‘The Main Skill I Gained Was the Understanding That Deadlines Are Scary’
Students of HSE MIEM helped create an e-catalogue of publications of the Frumkin Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IPCE RAS). Team members Eldar Guseinly and Artem Shlyanov spoke with HSE News Service about the project, the skills they gained, and what the client had to say about the results.
The RAS Frumkin Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry (IPCE RAS) completed a big project on digitizing its academic journals as part of the federal targeted programme ‘Research and Development in Priority Areas of Russian S&T Development in 2014-2020’.
Students of the HSE Tikhonov Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics participated in the creation of the e-catalogue.
The catalogue allows users to copy and read content on a computer or mobile device, upload and edit data on academic papers, search journals and papers, as well as browse authors that might be of interest. It offers free access for users to scanned copies of the archive in PDF format online, which is divided into categories: Chemistry, Biology, and Physiology.
The archive was created as part of the 2020 competition announced by the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The competition involved the creation of seven online archives of journals in mathematics, medicine, chemistry, the social sciences, and other fields.
Maxim Chuyashkin, Advisor, HSE MIEM
MIEM is continuing to deepen its relationships with institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In addition to advising and exchanging experience, RAS scientists trust MIEM project teams with serious and important tasks. Project 623, ‘E-Catalogue of Academic Publications’, included practical and applied tasks, the implementation of which has already been highly evaluated by the clients.
The MIEM student team that worked on the project was headed by Associate Professor Sergey Slastnikov of the HSE School of Applied Mathematics, and included second-year student Artem Shlyanov and third-year student Eldar Guseinly of Applied Mathematics, who worked as frontend and backend developers, respectively.
Eldar Guseinly, third-year student, MIEM
When asked about why he chose this particular project, Eldar replied, ‘Today, majoring in applied mathematics means working mostly in data science and computer science. I wanted to try my hand at writing software, which is more about engineering and not directly related to the mathematical apparatuses that we study in the programme.’ Eldar explained, ‘You could say that I didn’t have any of the specific skills required for the project.’ Meanwhile, applied mathematics undoubtedly provides a certain foundation. Eldar said that he wanted to try a different field, more practical and aimed at creating an end product that is tangible. ‘Web projects meet these requirements. This project was purely a web project, and that’s why I chose it.’
Artem Shlyanov, second-year student at MIEM
When asked about the difficulties he faced during the project implementation, Artem Shlyanov said, ‘Of course, we faced difficulties, but they were rather problems that needed to be solved’. Eldar Guseinly noted that during the implementation of project, he ‘had to specify the client’s requests, which is a routine process, but at the same time, a very important one, because you are personally responsible for any misunderstanding.’
Participation in the project helped the students develop their competencies. ‘The main skill I gained was the understanding that deadlines are scary. But at the end of the day, I got some good experience with development and mastered some frontend skills,’ Artem said.
‘The project introduced me to web development,’ Eldar said. ‘I have an understanding of what the web is, I have the hard skills I need to create a simple website engine, and generally, development has become simpler and more familiar to me. Speaking of further plans, I like web development and would like to try working in this field.’
Sergey Slastnikov, Associate Professor, HSE School of Applied Mathematics
The main ‘risks’ of the project were, first and foremost, the short terms of execution, which means that it was essential to choose good team members. It is nice that we can get students involved in a ‘live’ project, where they experience all the ins and outs: collecting requirements, interacting with the client, and planning the implementation on a tough schedule. I believe that the students gained extremely useful experience in terms of developing their professional skills and learning how real projects work.
‘Digitizing the academic journals is a very important stage for Russian science,’ said Aslan Tsivadze, Scientific Director of IPCE RAS, President of Mendeleev Russian Chemistry Society, and member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. ‘The wealth of knowledge that is stored in libraries and on hard drives should undoubtedly be accessible to scholars anywhere in the world, and getting this information should be as simple and fast as the common use of web search engines.’