Архив метки: the skolkovo institute of science and technology

Federal Grid Company is exploring the possibility of cooperation with Skoltech

DSC_8429-300x200The leaders of the Federal Grid Company “UES” visited Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology to learn about Skoltech and its abilities, and to discuss possible cooperation in the area of power-grids in the future.

The delegation was headed by Andrey Murov, Chairman of the Board of “FGC UES”, and included Pavel Korsunov and Natalia Ozhegina, Vice-Chairmen of the Board of “FGC UES”; Dmitry Klokov, director of external communications; Dmitry Tyron, Deputy General Director of Construction “ECMC UES”; Anton Sheverdov, director of the construction of facilities in the regions of the Center of “ECMC UES” and Sergei Ponomarev, chief expert at “FGC UES”. The guests got acquainted with the program of construction projects at the “Skolkovo” Innovation Center, and with the work of Skoltech and activity of its research centers.

7-300x200High officials of the Skolkovo foundationMaxim Sheifel, Acting Vice-President, Skolkovo City Manager; Vasily Belov, Senior Vice President of Innovation; Nikolai Grachev, vice president and executive director of the Cluster of energy-efficient technologies; Anton Yakovenko, General Director of “ODAS Skolkovo” – informed the guests about the progress of the construction of the energy infrastructure at the Skolkovo Innovation Center.

Alexey Ponomarev, Skoltech’s vice president of strategy and industrial cooperation; Prof. Alexander Ustinov, deputy director of the Research Center for Energy Systems and Ivan Sherstov, director of programs for cooperation with the industry, presented Skoltech’s program of activities and proposals for cooperation with “FGC UES” in the field of electric grid systems.

2-300x200The guests were shown a complex pilot of an overhead power lines monitoring system, as well as individual solutions in an integrated power line monitoring system: project of the unique “Kanatahod” (“tight rope” in Russian) copter-rope walker, able to land on a high-voltage lines wire, to monitor power lines and the icing monitoring system (MIG).

The guests from “FGC UES” got acquainted with the work of the energy systems laboratory, advanced structures, processes and materials. At the end of the visit, both sides agreed to continue to discuss promising areas of cooperation with Skoltech at the level of experts.

We are hiring Faculty!

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New faculty vacancies are available from Winter of 2015 in nine of our Centers for Research, Education and Innovation

Skoltech announces a new round of faculty recruitment starting today, December 18, 2015.  New vacancies are available in 2016 in nine of our Centers for Research, Education and InnovationDetails can be found on our new faculty search website join.skoltech.ru.

Candidates with corresponding backgrounds are welcome to apply for tenured and tenure-track positions at http://join.skoltech.ru . Applications must be received by March 31, 2016 to be considered in this round.

Competitive salary and benefits, research start-up packages, and opportunities for substantial research funding will be provided.

* The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) is a private graduate research university in Skolkovo, a suburb of Moscow. Established in 2011 in collaboration with MIT, Skoltech educates global leaders in innovation, advances scientific knowledge, and fosters new technologies to address critical issues facing Russia and the world. Applying international research and educational models, the university integrates the best Russian scientific traditions with twenty-first century entrepreneurship and innovation.

More Competitive, More Diverse, More Innovative: Skoltech rings in fourth Academic Year

Prof Ed Crawley ringing the bell as Skoltech marks the opening of acaemic year - the fourth in the innovation focused university's history.

Prof Ed Crawley ringing the bell as Skoltech marks the opening of acaemic year – the fourth in the innovation focused university’s history (click on image to enlarge)

“We are dreaming big”, said Skoltech provost Keith Stevenson to a crowd of visibly excited students. “Which is why you will be tested tremendously and continuously.” Gathered for the opening of the academic year ceremony, and the launch of their innovation-focused program at Skoltech, the students listened, and smiled, and applauded.

‘Knowledge Day’ – or День Знаний in Russian – is a special day in Russia. All across the vast country, students and professors celebrate the new school year. Following local tradition, Skoltech president Ed Crawley rang a bell. It was the fourth time that the MIT professor led the ceremony, and the first time he was presiding over the festivities at Skoltech’s new building. 123 postgrads from 25 countries have begun their journey at Skoltech, the biggest and most diverse cohort of students in the university’s short history .

Crawley mentioned in his address the increasing competition between prospective students for spots with the Moscow based innovation-focused university. “This was the most competitive selection process we ever had”, he said.

“We received over ten applications for each position. Now we can focus again on our main responsibility: to learn and teach and discover.”

He reflected on the “enormous growth” of the institution in a relatively short space of time: The first bell-ringing ceremony was held at MIT in front of the inaugural intake of 20 or so students and a handful of professors. Two or three years from now, he said, the university will boast more than 100 professors, and about 600 students working and studying in state of the art labs and facilities in Skoltech’s new building.

