HSE University Hosts Third Summer School on Machine Learning in Bioinformatics
Between August 23rd and 25th, the HSE Faculty of Computer Science held its annual summer school on machine learning in bioinformatics. After two years of being held online, the school returned to an offline format for this year. Over three days, more than 120 participants attended lectures and seminars by leading experts in the field from institutions such as HSE University, Skoltech, AIRI, MSU, MIPT, Genotek, and Sber Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
Machine learning enables researchers to process the ever-increasing amounts of biological data, and this vibrant field means there is a growing demand for highly skilled biology and bioinformatics analysts. The objective of this summer school was to help learners gain a better understanding of the topic’s many various aspects. This year, the areas of focus included applied bioinformatics, the bioinformatics of DNA, RNA and proteins, elementary genomics, modern methods of data analysis, and molecular biology.
Below, event participants and organisers share their impressions of the programme.
Ekaterina Antipushina, participant, Master's student at Skoltech
'This is my first time attending the summer school, and I’ve been impressed by its format. Thanks to the speakers, I now have a better understanding of what their firms and companies are working on. The choice of speakers was superb, and it was really useful to hear lectures by experts in the field.
I particularly enjoyed the second day! I hadn’t previously known much about AIRI before, beyond hearing something about their AI school. The time we spent with their team during the summer school was truly productive. I would also like to mention Alexander Rakitko – it was thrilling to learn more about their work at Genotek'.
Elizaveta Lukyanchikova, participant, Bachelor's student at Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy / Research Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology
'I found the school highly useful and informative. All the sessions I attended were interesting in their own way. My university does not offer courses in bioinformatics, let alone neural networks, and it has long been my ambition to study these topics. Each session of the summer school brought new insights and ideas. I shall also remember discussions with leading experts and researchers, inspiring us to grow and to move forward. I intend to use this learning in my studies and my work'.
Maria Poptsova, main organiser of the summer school, academic supervisor of the Data Analysis in Biology and Medicine master's programme, head of the International Laboratory of Bioinformatics of the HSE Faculty of Computer Science
'People usually come to the field of bioinformatics in one of two ways: either they are IT professionals who study biology in order to learn how to apply the tools they already know to new problems, or they have a background in biology and study computer science to learn new ways of solving problems they have already identified. The goal of the summer school is to synchronise the knowledge of aspiring bioinformaticians and to help them navigate this field.
We are delighted that this year we were able to bring together more than a hundred people at one of HSE's building in Pokrovsky Boulevard for lectures, seminars and discussions with interesting and enjoyable speakers. Of course, our previous schools held online were also interesting, but offline has its own special charm. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to making this school happen: our wonderful lecturers, the organisers and, of course, the students.'
Veniamin Fishman, summer school lecturer, AIRI Artificial Intelligence Research Institute
'Enormous thanks to the organisers for having gathered such a lively audience! Giving my lecture was really interesting, and I particularly enjoyed the students' response – I even had to limit the number of questions for reasons of time (and answered a dozen more questions later over email). Perhaps around a hundred people, some without any background in biology, successfully solved a problem which many biologists struggle with!
The only thing I would change in the future is the possibility of broadcasting sessions via Zoom: there were many interesting reports which I would have loved to hear given the opportunity. But it is not about going completely online, because nothing can replace students' eyes shining with interest and our live interaction during the sessions!'
Researchers from HSE University and the Russian Technological University (RTU MIREA) have developed an intelligent system to automate software testing on a variety of platforms. Its computer vision feature is capable of recognising elements in a graphical user interface even after a redesign. The details are published in the Journal of the Siberian Federal University.
An international group of scientists and medical specialists, including HSE researchers, examined the role played by microRNA (miRNA) and long non-coding RNAs on the progression of ovarian cancer. Having analysed more than a hundred tumour samples, they found that miRNA can prevent cell mutation while long non-coding RNAs have the opposite effect of enabling such mutations. These findings can help design new drugs which act by regulating miRNA concentrations. The study was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
The summer school 'Space in/for Environmental Humanities: Reconsidering the Global through Studying Peripheries' explored the impact of human activity on natural environments and their transformation. It was co-organised by the School of Environmental and Social Studies (Anthroposchool) at the University of Tyumen (TSU) and the HSE Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (IGITI), with support from the Mirror Labs programme of HSE University.
A team of researchers from HSE MIEM, LPI RAS, and the University of Southern California have applied machine learning to the analysis of internal defects in perovskite solar cells and proposed ways to improve their energy efficiency. The findings of the study performed on the Cs2AgBiBr6 double perovskite can be used to develop more efficient and durable perovskite-based materials. The paper has been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.
At the end of August, the Centre for Internships, Projects and Entrepreneurship of the Faculty of Computer Science, with support from the HSE University Business Incubator, held the first summer school on entrepreneurship. More than 40 HSE University bachelor’s and master’s students participated in it. The school was aimed at developing the students’ entrepreneurial skills and introducing them to the art of presenting ideas and products.
The ICEF Summer Bridge School prepares students from various countries and universities for their master’s studies. It is a short-term summer programme for students of bachelor’s and master’s programmes who are planning to apply to the Master’s in Financial Economics at ICEF and similar master’s programmes at other universities in the coming year. The participants of this year’s School included students from Uzbekistan, Russia, Ghana, Azerbaijan, Italy, Armenia, Nigeria, China, Turkey, and others.
HSE University students have taken part in the ‘Uzbekistan—Land of Tolerance’ International Summer School. The event was held in July in Tashkent at the Mirzo Ulugbek National University of Uzbekistan, a partner of HSE University. The HSE University students shared their impressions of the local sights and hospitality.
Over three days, the participants learnt about the main subject areas of the master's programmes of the HSE School of Electronic Engineering. About three dozen undergraduate students and graduates from different Russian universities took part in the summer school. Leading MIEM teachers and visiting lecturers from Russian companies were among those who spoke about promising areas of development in electronics, photonics, quantum technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT).
HSE's Faculty of Computer Science and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology have held the Mathematics of Machine Learning Olympiad for the fifth time. The participants competed for prizes and the opportunity to matriculate at two universities without exams by enrolling in the HSE and Skoltech joint master's programme in Math of Machine Learning.
A research team from the HSE University Artificial Intelligence Centre led by Ivan Yamshchikov has developed a model to predict the success of efforts to rehabilitate homeless people. The model can predict the effectiveness of the work of organisations for the homeless with about 80% accuracy. The project was presented at a conference dedicated to the activities of social centres.