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Student from Big Data Systems Master’s Programme Takes Part in IBM’s Best Student Recognition Event 2015

Forum participants. Dmitry Shostko is pictured in the white T-shirt.

IBM held its annual forum, the Best Student Recognition Event, in Amsterdam on July 8-10, 2015. The IBM Corporation has been carrying out the event since 2008, bringing together some of the best students in Europe. Around 70 students attended this year’s event, including HSE student Dmitry Shostko, who studies Business Informatics in the Big Data Systems Master’s Programme. Dmitry was rated one of the top-10 students for the second semester.

The main topic of this year’s forum concerned food waste, with a special discussion being called ‘Smarter Food: Don’t Waste It, Taste It.’ Students were asked to think about what can be done in this field and how modern ‘smart’ technologies might be applied to raise the efficiency of food production. During a discussion of this global issue, forum participants talked about narrower issues about which special papers were presented: ‘The Impact of Agriculture on Our Planet,’ ‘Food Waste: Origin, Problems, and Solutions,’ and ‘Big Data in the Context of Social Problems of the Big City.’

The event spanned over the course of three days. On the first day, participants were told about IBM – how its internal policy is structured, what IBM invests in, and in which direction the company is developing. The topic of Research & Innovation at IBM was also touched upon. These issues were discussed by managers from certain IBM divisions in Europe.

The second and third day were devoted to a business case on Food Waste, which students solved on a team. The main problem was stated as such: organic substances always tend to deteriorate. If this is unavoidable, then it’s possible to lower the amount of food that is lost. This is precisely what forum participants worked on – looking for ways to resolve this problem. Students had to come up with an idea, justify ways of monetizing it, think of the amount of investments needed, etc. In other words, participants had to create a startup and attract IBM as an investor.

Students were then asked to present their work. They attempted to ‘sell’ their idea to a jury consisting of IBM employees.

In order to give students the opportunity to relax a little from this important issue, a Treasure Hunt was organized to get to know the city.

‘I ended up at the IBM Best Student Recognition Event thanks to the Big Data Systems Master’s Programme I’m in,’ Dmitry Shostko says. ‘The programme prepares highly skilled managers with an understanding of the details of the Big Data technology stack. One can’t manage processes, people, and technologies without understanding their essence. The programme teaches exactly this, preparing specialists with the professional skills of both a data analyst and a project manager. The big data sphere is not the future anymore, it’s the present. Big data departments are now being created within all large corporations. This includes finance corporations, the telecommunications sector, retail, and IT companies. Whereas four years ago, Big Data was the most discussed topic at conferences, this isn’t the case anymore. And the reason is very simple – people have started acting and moving from discussion to practice. So it’s really great that there’s a place where you can learn about this field from highly qualified individuals,’ he notes.

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