opened, its functions have been carried out within the project.

Developing curricula principles in CS & IT education. The aim of this JEP is to start providing euroeducation in Estonia. One place to start is to elaborate ideal and concrete curricula for Estonian universities. There is not a general curricula available for IT & CS in different universities. ACM produces an updated one every year to compare to. One solution would be to create a new systematic curricula, an analogy to the one of the ACM, to be renewed systematically, to be a backbone for Estonian universities in creating theirs. The present curricula for IT & CS in Estonian Universities is much out-of-date. There is a mess around: different lectures include the same topics, while some topics are not covered at all. The education that Estonian students get is not up-to-date, not enough systematic. Another thing we are aiming to is to make the real IT & CS curriculae in TU and TTU more uniform, so that in the future courses taken in one would be acceptable in the other.

To generalise the know-how from Western partners how to organise higher education in the field of CS&IT the following mobility flows took place:

Evaluation of current curricula of TTU and TU. To start somewhere, get an opinion on the present state both Tallinn Technical University and Tartu University presented in March 1994 overviews of their CS&IT studies containing short descriptions of how the studies are organised in the universities and short annotations of courses lectured at present. The annotations included name, short description, duration of the course, amount of credits to receive, basic textbook (or literature). Copies of these reports were sent to each partner with request for an evaluation. These overviews were discussed at the meeting in Aarhus (April 5, 1994). The results of the expertise are at present kept by the Coordinator, but it is planned within the year 1994 to put them on a WWW-server (on a computer purchased within this project) and thus make electronically available to anyone, whose interested.

4.1. Development of courses and teaching materials

Another function of the Center carried out within the project is preparation of new courses in CS&IT and refreshment of existing ones. During the first year of the CIDEC Project the following mobility flows from East to West were planned to prepare or refresh different courses. Here is the list and short description of expected results.

4.2. Intensive courses

One of the most important objective of the Center intended to arrange are the training activities. They are oriented to requalify teachers and graduate and post-graduate students of Estonian universities in the form of intensive courses arranged in Estonia as well as at Western partner universities.

During the first year of the CIDEC Project the following intensive courses and corresponding mobility flows from West to East took place.

In TU three intensive courses on three consecutive weeks were held as a series. The target public was graduate level, master level and doctor level students and teaching staff in the field of CS (about 10-12 students, 5-7 staff participated in all three). Lecture notes of all courses were presented at the beginning of every course:

In TTU two intensive courses were held: In addition one professor was invited to lecture at the 2nd Baltic Summer School on Information Technology and Systems Engineering (50 participants including 5 invited lecturers and 15 staff members and guests):

4.3. Training of university staff

During their visit to UN Jaan Penjam (IC/TTU), Merik Meriste (TU) and Andrus Järg (student, TTU) attended the course IMPRO 4.3 Image Interpretation and Robotics (April 12-15, 1994) arranged by INRIA, Sophia Antipolis (course fee 2500 FF was paid by the Institute of Cybernetics).

4.4. Student mobility

During the first year of the CIDEC Project the following student mobility flows from East to West took place (students were selected on the basis of recommendations from faculties supervising IT & CS studies in TU and TTU):

4.5. Upgrading of facilities

One task of the Center is providing teaching materials and modern well-equipped laboratories for research and teaching at graduate and post-graduate level. To fulfilling this task computer classrooms were established both in TTU and TU under this JEP. During the first year of the project the following equipment was purchased for both classrooms altogether for 71,358 USD (about 60,000 ECU).