Sergey Muratov, a master’s student with Skoltech’s interdisciplinary IT program, told the audience “that my main advice is to engage in as little self-questioning as possible – and start acting. You, the new students, are intelligent. You can make a change. Don’t waste your most productive years on doubts.”

Text: David Nowak and Ilan Goren

Photos: Vitaly Shustikov and Vlada Kuligina

Seminar: Predictive Modeling: Methods and Applications

Predictive modeling in social networks. Image courtesy of Wikipedia under creative commons license

Predictive modeling in social networks. Image courtesy of Wikipedia under creative commons license (click on image to enlarge)

We invite you to a seminar on Predictive Modeling: Methods and Applications, with guest speaker Prof. Vladimir Spokoiny.

When: August 27, 2015, 13.30 – 15.00

Where: Room 423, TROC-3

Seminar Abstract

The talk explains some methods of modeling and production for complex systems based on the idea of structural adaptation.

The unknown structure of the underlying model is recovered from the data and used for its estimation, modeling, and prediction.

The methods are illustrated by several applications: medical fMRI imaging, pharmacokinetics, DNA analysis, clustering and classification, cognitive studies, pricing of American options, among others.

 

Prof. Vladimir Spokoiny

Prof. Vladimir Spokoiny (click to enlarge photo)

Speaker Introduction

Brief bio:

– PhD from Lomonosov U. Moscow in mathematics 1988

– habilitation in mathematics at Humboldt U. Berlin 1996

– since 1999 researcher in IITP RAS Moscow

– since 1993 researcher in Weierstrass Institute Berlin

– since 2000 head of research group in Weierstrass Institute Berlin

– since 2002 professor at Humboldt U. Berlin in mathematics and economy

– since 2011 professor at MITP Moscow, head of research group Premolab created by megagrant of the Russian government

– since 2012 professor of mathematics at Lomonosov U Moscow

– since 2014 Head of Sector N7 at IITP RAN

– since 2014 professor at HSE Moscow with the faculty of computer sciences, academic head of the master program MMOS.

 

The Shared Rides Revolution: Skoltech Graduates Attempt to Shake Up Taxi Market with Start-Up

Andrii Omelianovych, co-founder and developer of Sharxi, an app which aims to reduce the costs of taxi rides in Moscow. Image courtesy of Sharxi

Andrii Omelianovych, co-founder and developer of Sharxi, an app which aims to reduce the costs of taxi rides in Moscow. Image courtesy of Sharxi (click to enlarge)

With Uber, Gett and Yandex.Taxi already well-known in Moscow, it may seem that there is little room for yet another taxi app, but two Skoltech graduates hope their taxi-sharing start-up, Sharxi, can find a niche.

The goal of Sharxi, developed by Boris Urman and Andrii Omelianovych (15’), is to significantly reduce the cost of a taxi ride by pairing up strangers headed in the same direction. A potential user opens the app, puts in their current location and where they are headed, submits the order, and waits for the system to find other passengers whose planned routes are similar.

Sharxi, which was launched on May 10 and has been downloaded 200 times so far, makes money by contracting with official taxi companies and taking a commission on every ride booked through the app.

The $1 Billion Market

The goal of Sharxi’s founders is to cut the price of an average cab ride in Moscow from 1,050 rubles ($16) to 500 rubles ($7.50), as well as to reduce the number of cars on Moscow’s crowded roads. Particularly, they focus on travelers looking for rides from the city’s three main airports to the town center.

“The taxi market in Moscow is around $1 billion a year, and economy class makes up 55 percent of it. Our goal is to get at least 1 percent of the economy class — about $5 million a year,” Omelianovych told The Moscow Times newspaper.

Statistics from a report about the taxi market in Moscow shown on Russian TV’s Channel One in 2012 also put its value at about $1 billion, but an April report by the Civic Chamber estimated it far higher, at $16.5 billion.

The start-up faces some serious challenges. The idea of splitting a taxi ride via an app is not particularly new. For example, Uber already has a fare-splitting function called UberPool. Additionally, taxi users surveyed by The Moscow Times said that the price of individual rides was not so great as to encourage them to book a shared ride, citing other taxi apps that have reduced the cost of journeys and the desire to go directly to their destination without any detours as factors that would put them off.

But others said they would welcome the chance to save money by splitting the fare, and many of the users who have tried the app, which is currently in Beta testing, were positive about the cost of the service.

Sharxi - a shared rides app (click to enlarge)

Sharxi – a shared rides app (click to enlarge)

The 500 Ruble Question

“I went from Vnukovo [Airport] to Aminyevskoye Shosse [in western Moscow] for 500 rubles ($7.50) — it was fun and fast!” a user who identified themselves as Vakhe wrote on the app’s website.

