• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Master of Computer Vision: New Online Programme on Coursera

Master of Computer Vision: New Online Programme on Coursera

© Pixabay/ Okan Caliskan

In September 2021, HSE University’s Faculty of Informatics, Mathematics and Computer Science at HSE Nizhny Novgorod launched the new applied degree programme Master of Computer Vision. Developed in collaboration with leading experts in the field of computer vision - Huawei, Itseez3D, Intel, Harman, and Xperience.ai – the programme is available on the Coursera platform and open to applicants from all over the world. Andrey Savchenko, Academic Supervisor of the new programme, talked to The HSE Look about how it came to be and what are its advantages.

Andrey Savchenko

What is included in the “computer vision” concept and how did the campus come up with the idea of ​​creating such a programme?

Computer vision (CV) is a field of AI that is closely related to machine learning; it is used to process and understand images and videos.

CV includes facial recognition, 3D reconstructions from multiple images, photo filters based on famous artworks, apps that identify objects in images and much more

Some examples you might have heard of are the Prisma photo editor app, the Mona Lisa painting that came to life, Yandex self-driving cars, or generated fake faces. A more complex example is a digital avatar that can be created from a photograph of a person and then uploaded to a game.

I am mostly responsible for the development of computer vision as a respective field at HSE Nizhny Novgorod due to my numerous publications and research projects in pattern recognition and image processing. First, this was a grant from the President of the Russian Federation for young doctors of sciences in 2017-2018; now, it is a grant from the Russian Science Foundation for emotional recognition studies. I also operated a research and study group for four years, which was supported by HSE, for multimedia data analysis on mobile devices. Thus, the computer vision field was being developed at our campus, and students were also getting interested in it. At the same time, a fairly large number of companies specializing in computer vision appeared in Nizhny Novgorod (the key developers of famous OpenCV library were from and based in Nizhny Novgorod). Then, we saw the success of HSE University’s Moscow-based Master's programme in data science, so that HSE University decided to continue development of online master’s programs together with Coursera. So, this has been a combination of circumstances.

Is the programme at HSE Nizhny Novgorod the only one of its kind in Russia? What makes it stand out and who are your target audience?

Computer vision as a specialization is rare because it is a niche field. Usually Master's degrees are much broader and only include courses on computer vision. The last time we analyzed the market was in the fall of 2020 and there were only a few programmes. In Russia, everything was held offline and only some parts of programmes are devoted to computer vision - at Moscow State University, at Innopolis University, and at Ural Federal University. There are some online programmes abroad, at Columbia University. And there are some online courses with certificates.

We realized we could offer something quite valuable. At HSE Nizhny Novgorod, we go deeper - the program includes courses that are exclusively focused on computer vision as well as applied tasks. We knew if we wanted to launch the programme, it would only be possible with the help of our colleagues from IT firms.

Most of what we are currently recording for the course is done in cooperation with those currently working in this industry

At the same time, it is quite a challenge - you need to communicate a lot with them to get the creation of the course done. Since the field is developing very dynamically and even two-year-old articles may no longer be relevant, for Coursera, we record courses at the very last moment when it can be done.

The geography of those who are interested in the programme is exactly what we expected. It attracts those regions where it might be difficult to attain higher education - Asia and South America. We originally counted on them. There are some who came from Europe and North America. Also, several from Russia, which is surprising.

You are from Nizhny Novgorod yourself. Why did you decide to stay and develop the IT sector in your hometown?

After completing my specialist degree in software development, I had offers to move to Moscow and St. Petersburg. At that time, however, I was interested in continuing my postgraduate studies at HSE. Back then, many professors from my university transferred to a new faculty at HSE and my supervisor invited me to teach there as well.

The University turned out to be a very interesting place for research activities. I defended my dissertation within two years and quit my job as a software engineer to work there

Moreover, I have a large family now and we truly like everything offered here. As a matter of fact, I used to participate in many distributed R&D projects and communicate with partners from the USA, China, France, as well as colleagues from many Russian cities. Right now, your place of residence does not matter: it is possible to remotely work as a CV engineer or data scientist from everywhere if you have a laptop and Internet connection. I hope that our program will bring the same possibility for learning, so that the relocation is not required even if you want to get a master’s degree from prestigious university in emerging field of artificial intelligence.

