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.
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?’
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.
Students of HSE Faculty of Computer Science Win the Quarter Finals of the World Programming Championship
Third-year students of the Bachelor’s Programme in Applied Mathematics and Information Science Ivan Safonov, Ramazan Rakhmatullin, and Maxim Gorokhovsky won the Moscow Regional Contest—the first qualifying round of the international student world programming championship ICPC 2020/2021. In total, 45 HSE University took part, with 30 of them receiving certificates of various degrees.
This year 1500 participants from 100 countries took part in the Junction International Hackathon. A team of second-year students of the HSE Faculty of Computer Science (Timofey Smirnov, Igor Zverev, Ainur Nuriev and Aldar Danilov) led by Maxim Dyakov (first-year student of the programme in E-Business) presented a smart lighting project.
Students from both HSE Moscow and HSE St. Petersburg have made it to the finals of the ICPC-2020 World Programming Championship. They were among the best teams at the semi-finals stage of the championship, which took place last weekend in St. Petersburg.
HSE University has recently hosted an SAS Data Hack Platypus data analysis hackathon, where teams competed to solve a case problem provided by the online hypermarket, Utkonos (or, in English, ‘Platypus’).The top five finalists received devices from partner companies as gifts.
The smart blanket was presented at Sirius Scientific and Technological University in Sochi and awarded first place at a physical sciences hackathon. Over the course of one day, 15 student teams had to choose a topic, study the market, develop a concept, and present a prototype of their electronic device.
Over the last several years, hackathons have gone from being competitions for geeks to a must-have line on the resume of almost any job seeker. HSE University students are participating in these kinds of competitions more and more often, and they sometimes even organize their own. Alexander Popovkin, head of HSE’s Hacking Club, spoke with HSE News Service about the benefits and drawbacks of hackathons.
Approximately 200 teams (764 participants) gathered at Hack.Moscow v3.0, an annual hackathon that was held for the third year in a row from October 25 to 27. The winners shared 1 million roubles from sponsors and had the opportunity to earn preferential admission to master's programmes at HSE, the hackathon’s partner university.
Students from all four HSE campuses have qualified for the semifinal of the ICPC Student Programming World Championship. The quarter-final stages of the tournament were held in the second half of October in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Saratov.
As part of the Moscow International Education Fair, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met with students who won medals at the biggest programming competition in the world. This global contest recently reached its conclusion in Portugal, and the prize winners include HSE’s Faculty of Computer Science team.
HSE students participated in Creation Lab, an annual international business hackathon, which is organized as part of the World Business Dialogue in Cologne. The forum’s partner educational, power and retail businesses will implement the best of the suggested solutions in their operations.