The computer classroom of Tallinn Technical University received (in the sum of 22,934 + 13,931=36,865 USD):

1 Sun SPARCstation 10 (model 402MF, 2x 40MHz SuperSPARC Processors, 32MB RAM, 1GB FastSCSI-2 HDD, 1.44MB 3.5"FDD, 20" Greyscale Monitor, TurboG accelerator)
1 Sun SPARCstation 5 (model 70 70MHz microSPARC II Processors 32MB RAM, 535MB FastSCSI-2 HDD, 20" color Monitor, TurboGX accelerator).
1 Desktop System to Uniprocessor Workgroup Server License.
1 Uniprocessor Workgroup Server to Dual-processor Workgroup Server License.
1 5GB 4mm Tape Desktop Backup Pack.
1 SPARCsystem 10 type 5 Country Kit, Unix Univ.
1 internal 1.05GB disk drive.
1 8MB Memory Expansion for Sun SPARCclassic.
1 Audio/AUI cable.
1 Sun SPARCclassic/X (4MB RAM, 15" color monitor) with one SPARCclassic X Boot and Administration Media Kit and one 8MB Memory Expansion.
2 AUI adapter cables.
3 Ethernet Transceivers (cables, connectors).
1 Solaris 2.3 Edition 2 Media kit and Solaris 2.3 Desktop Media.
1 Power Cord Kit.
1 Full Documentation Set.
The computer classroom of Tartu University received (in the sum of 34,493 USD):
1 Sun SPARCstation 10 (model 402MF, 2x 40MHz SuperSPARC Processors, 32MB RAM, 1GB FastSCSI-2 HDD, 1.44MB 3.5"FDD, 20" Greyscale Monitor, TurboG accelerator).
1 Desktop System to Uniprocessor Workgroup Server License.
1 Uniprocessor Workgroup Server to Dual-processor Workgroup Server License.
1 Desktop SunCD Plus Pack.
1 5GB 4mm Tape Desktop Backup Pack.
1 1GB External Disk Pack.
1 Audio/AUI cable.
3 Sun SPARCclassic/X-s (4MB RAM, 15" color monitor) each with a SPARCclassic X Boot and Administration Media Kit and a 8MB Memory Expansion.
3 AUI adapter cables.
4 Ethernet Transceivers (cables, connectors).
1 Solaris 2.x Media kit and Solaris 2.x AnswerBook Online Documentation.
Our aim is to keep the amount of money for equipment more or less equal and let both universities freely decide on their plan of development. This year TTU received a little more in the sum purchased less (two advanced computers and one X-terminal), because TTU already has some Sun-computers from other sources, while TU being more in need to increase workplaces got one advanced server and three X-terminals.

Thanks to Aarhus two students (one from TU and one from TTU) had a practical placement for one month (spring, 1994) in a firm "Mjolner Informatics" (subcontractor to AU) to obtain the skills of network system administrators for these classrooms.

These computer classrooms are and will continuously be used by some students from TU and TTU in preparing their Master thesis and diploma projects. At present computers in TU are successfully used in practices for Jaanus Pöial's advanced course on Workstation Software (developed within this JEP), short courses on Workstations Software, and to prepare short term projects in Programming classes: Gofer. Publicly available data base on Computer Science department of TU and information on this project is under construction using hypertext under the system Mosaic (in the nearest also planned to be done in Tallinn). In addition the staff of TU uses them for preparing course materials.

In TTU this computer classroom has enabled to install several modern systems that already are or will be used in different course practices e.g. a visual object-oriented programming system NUT is now being used in the course of Automatic Programming, the system PVM will be used in course Formal specification methods, plans are being made to use DisCo in Software Engineering course, for the Image Processing course (yet being developed) Cantata - an image processing intelligent user interfaces toolkit has been installed, etc.

4.6. Cooperation between university and industry (if applicable)

One of the partners in this project is the Institute of Cybernetics of Estonian Academy of Sciences. In order to integrate the structures of the IC with Estonian Universities, a Joint Chair in Theoretical Computer Science was founded in January 1994. The chair is currently giving three graduate courses Theoretical Foundations of Computer Science, Mathematical Logic for Computer Science, and Automatic Programming.

4.7. JEPs involving more than one eligible country from Central/Eastern Europe (if applicable)

Not applicable.

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5. Management of the JEP

The Contractor and the Board of Representatives (consisting of contact persons from each organisation) have the right to make necessary decisions and to evaluate the results. They are also responsible for defining the policy line of the project. Most of the negotiations over the project are carried out using E- mail via internet. In addition the Estonian contact persons meet about once a month either in Tallinn or Tartu.