“Paid 500 rubles for a trip from Domodedovo [Airport] to Vyazemskaya Ulitsa [in western Moscow]. Great! Will definitely recommend to friends and family,” another test user, Lyuba, wrote.

Reviews of other aspects of the service were not so positive, however.

Among the main issues listed by users was the long wait to find another passenger.

“I was waiting for a co-passenger from Sheremetyevo [Airport] to Filyovsky Park [a district in western Moscow] and there was no one, so I had to take a single ride. Luckily I wasn’t in a hurry,” wrote user Ivan.

Another frequent issue mentioned in the reviews was passenger compatibility.

“We are thinking about adding a psychological survey for users, so passengers can be selected by temperament,” Omelianovych told The Moscow Times.

120 Startups

Sharxi is one of about 120 start-ups being developed at Skoltech and Skolkovo, a graduate research university that focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation and is located in west of Moscow.

One of the perks of being residents of Skolkovo, which was founded by former president and current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as Russia’s ‘Silicon Valley’, is easy access to investors and officials.

Although Urman and Omelianovych’s app has been downloaded only 200 times, they have already presented the app to City Hall’s transport department.

“The state officials said our idea is good but haven’t offered us any deal yet,” Urman told The Moscow Times. “We will keep in touch with them.”

The stiff competition on the Moscow market has Sharxi’s creators looking to Asia to develop the app further.

Last month, Skolkovo provided Urman and Omelianovych with tickets to Hong Kong to participate in the Smart Green Cities entrepreneurship forum at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

“The Asian market is huge and dynamic in comparison with the European one, which is overloaded with services,” Omelianovych told The Moscow Times, adding that he had lived in Seoul, South Korea for six years and is comfortable with the Asian environment.

“Potentially we can boom in Asia, but for that we need internal partners.”

This story is a slightly modified version of an original story about Sharxi which appeared in The Moscow Times. We thank the author and the publication.

 

 

 

Life Changing and Life Saving: Innovation Program Selects 7 Research Projects

Skoltech’s Translational Research and Innovation Program

Skoltech’s Translational Research and Innovation Program (click on image to enlarge)

Developing groundbreaking Hepatitis-C treatments. MRI scanners in which electromagnetic waves interact with biological tissues. Saving babies’ lives with contactless heart rate sensors. When it comes to scientific challenges, they usually do not come much bigger than that. Yet this list of ambitious research projects details only a few of the seven proof-of-concept proposals that won Skoltech’s Translational Research and Innovation Program for 2015/16 (see full winners’ list below).

This year, for the first time, the program was open exclusively to Skoltech faculty and researchers. A total of thirteen applications was submitted including projects in energy systems, new materials, social network tools, video conferencing, smart systems, healthcare and biomed.

“We witnessed a very inspiring competition between people and ideas”, said Dmitry Peblak, a manager with the Program, “many projects feature some promising technologies that could help Skoltech have a real impact both in Russia and globally. It was a challenge, but eventually we had to choose.”

The selection process consisted of several stages and spanned four months. One of its highlights was the 6th conference of the Program held on May 20 in Moscow. Russian and foreign experts, entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, as well as Skoltech and Skolkovo Foundation staff evaluated the projects on criteria such as research data, technological and market risks, IP opportunities, the project team, and established connections with potential customers.

The seven winning teams will receive financial support for their proof of concept studies. They will also benefit from trainings and mentorship provided by the university’s Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO). Readers are welcome to follow the projects’ progress on a dedicated page at the Translational Research and Innovation Program’s web site, where you can also find information and announcements on upcoming events.

 

Full winners’ list of Skoltech’s Translational Research and Innovation Program (2015/16)

 

  1. Konstantin Severinov

Development of a personal genetic screening system

  1. Victor Kotelianski

Targeted delivery of modified RNAs to the liver – an alternative Hepatitis C therapeutics

  1. Athanasios Polymeridis

CompuLife: A simulation platform for modeling interactions of electromagnetic waves with biological tissue in next-generation MRI systems

  1. Artem Oganov

Low-k material design

  1. Dzmitry Tsetserukou

BabyFeel: Smart Baby Bed Platform with Contactless Heart Rate Sensing

  1. Alexander Ustinov

Development of a novel cooling technology for power inverters

  1. Victor Lempitsky

Learning-based Gaze Correction for Videoconferencing

Supporting Children with Disabilities: Smart Robots go to School

Webot, a telepresence robot, replaces children who cannot attend school. photo courtesy of Wicron (click on image to enlarge)

Webot, a telepresence robot, supports children who cannot attend school by ‘representing’ them in class. photo courtesy of Wicron (click on image to enlarge)

The first Day of September is known in Russia as Den znanii (‘Knowledge Day’). All across the vast country, crowds of still-fresh students and somewhat-excited schoolchildren gather to hear university presidents and schoolmasters ring the ‘first bell’. The quaint ceremony traditionally marks the opening of the school year.

