VU professor Valentina Dagienė, Head of the Department in the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at Vilnius University, has been nominated for the prestigious Ada Lovelace Computing Excellence Award, bestowed in a number of categories by an international Awards Committee of the European Commission´s DG CONNECT, DG Growth, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT), in recognition of the significant contribution of women to computing and the Digital Economy.
The aim of the competition is to highlight the importance of developing innovative skills at an early age, to encourage creativity in the field of new technologies and to present a role model for the young generation to build their career in the Digital Economy.
Valentina Dagienė is keen on technology because of two reasons - she felt an urgent need to transform education system by integrating modern technologies due to a huge demand for them in school curriculum when Lithuania restored its independence in the 90s, as well as the ambition to encourage children, especially talented in mathematics and information technology.
Professor V. Dagienė introduced BEBRAS Challenge – online platform that invites pupils to learn Informatics in a playful way – over 12 years and so far 50 countries around the world joined the network. By 2015, BEBRAS attracted almost 1,5 million children from diverse backgrounds.
Prof. Valentina Dagienė has also introduced many other initiatives related to the promotion of digital awareness among young generation, she is a founder of two internationally recognised journals, “Informatics in Education” and “Olympiads in Informatics”, author of over 200 scientific publications, 60 textbooks of informatics and education regarding it, as well as about a hundred of methodological articles.
Prof. V. Dagienė is awarded by dozen of national and international awards on Education of Informatics, among them ETH (Zurich, Switzerland) honorary gold medal for contributions to School Informatics in Europe (2011), the Informatics Europe Best Practices in Education Award (2015), Global ICT Excellence Award (Merit winner) from WITSA, World IT Alliance (2014), Lithuanian IT industry award for outstanding contribution to IT (2014) etc.