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‘It’s Cool to See So Many International Participants from Different Backgrounds’

‘It’s Cool to See So Many International Participants from Different Backgrounds’

© HSE University

The students of the second cohort in HSE University’s Master of Data Science have started their classes. This English-taught programme is offered entirely online on Coursera and is the first of its kind in Russia.

There are two admission rounds for the programme. Last winter, the programme accepted 96 students from 21 countries. This fall, the programme welcomes its second cohort, which includes 135 students from 28 countries. The students range in age from 22 to 56, with men making up almost three quarters of the group. There are students from Russia (83), India (7), Kazakhstan (6), the USA (5), China, Belarus, Japan (3 per country), Germany, UAE, Great Britain, Switzerland (2 per country), Azerbaijan, Pakistan, and other countries.

In the first half of September, students completed the Onboarding Course on Coursera, receiving basic information about their upcoming classes along with a range of useful materials.

Students also participated in two online events, the New Student Welcome Webinar and the first Study Office meeting. At the webinar, the Deputy Dean of the HSE Faculty of Computer Science, academic supervisors, and teaching staff told students about the main features of the programme and the curriculum—communication channels, the programme and course structure, deadlines, and exams.

On September 14, students began their classes, the first two of which are ‘Python Basic’ and ‘Discrete Mathematics’.

Elnara, Azerbaijan

I hold a bachelor’s degree in Economics and I am an HR analyst at a drilling company in Baku. Previously, I worked as a business analyst in strategic projects and before that I did an internship at an innovation centre where I worked with startups. I even tried to launch startups myself – twice – but didn’t have any success.

When I took statistics and math classes during my bachelor’s, I already knew that one day I would switch to Data Science and advanced analytics. It is cool when you make data driven decisions. But now it is time to go deeper. I’m looking forward to gaining new knowledge, virtually meeting all students, participating in datathons and hackathons, the sleepless nights, the homework, the study groups, and just having fun! 

It’s so cool to see many international participants from different backgrounds. It looks like an MBA class at Stanford.

Yu Shiang Tee, Singapore

I work in IT Management in the Logistics industry, and one of my responsibilities is Enterprise Data Management. I enrolled in this programme to further my career and out of my own interest in the subject area. I’d like to gain a deeper understanding of the math, develop good intuition about data science techniques, and get a strong grasp of where the frontiers and current limits of this field are.

I like it very much that this class is very international and diverse. I do look forward to fruitful exchange and friendships with my classmates over the course of study. A side goal for me would also be to learn to read written Russian, if not gain some conversational skills.

I will likely pursue career opportunities in the area of data science or data engineering, as applied in my current industry (or another industry if I get the opportunity). That being said, I am excited about the prospect of having my perspectives transformed by this programme, and I am open to my view changing over the course of this programme.

Ildar Agliukov, Russia

I'm a professional musician—I’m a violinist with a huge orchestra experience. I also have a lot of teaching experience. I also trade on the stock market. I've just come back to Russia from Brazil, where I lived with my wife and daughter for six years.

On the one hand, I'm looking for the best way to apply my previous experience and new knowledge and technologies to develop new paths in music educational processes. On the other hand, I would be happy if I could improve my buy/sell strategy. I am always open to new ideas if anybody has some suggestions about using our new knowledge in interesting projects.

The Master of Data Science programme trains modern data analysts, machine learning developers, and data science researchers. The theoretical courses are accompanied by practical assignments that allow students to develop their skills working on real life projects and tasks. The industrial partner of the program is Yandex.

Online courses can be taken from anywhere in the world and students can study at their own pace. The tuition fee for this Master’s programme is significantly lower than for similar full-time programmes. Regular communication with teachers and assistants happens in real time via chat, videoconferences, webinars, and online discussions.

Vladimir Podolsky, Academic Supervisor of the programme

Vladimir Podolsky, Academic Supervisor of the programme

It was difficult for us to predict what the makeup of the second cohort was going to be like. Unlike our first admissions campaign, our admission deadlines this year coincided with those of the majority of Russian full-time master's programmes. Consequently, the competition increased. So, It is very pleasing to see that even in these conditions the competition among applicants has grown significantly. At the same time, not only the number of applicants has increased, but also their average level of training. Thus, not only did the group size increase, but so did the minimum entrance exam score.

It is also nice that the programme turned out to be quite popular among graduates of HSE bachelor's programmes. They accounted for almost 10% of all applicants. This result is especially impressive given that more than a third of the new group are international students.

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