Johan Voldemar Leoste

Professor Piret Luik discusses how to increase the percentage of women among computer science students

On Thursday, 23 November at 16:15 Piret Luik, Professor of Didactics of Informatics of the University of Tartu, will give the inaugural lecture “How to attract more girls to IT?” in the university’s assembly hall.

Every year, more than 200 young people start their studies in computer science, but only a quarter of them are girls. Yet research does not show as if girls had less knowledge and ability in computing than boys. By the time learners enter upper secondary school, they have already chosen their field of study, which often determines the area of their further studies. Therefore, it is essential to assess the situation in informatics education at the basic school level already to find out when girls make their choice and why they are less likely to opt for this specialisation at the university. In her lecture, Piret Luik will discuss the reasons for the current situation and what could be done to increase the percentage of women among computer science students.

Piret Luik graduated from the University of Tartu in applied mathematics in 1990 and chose the specialisation of pedagogy in 1999. In her doctoral thesis in educational science, which she defended in 2004, she studied what characteristics of educational software help learners achieve better learning outcomes.

Piret Luik has worked as a lecturer and associate professor at the Institute of Education. From 2007 to 2010, she was the head of the Department of Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education, and from 2010 to 2012, the vice dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Education. In 2017, Luik became Associate Professor of Didactics of Informatics at the Institute of Computer Science, and from 1 September this year, Professor of Didactics of Informatics. Four doctoral theses have been defended under her supervision. Luik’s research focuses on the motivation and methods of learning informatics and seeks to identify the tools that support the teaching of informatics. She has won four prizes for her articles in the national competition for educational research.

The lecture can be viewed on the video portal UTTV. The lecture is in Estonian.

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