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HSE and University of London: Joint BA Programme in Applied Data Analysis

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In 2018, the Higher School of Economics will launch an English-taught double degree programme in partnership with the University of London in Applied Data Analysis. Graduates will be awarded an undergraduate degree from HSE in Applied Mathematics and Information Science and a Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Business Analytics from the University of London.

How does the programme work?

The aim of the programme is to educate highly qualified analysts and professionals in data science, giving them an understanding of applied economics, including finance, and teaching them to be creative in applying their knowledge and skills to solve tasks in this field of science.

The Faculty of Computer Science has led the charge in responding to the increasing international demand for finance experts. They have already launched a master’s programme this year in Financial Technology and Data Analysis (in Russian) in partnership with Sberbank; a leader in IT transformation in banking. In 2018, a whole new generation of professionals will be undertaking undergraduate studies at HSE.

In addition to fundamental theoretical training, the joint BA in Applied Data Analysis will provide students with practical experience that will empower them to navigate the ever-changing world of information technology and to exploit its influence in the fields of finance and economics. Graduating with two degrees, graduates will be well-equipped to apply for the world’s leading Master’s programmes. Proficiency in economics and finance will give candidates who wish to apply for prestigious Master’s programmes in IT-related areas a competitive edge.

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), part of the University of London, has been HSE’s partner for 20 years. LSE has designed the economic segment of the programme while the HSE’s Faculty of Computer Science is responsible for mathematics, programming and machine learning.

The programme will be administered according to an approach long-established by the HSE’s International College of Economics and Finance and one that has been optimized over the years. It begins with enrolment in the first year of the HSE undergraduate programme. Intensive English courses are an integral part of the first-year curriculum. Those who successfully pass the exams at the end of the first year are able to enroll in the second year at HSE and the first year at the University of London. The second, third and fourth years of studies at HSE coincide with the second and third years of studies at the University of London. Since our British partner’s curriculum constitutes three years, students graduate both from the University of London and HSE at the end of their fourth year of studies. Following successful thesis defense, students are awarded degrees from both universities.

Who will be teaching?

The HSE Faculty of Computer Science has an excellent track record in training developers and researchers in this field. The Faculty’s programmes integrate the approaches of leading American and European universities, such as Stanford University and Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, as well as the Yandex School of Data Analysis, which administers one of Russia’s most respected Master’s programmes in computer science.

The Faculty employs some of the country’s best experts in data analysis and internationally recognized research groups carry out their research on-site. This includes groups led by Prof. Nikolay Vereshchagin in theoretical information science; Sergei Kuznetsov, tenured HSE Professor, in complex structure data analysis; Prof. Irina Lomazova in business administration systems’ modeling, analysis and design; Dmitry Vetrov, Research Professor, in deep learning and Bayesian methods; and Andrey Ustyuzhanin, Associate Professor, in big data analysis and high energy physics. They have published in leading international journals such as IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Software and Systems Modeling, ACM Transactions on Algorithms, Machine Learning, and Theory of Computing Systems.

The programme also draws on the expertise of several international teachers, including  Bruno Bauwens, Assistant Professor at the Big Data and Information Retrieval School, as well as Geoffrey Decrouez, Attila Kertesz-Farkas and Quentin Paris, assistant professors at School of Data Analysis and Artificial Intelligence. All of the aforementioned specialists will be teaching segments of the programme and the list of international teachers contributing to it grows each year.

In addition, the Faculty of Computer Science collaborates with many renowned researchers from international universities, including Vladimir Gurvich (Rutgers University), Mikhail Zakharyaschev (University of London), Yurii Nesterov (Catholic University of Leuven), Vladimir Spokoiny (Humboldt University of Berlin), and Andre Scedrov (University of Pennsylvania).

The scientific expertise and experience utilized by the Faculty ensures a Bachelor programme of the highest caliber.

Professors from the Faculty of Economic Sciences are also involved in the programme. ‘It’s essential not only to be able to identify quantitative relations in big data, but also to find the systemic relations in the area characterized by this data. We then aim to use our understanding of the relations to find possible solutions and opportunities for their implementation, particularly in relation to tasks which involve collection, processing and analysis of the data’, says Alexander Belenky, member of the academic council of the programme and Leading Research Fellow at the International Laboratory of Decision Choice and Analysis. ‘The new programme aims to provide students with skills that will make them unique professionals; creative in research, practice and consulting. They will have a competitive advantage on the Russian and international job markets’.

The Tutoring Centre at the Faculty of Computer Science boasts highly qualified professionals who run workshops and mentor students for individual and group projects. Banking, consulting and finance professionals will be involved in this aspect of the new programme.

What career opportunities are there?

Students at the Faculty of Computer Science are regularly invited by leading Russian and international companies to undertake internships. Facebook, Yandex, Google, McKinsey&Company, Kaspersky Lab, JetBrains, Samsung, Sberbank, and Tinkoff have all hosted our students and will continue to do so.

‘Programme graduates will be able to apply for positions at financial and consulting firms, IT companies, and start-ups. With knowledge and experience in complex software product development, team work, big data analysis, and advanced analysis with the use of machine learning, students will be ideal candidates for management positions and will be able to carry out the digital transformation of businesses’, says Tamara Voznesenskaya, Academic Supervisor of the programme.

‘Knowledge of machine learning algorithms, the ability to use intellectual data analysis tools, and the ability to use these tools in problem-solving considerably increases an expert’s value’, believes Vadim Strizhov, member of the academic council for the programme and editor-in-chief at the journal of Machine Learning and Data Analysis.

Prospective employers include:

  • Banking, investment and insurance companies (Sberbank, Alfa Bank, Tinkoff, WorldQuant, Moscow Stock Exchange);
  • Leading IT companies (Yandex, Mail.ru, Google, Facebook, Rambler);
  • Leading software companies (Microsoft, SAP, SAS, Qlik etc);
  • Consulting companies (PWC, McKinsey&Co, Accenture, BCG, Glowbyte);
  • IT departments and big data departments at big mobile providers (Beeline, MTS, Megafon).

According to Mikhail Petrovsky, head of academic programmes at SAS, the market demand for applied data analysis experts is huge, and is continuing to grow: ‘Over the last two years, we’ve seen an overwhelming increase in customer requests to find analysts and interns. While banking and telecom companies were once the most active in this area, now our clients seeking such experts include companies from the retail, insurance, health care, oil & gas, and transportation sectors’.

‘Machine learning methods are becoming more and more popular and are available to most companies. At the same time, competition in quality of services is growing. As such, there is a demand for experts who possess a comprehensive understanding of mathematical methods and algorithms as well as managerial skills and knowledge of how businesses work. The new Bachelor programme trains such professionals’, says Alexander Belugin, project office head at Yandex Data Factory.

HSE offers 50 fee-paying slots. Discounts may be offered to high-achieving students.

Learn more about the Joint BA in Applied Data Analysis by talking to academic supervisor, Tamara Voznesenskaya, as well as the instructors, at our Open Day, which will take place on December 3 at 12pm at the HSE Faculty of Computer Science. Address: 3 Kochnovsky Proezd, Moscow.

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