Yet for children with disabilities who can neither join the festivities nor attend class this day might be a difficult and painful one. But help is on the way: this year, for the first time in Russia, a smart telepresence robot will go to school. Webot, developed by a team of Skoltech PhD students, stands in for pupils who cannot attend class.

The mobile, friendly white robot will be installed in five elementary schools in the Astrakhan region. It is equipped with a flat screen, camera and microphone designed to easily transmit anything students with disabilities need to see and know: lectures, activities, or homework assignments.

Webot‘s round head unit and long ‘neck’ rotate in all directions, and the robot can follow any person –  a teacher, a friend, even a first love. And if the home-ridden student wishes to answer a question, Webot will be happy to do that for them. The robot can even joke around.

Webot in the classroom. photo courtesy of Wicron (click on image to enlarge)

Webot in the classroom. photo courtesy of Wicron (click on image to enlarge)

“Equality and Opportunity for all Children”

“It is like an avatar, allowing kids to move around, even from a distance”, says Stas Ashmanov, a Skoltech PhD student with Prof Ivan Oseledets and managing partner of Wicron, a Moscow based startup behind Webot and smart home assistants. “It is as if we ‘teleport’ kids from home to school. We want kids to know that even if they are in pain or limited in movement, they can still learn and grow and participate in school life. It is all about equality and opportunity for all children”.

How does the technology actually work? Webot’s functionalities are managed and controlled over the internet. All a remote student needs to do is switch on her or his home computer and go online. When connected to ‘its’ student, the robot immediately faces the user and represents it in the classroom. When fully charged, the robot’s battery lasts the whole day.

The developers – which include Ashmanov, along with fellow students Dmitry Suvorov and Roman Zhukov (PhD candidates under the guidance of prof Dzmitry Tsetserukou) – feel the ambitious project is a perfect example of Skoltech’s goal to create innovation that positively impacts society. Webot’s school tele-presence project was crowd funded, and receives support and guidance from Russia’s Ministry of Education. Currently, each of the five schools participating in the experiment received one robot. Future plans foresee more robots attending classrooms nationwide.

Text: Ilan Goren

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4th International Conference on Matrix Methods and Applications

Matrices. Image courtesy of Sonja Obdeijn, Flickr, under creative commons license

Matrix. Image courtesy of Sonja Obdeijn, Flickr, under creative commons license (Click to enlarge)

The Skoltech Center for Computational and Data-Intensive Science and Engineering (CDISE) organizes and hosts the 4th International Conference on Matrix Methods and Applications.

Industrial partner: Huawei.

When: August 24 – 29

Where: Skoltech, Technopark building 3

For more info and registration: matrix.inm.ras.ru/mmma-2015/

The conference will feature leading researchers from the world and Russia, as well as Skoltech’s CDISE team members.

Plenary Sessions and Topics

  • Matrices and Algebra
  • Matrices and Algorithms
  • Matrices and Applications

Invited speakers include:

Christoph Schwab (ETH Zurich)

Pierre-Antoine Absil (UCLouivan)

Andrzej Cichocki (RIKEN Lab)

Peter Benner (Univ. Magdeburg)

Victor Pan (CUNY)

Jacob White (MIT)

Denis Zorin (NYU Courant)

Nicola Mastronardi (Istituto per le Applicazioni del Calcolo, CNR)

Paul Van Dooren (UCLouivan)

Bart Vandreycken (Uni. Geneva)

André Uschmajew (Uni. Bonn)

 

 Main topics include different areas in linear algebra and its applications:

  • Application challenges
  • Asymptotic matrix analysis
  • Domain decomposition methods
  • Combinatorial matrix theory
  • Computational methods for images, signals and data analysis
  • Fast algorithms for structured matrices
  • Fast matrix solvers and applications
  • Frobenius endomorphisms of matrices
  • Functions of matrices, rational approximation
  • Linear algebra in coding and cryptography
  • Matrices and polynomials
  • Matrices over rings
  • Metric problems for matrices
  • Multigrid and multilevel methods
  • Model reduction problems
  • Nonlinear approximations and compressed sensing
  • Nonnegative matrices and their generalizations
  • Numerical range and numerical radius
  • Preconditioning
  • Rank structured matrices
  • Separation of variables and applications
  • Special types of matrices (projections, involutions, etc.)
  • Tensor decompositions and tensor approximations
  • Tropical linear algebra
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