ITMO.Live 2018: Graduates Celebrate at Peter and Paul Fortress
This year, was the third time that ITMO University graduates celebrated their graduation in the very heart of St. Petersburg, near the walls of Peter and Paul Fortress. This time, Bachelor's students were also invited to the ceremony. The massive ITMO.Live open-air festival has been traditionally held on July's first Saturday, and brought together students, citizens, and the university's friends. Vladimir Vasilyev, ITMO University’s Rector, presented diplomas to the best graduates and got to feel what being a standup comedian is like while performing on the event's main stage. Over 3,000 participants, including recent graduates and guests, gathered at the interactive zone where they could try innovative ice-cream, listen to live performances, take memorable photos and cover themselves with tattoo stickers by ITMO University
By tradition, it was the noonday cannon shot from the Naryshkin Bastion that signaled the start of the event. This year, the honor of making the shot was given to two of ITMO University's best graduates - Master's students Elena Golovataya from the Department of Computer Engineering and Design and Igor Petranevsky from the Department of Computer Science and Control Systems.
"I once graduated from the Automation of Technological Processes and Production in Food Industry Bachelor's program and then applied for a Master's program in design, which I always liked more. For me, studying on a Master's program was really different from my Bachelor years - it was a much more conscious educational period. My peers were very motivated, and charged me with their energy. I plan to finish my education at this stage, and continue to develop as a professional from now on. For now, I work as a designer for a major company," shares Elena.
The right to make the shot was awarded to winners of a special contest that was conducted among this year's graduates. The applications were assessed by several different criteria. Also, each participating graduate was to write an essay about ITMO University that also contributed to their results. Those with the most outstanding achievements in academic, sports, social and cultural activities were named winners. Right after the cannon shot from the Naryshkin Bastion, the graduates went on a water tour along the Neva river, and upon their return to Peter and Paul Fortress, they were presented with their graduation diplomas on the event's main stage.
"I studied at the Computer Technology Department during my first and second Bachelor's year, but then I had to leave. Still, I applied for my Master's program there. I decided to do so as there are many opportunities to do research at the department. I started working at the Computer Technologies international laboratory, and did research in the field of social networks; last year, I went to the United States to present my project, and this year, I used it for my thesis defense. I plan to continue my education with a PhD program at ITMO University, as it is hard for me to accept the idea of leaving," shares Ksenia Buraya, graduate from the Computer Technology Department.
"I start my new job and in just a week, I am leaving for a training session in London - ITMO University really gives you a great start with lots of opportunities. During my university years, I really had an active cultural life: for the past two years, I've been spending a lot of time on my band which has recently performed at the Scarlet Sails festival. I first started working during my Master's program, and combining education, work and my hobby was a truly awesome experience," shares Natalya Glazkina, graduate of ITMO's Department of Geoinformation Systems.
"During my education on a Master's program, I started to like machine learning, and science in general. I started studying neural networks and worked on a project that had to do with monitoring trees using satellites. Today, there exist several projects on monitoring trees and their condition, which focus mostly on the ecological aspect. Currently, me and my research supervisor are considering possible projects that I could do as part of my PhD program. Apart from my research activities, I work as an operator for ITMO's Megabyte, and I plan to develop in this field as well," comments Denis Khrabryi, graduate of the Department of Intelligent Technologies in Humanities.
All in all, 1,500 graduates got their diplomas at the event. Before presenting diplomas to the best graduates, ITMO’s Rector gave a stage performance as a standup comedian.
"Today, you are starting on your life journey, so let me give you some advice. First, always follow your chosen path. This trajectory will become your life's essence. I also want you to invest in yourselves, so that you'll be able to learn more and share this knowledge with others. I believe that to be very important. In truth, everyone chooses their path for themselves. Some chose ITMO University, and are now standing here as our graduates; others choose other institutions. I sincerely believe that every person has a right to make one mistake - those who never applied to ITMO have used this right," said Vladimir Vasilyev.
The event's guests and ITMO's graduates continued the celebration at its interactive zones. They could make memorable photos in special photo booths at ITMO.Lounge, get tattoos styled after ITMO University's stickers, as well as play board games. For those wishing to take photos against the background of the city's historic center, there was a special arc constructed with massive balloons.
Same as last year, the enamored could attend a mock wedding ceremony at ITMO.LOVE zone and even get a corresponding "marriage certificate". The Retro Games zone featured an interactive exhibition of operational retro computers for both work and games, as well as such consoles as Sega, Nintendo and such for the most nostalgic gamers.
The guests could also try innovative ice-cream and beverages by specialists from the School of Biotechnology and Cryogenic Systems, as well as get advice on applying for ITMO's Master's and PhD programs. ITMO Business Incubator's residents Laeneco and FOYT also made presentations at the festival. ITMO University's shop ITMO.STORE was also present at the celebration, selling souvenirs and clothing with symbols and the motto of ITMO University.
This year, several famous standup comedians came to participate in the event. Among them were residents of StandUp Saint Petersburg, as well as the Comedy Battle and Open Microphone television projects. What is more, several bands gave their performances on the event's main stage.