An initial coordinating meeting took place in Tallinn (IC) in October 1993 and another one in Aarhus (AU) in April 1994. In Aarhus it was decided to write an internal intermediate report of the project to analyse current development, state problems and suggest further activities (prepared by the end of the first year, is being distributed to the partners).

The rooms, energy supply and the salaries of all local teams are suppiled by their local organisations (covered in local currency and not included in the Project costs).

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6. Impact and Perspectives

6.1. Impact

The TEMPUS support was requested for purchase up-to-date equipment for the Center as well as for implementing training and curriculum development activities during first years of the existence of the Center and transferring know-how between partner organisations.

The first year activities resulted in:

  1. documentation for setting up the Center (agreement, constitution, instructions for implementation, etc.) developed during negotiations between the project team and Rectors of Estonian universities;
  2. generalisation of know-how from Western partners how to organise higher education in the field of CS⁢
  3. case study of principles of curriculum of CS&IT (expertise of existing Estonian curricula on CS&IT, preparation of new courses, training Estonian teachers and students, intensive courses);
  4. the first instalment of equipment for the Center in Tallinn Technical University and Tartu University forming at todays level a basic infrastructure for practical studies, student projects etc.

6.2. Perspectives

The main topics of negotiations held between the Estonian partners and representatives of Estonian Ministry of Culture and Education have concerned financing aspects. The question to include financing of the Center into Governmental Budget from 1996 have been discussed at the level of Ministry, and we have quite realistic hopes to succeed.

Separately, the contact persons of the Estonian partners have held preliminary talks with Estonian small (but growing) and medium size firms and software houses to integrate them into the higher education development process. The situation in Estonia has been rather undefined, the attitude of new small firms towards supporting and investing in Estonian higher education has been to some extent negative. Recent negotiations show that together with the economical success the firms come to understand the importance of co-operation with universities and scientific institutions, and they are more willing to invest in education. There have been held rather concrete talks with two small enterprises on how both firms and universities can benefit from the co-operation. Estonian firms whose main contacts are with Finnish and Swedish enterprises would like to see the Center similar to the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS) in Sweden.

At the moment all these possible developments are rather weakly constituted and in their preliminary stage. The actual further development of the Center depends on economical situation in Estonia in the following years as well as on our success in fulfilling the JEP during its first years. The Project team sees it as one of its most important tasks.

During the first two years CIDEC is intended to grow into a graduate school, which will offer a program for gaining the Doctoral (Ph.D.) degree in Computer Science. It will be open for students from everywhere, but especially aimed to intensify the exchange of students and know-how with Nordic universities. The teaching language of the school will be English. Prerequisites will be either a Bachelor's or a Master's degree in Computer Science or in a closely related field.

In today's prices the maintenance, its structure and working load of the Center is estimated to need 375000EEK (25000ECU) per year. The maintenance and the renewal of the equipment purchased using TEMPUS support is estimated to need 750000EEK (50000ECU) per year. These figures are calculated assuming to hold true when all TEMPUS support has been utilised as it is scheduled in this application and should be achieved by September 1996.

These funds will be awarded by Estonian organisations associated to the Center and by other sources. We assume to increase this financing gradually, expecting to cover by the Estonian partners of the Project 25% in 1994/95 and 50% in 1995/96 from the above-mentioned amount. Actual percentages and distribution of this financing between different organisations is the matter of negotiations currently being held to establish the Center.

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7. Personal appreciation

The most hard problem of the Eastern Universities and research organisations today and in the near future seems to be brain drain. This is expressed in unbalanced travelling flows between East and West and damages Eastern research and training projects even if they have been successful and competitive in the world-wide meaning. In order to achieve real co-operation between East and West, we are expecting from all EC support programmes to establish motivating conditions for Western people to come and stay at Eastern organisations for longer than 1-2 weeks. In the framework of the TEMPUS the teaching assignments of Western professors lasting at least one semester would be much more effective and will establish a balanced mobility between EC and Eastern and Central European Countries.