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HSE Students Organise First MLH Hackathon in Russia

Major League Hacking (MLH) holds its events around the world, but this year is the first time MLH Local Hack Day is taking place in Russia thanks to the initiative of students from the Higher School of Economics. Participants of the hackathon developed IT solutions for some of Russia’s largest companies.

How Hackathon Came About

The club HSE Hackers, which was founded by students of the HSE Faculty of Business and Management’s School of Business Informatics, was the initiator of ‘Russian Day’ at MLH Local Hack Day, an event that has taken place in more than 300 locations so far.

‘Along with colleagues from HSE and other universities, we go to MLH hackathons in different countries and meet with many fellow Russians, and both Russians and foreigners have an interest in carrying out these types of events in Russia,’ comments one of HSE Hackers’ heads Maxim Dyakov. ‘After all, this concerns not only the development of new products, but also the opportunity to meet with the local culture and learn something from one another. This is why we decided to be the first to organise an MLH hackathon in Russia. Thanks to the support of HSE and our sponsors, we were able to do this.’

Who Participated in the Hackathon

The company 1C provided a location to host the hackathon. More than 200 people, including students from HSE, Moscow State University, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Bauman Moscow State Technical University, and more, participated in the event. Over the course of 12 hours, the participants had to develop IT solutions for real business cases from companies that partnered with the competition, including Sibur, Avito, Changellenge, Interfax, the Pushkin Museum, Tele2, Thomson Reuters, TimePad, and Yandex.

At the same time, a series of lectures and workshops were organised for hackathon participants covering relevant problems in today’s IT industry, such as Agile, machine learning, chat-bots, and more. Even those who are not as familiarised with these topics had something to learn, as one lecture focused on ways non-programmers can find a common language with programmers.

According to Maxim Dyakov, HSE Hackers regularly holds these kinds of lectures. The events also feature roundtables at which students can share their experience from participating in different hackathons, as well as discuss common mistakes and talk about the skills acquired at the events.

Proposed Solutions

The projects that hackathon participants proposed proved yet again that IT technologies can be applied to all aspects of life and all spheres of the economy, from studying user behaviour to controlling production processes.

One of the intra-university teams – which included students from HSE, Moscow Technological University, and the Moscow Power Engineering Institute – developed a programme for Changellenge that allows you to analyse respondents’ feedback and predict the results of a survey based on received data. Another team (HSE and Ufa State Aviation Technical University) created a bot that responds to requests for current stock quotes, as well as stock and forex price forecasts. The team from Moscow State University worked on a Sibur case and used machine learning to create an algorithm that helps determine the readings of instruments used when producing polyethylene. (See here to learn about other projects.)

‘IT specialists are currently in high demand on the market, and companies use hackathons to find new and talented developers,’ Maxim Dyakov adds. ‘But our objective was to introduce students to the work these kinds of firms are carrying out. They’ve heard a lot about online companies, but there are also enterprises in the real sector that need their skills. For example, one of the hackathon’s sponsors Sibur focuses on digital developments and is creating a digital factory. Did a lot of programming students know this?’

What Next

In the spring of 2018, HSE students are planning to hold an even larger hackathon with participants from abroad. According to Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Business and Management Irina Lesovskaya and School of Business Informatics Head Svetlana Maltseva, they are ready to support this idea. Svetlana Maltseva in particular noted the importance of these events in the development of human capital.

HSE Hackers also plans to open a branch in St. Petersburg. ‘A lot of St. Petersburg students travel to neighbouring Finland to attend MLH Local Hack Day hackathons. This is why it’s necessary to organise instructional lectures and workshops for them that are similar to what we hold in Moscow,’ Maxim Dyakov concludes.

See also:

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On April 14–19, 2024, two finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) took place in Luxor (Egypt). The teams from HSE University’s Faculty of Computer Science became world champions in the 47th ICPC final and received gold medals in the 46th final.

Faculty of Computer Science Students Took Top Three Places in Competitive Programming at Games of the Future

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HSE University Teams Win Gold and Three Bronzes in ICPC Semifinals

In December, the Northern Eurasia Regional Contests (NERC)—the semifinal of the ICPC international programming contest—took place. This year’s competition featured around 300 teams comprising 900 participants from Russia and other CIS countries. The contest took place simultaneously in St Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Astana, and Kutaisi. The majority of teams—a total of 152—took part in the competition at St Petersburg’s MTS Live Hall venue.

Students of HSE Faculty of Computer Science Win True Tech Champ by MTS

The final of the True Tech Champ Programming Olympiad from MTS took place at the end of October. Twelve students emerged as victors from the competition, including two second-year master’s students from the HSE Faculty of Computer Science, Ivan Safonov and Maxim Gorokhovsky.

FCS Team Takes First Place at Rosneft Universities’ Hackathon

A team from HSE University’s Faculty of Computer Science took first place in a Rosneft hackathon held in October among the country’s universities. The hackathon was organised by the research institute RN-BashNIPIneft LLC. The competition participants had the chance to try their hand at solving real production problems.

‘It Doesn’t Test, It Teaches’: Hackathon for DANO Data Analysis Olympiad Held in Nizhny Novgorod

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Students from Leading Universities Take Part in Hackathon Organised by MTS and HSE University

At the end of June, HSE University hosted Reklamathon, an inter-university hackathon in which participants must develop a prototype product for forecasting the effectiveness of advertising campaigns on social media. The event was organised by HSE University’s Data-Driven Communication master’s programme, which trains communications industry specialists. The hackathon’s assignments and judges were arranged by MTS, Russia’s largest digital ecosystem.

HSE University Students and Graduates Among Winners of VK Cup ‘22/23

On February 5, the finals and award ceremony of the VK Cup ‘22/23 IT championship took place. The competition comprised two qualifying stages and one final stage. There were more than 5,000 applications for the qualifying stages, with a total of 80 participants making it to the finals.

‘I Like to Think that the Solutions We Find Can Help People in the Future’

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HSE University Computer Science Teams Place First and Second in NERC ICPC 2022

Two teams from the HSE University Faculty of Computer Science (FCS) in Moscow have taken first and second place in the semi-finals of the 2022 International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). The last time a single university took both first and second place was in 1997. Almost 250 teams took part in the event, five of which were from HSE University in Moscow. A team from HSE University in St Petersburg took fourth place. The winning team was awarded the winner’s trophy of the ICPC semi-finals, while the HSE University teams that placed second and fourth won gold medals.