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    Anna Řechtáčková from FI MU has a Ph.D. talent

    She is one of the 25 scholarship holders awarded by the city in this year's Brno Ph.D. Talent competition. Congratulations!

    Anna Řechtáčková graduated from the Bachelor's degree programme in Applied Informatics and subsequently from the Master's degree programme in Theoretical Informatics at the Faculty of Informatics of MU. Since 2023 she has started her doctoral studies with a focus on automated methods to support programming education under the supervision of doc. Mgr. Radek Pelánek, Ph.D. She applied for the Brno Ph.D. Talent scholarship with a project on Developing Automatic Methods for Teaching Code Quality in Introductory Programming. She is looking for ways to automatically give feedback on code quality to beginners. "I'm investigating which problems are common and important, how to detect these problems, and how to guide students in the right direction to fix them. The EduLint tool I'm developing to do this is already being used in FI courses and the Korespondenční seminář z informatiky. We are also in the process of adding it to the Umíme informatiku learning environment used in primary and secondary schools," she explains. Her research helps, for example, in the assessment of homework, and many students get feedback that no one had the capacity to give them before. In her PhD, she is also fulfilling her wish to work on something that helps people and saves them time. She is also pursuing a number of other activities, e.g. within the Spolek přátel severské zvěře (“Friends of the Nordic Wildlife Society”), through which she tries to pass on knowledge in an interesting and entertaining way to high school students and get them excited about further studies – in computer science, for example.

    Brno Ph.D. Competition Talent targets students of doctoral study programmes from four partner universities in Brno. The scholarship goes to the top 25 who convince the expert committee of the excellence of their achievements and the quality of their proposed research project. The winners receive a three-year scholarship in the total amount of CZK 330,000. In addition, they have the opportunity for further education through accompanying lectures and training. The competition language is English. The scholarships have been provided by the city since 2009 and the programme is implemented by the South Moravian Centre for International Mobility (JCMM).

    Prof. Dr. rer. nat. RNDr. Mgr. Bc. Jan Křetínský, Ph.D. from FI MU was also present at this year's award ceremony, which took place at the New Town Hall on Tuesday, 12 March 2024. As one of the winners of the first year of the Brno Ph.D. Talent, he himself appreciated the help that the scholarship brings in the career of a young scientist. "The most important thing we can provide students with is the time and space to focus purely on research. They need to not be distracted by anything around them, to travel and develop their skills in the context of international competition," he explains. He followed up his success at the time with a research career at research institutions in Austria and Germany. A MUNI Award in Science and Humanities (MASH) grant in 2022 brought him back to his alma mater. He now works at FI MU in the Department of Programming Theory. Křetínský's words are confirmed by Anna, this year's winner, who adds: "I am very grateful to JCMM and Brno for the award. The associated scholarship, together with the increased faculty doctoral stipend last year, will allow me to focus more on research and implementation without having to hold another larger job."

    Among the other talents, who received their awards this year from the hands of the Mayor of Brno Markéta Vaňková, are 14 students from Masaryk University, 9 from the University of Technology and 1 from Mendel University. Congratulations to all of them! You can find their medallions on the competition website (CZ only).

    Author: Marta Vrlová, Office of External Relations and Partnerships at FI MU

    Photo: Marie Schmerková, MMB

    Original bulletin in the Information system.