See also:

Mathematicians and Practicing Surgeons to Fight Venous Diseases

One million people in Russia suffer from venous diseases. The ‘Intelligent data analysis for healthcare information systems’ Mirror Lab project brings together expertise in mathematics and medicine in order to better diagnose various conditions in phlebology. Project leader Vasilii Gromov talked to The HSE LooK about its achievements and prospects.

An Economics and Engineering Approach to Energy Supply Development in Remote Areas of Russia

Ilya Dolmatov, Director of the HSE Institute of Economics and Utility Regulation, heads a Mirror Lab project titled ‘Models of Energy Infrastructure Development in Russia’s Remote and Isolated Territories’ and implemented together with a university in Irkutsk. Why is energy efficiency a particularly pressing problem in remote territories? How can economics and engineering work together to solve it? Ilya Dolmatov addressed these and other issues in his interview for The HSE LooK.

Two Russian Regions Cooperate in Migration Studies as Part of Mirror Labs Project

What does Kaliningrad Oblast, an exclave Russian territory, have in common with Perm Krai, a region in the Urals? How do researchers use digital humanities methods to study migration? Sergei Kornienko, Leading Research Fellow at the Group for Historical Research (HSE University-Perm), heads the Mirror Lab project ‘Migration as a factor of social transformation of Soviet regions during the post-war reconstruction period: an analysis through digital humanities’. In this interview for The HSE LooK, he talks about this collaboration.

HSE University Collaborates with University in Southern Russia to Compare Values and Identities across Generations and Regions

Is there a system of values that is common to the whole population of Russia? Do values differ across generations? Is it possible to carry out research among refugees? HSE University researchers joined forces with their peers from Kuban State Technological University to study values and intercultural relations across Russian regions as part of a Mirror Labs project. The HSE LooK talked about this cooperation to Nadezhda Lebedeva, Director of the HSE Centre for Sociocultural Research, who heads up the Mirror Lab project, and project participant Victoria Galyapina, Leading Research Fellow at the same Centre.

Harnessing Synergy

Through its Mirror Laboratories project, HSE University develops collaborations with academic institutions across the country. Today, it includes 22 ongoing projects in partnership with 20 universities in mathematics, computer science, economics, sociology, biology, history and many other fields. Marina Litvintseva, Director for Advanced Research at HSE University, coordinates international and mirror laboratory projects. In this year’s second issue of HSE LooK, she talked about the development of mirror laboratories and the future of the project.

IT at HSE Perm: From Academic Projects to Commercial Research

Aleksey Kychkin, Head of the Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Empirical Studies, spoke to the HSE Look about his background, industry projects the lab has been doing, and student involvement in research.

‘Our Strength Is in Our Interdisciplinarity, Both Methodologically and Practically’

What are the necessary digital competencies for students of humanities? Where can they apply their knowledge and skills? What projects in digital humanities are currently underway at HSE University Perm? Dinara Gagarina, HSE University-Perm scholar and the national representative of Digital Humanities Course Registry, answers these and other questions in her interview with the HSE Look.

HSE University in Perm: ‘We Help Talents Develop in the Region’

Galina E. Volodina has been the Campus Director in Perm since 1997. Under her leadership, the Perm campus has turned into the major player in shaping the region’s future—be it general education, retaining of talents, or R&D. In her interview for the HSE Look, Galina Volodina shares how HSE Perm’s development agenda has been altered and what are its current priorities.

‘Our Distinction Is Our Core Areas of Research’

In his interview for the HSE LooK, Evgenii A. Krouk, the Acting Director of HSE Tikhonov Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics, talks about the distinctive features that set the institute apart, the place of project-based learning on the curriculum, research areas with the highest potential, and his vision for HSE MIEM future development.

Breaking Records Every Day

Tiago Teixeira Saraiva, Research Fellow at the Quantum Nanoelectronics Laboratory, has talked to the HSE LooK about joining HSE University back in 2019, making breakthroughs in superconductivity research, and working with Russian students. He also shares what makes Moscow particularly attractive for him and gives a useful tip to future postdoc fellows at HSE University.