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Last weekend, yet another Science Fest took place in St. Petersburg. As this time the event was hosted at the recently-opened planetarium, guests were able to watch full-dome popular science films about space and space exploration. Adherents of “hard” science could also attend lectures on modern technology, the capabilities of hybrid intelligence and Big Data, while those who thrive for new experiences could try out VR apps and see a hologram of R2-D2 at ITMO University’s interactive zone.
Yet another Campus, a project that uses the city as a university educational festival, recently took place in St. Petersburg. Adherers of popular science gathered in nine bars across the city to enjoy lectures by both students and established scientists. The topics included moonflights , the structure of Earth, sunmobiles, transhumanism, the problems of modern communication, archeology and many others. ITMO.NEWS visited some of these lectures to find out why people confuse Big Data with statistics and why memes are so easy to remember.
The term Big Data was first introduced by Clifford Lynch, Nature's editor, in 2008's special issue dedicated to the worldwide explosive growth of the quantity of information. Both then and now, science remains amongst the fields that produce most of the information; for instance, every year the Large Hadron Collider produces more than 15 petabytes of information, and NASA's servers host more than 37 petabytes on climate change only. And Big Data continues to grow - as of now, it has more and more applications in other fields, from marketing to urban science. Scientists from all over the world work on the mechanisms that will help increase the speed of data processing, as well as decrease their storage volume. ITMO scientists believe that a new way of organizing data storages can help solve these issues; lately, they've presented their new Exarch project. The new approach can double the speed of data processing, as well as allow to withdraw from using additional processing capacities. The research results were presented at the recent ICCBDC (International Conference on Cloud and Big Data Computing) 2017 in London.
Soumen Banerjee came to ITMO University in September 2015 after getting his Bachelor’s degree in Calcutta. He enrolled at ITMO’s High-Performance Computing Department on a double-degree program and spent the first year of his studies in St. Petersburg. Having received his Master’s degree in Big Data, Soumen explains why the experience he acquired in his studies may well be a key part of his professional career and why the young specialist wants to come back to Russia.
Programmers from ITMO University have created a list of places in St. Petersburg which could help locals indirectly give advice to tourists. The scientists created a computer algorithm that allows users to find the most popular museums, cafes, streets and parks based on photographs taken by locals. Results of the research were presented at The International Conference on Computational Science and published in the peer-reviewed journal Procedia Computer Science.
What do urban planning experts learn from photos in Instagram? How does data derived from social networks help bring people together? These and other questions are researched by Damiano Cerrone, the co-founder and content-manager of Spin Unit - a transnational research team that works at the confluence of such fields as Urban Science and Art&Science. Last weekend, he gave a lecture for ITMO University's section at the popular science conference Parsec-2017. In an interview for ITMO.NEWS, Mr. Cerrone explained how scientists derive large amounts of data from social networks, why one can't fully trust information from Instagram and what is there to learn from studying St. Petersburg's metamorphology.
According to the results of the first three rounds of the Presidential research funding program, 504 pilot projects, 239 youth research teams and 31 laboratories have been awarded grants. Many of ITMO University’s scientists are among them. The winners’ projects are based on various fields of study: from smart city development scenarios to the creation of dielectric metamaterials with unique properties.
On July 1 to 8, the Web Science Summer School 2017 was held in St. Petersburg. It was organized by Laboratory of Internet Studies at Higher School of Economics and ITMO University’s International Laboratory “Computer Technologies”. The School’s mentors presented the projects in data set analysis. ITMO.NEWS has examined some of the social network data analysis projects developed by specialists from ITMO’s eScience Research Institute.
Nicolas Jacquier, a Master’s student at the engineering school ESIEE Paris, has been working on an individual project for 2 months already as part of his internship at ITMO University. He is only staying for three months in total in St. Petersburg where he will work on Big Data visualization. In an interview with ITMO.NEWS, he spoke to us about why Europeans feel right at home in the city, the friendly relationships between professors and students, the pros and cons of writing a Master’s thesis and which European capital the city of St. Petersburg resembles the most.
Just a few years ago Zoya Andreeva, a B2B specialist, had an idea: could she start her own business by combining her field of expertise with Big Data technology? Thus was born the idea for E-Contenta, a personalized online marketing service. In only a couple of years the company that employed three people and frequently found itself in a dead end became a start-up that counted Google and Ericsson among its partners. Last year E-Contenta, a resident of ITMO’s Technopark, participated in the Starta Accelerator program in New York and now has several new projects in USA. Founder and CEO of E-Contenta, Zoya Andreeva, spoke to ITMO.NEWS about the do’s and don’ts of working on the global market.