Distance learning is becoming an integral part of our professional life. Today we had the first day of defences of the master students at the Artificial Intelligence Department. Our students studied under the educational and scientific program “Artificial Intelligence Systems” (speciality 122 – Computer Science).
It was interesting, and first of all, for the students themselves. The defences happened online! The main challenge was to meet the allotted time and report the basics of student’s work. Perhaps this was not so easy, while the reaction of the board members to the report is not immediately visible. But, such a remote mode of students defence did not bother them at all, needed to mention. They very confidently defended themselves and answered questions from the examination board. Perhaps because students have defended their Master’s thesis for today are the best of the best, real stars. Or probably because all of them already successfully work in IT companies and have experience in work and communication online.
The topics of Master’s thesis were contemporary and exciting, dedicated to deep neural networks and their application in practical problems of clustering, classification, image recognition, research of ranking methods to improve the results of search engines, thematic modelling of a corpus of natural language texts.
We congratulate our Masters with excellent defence results and wish them further creative success and professional growth!
Despite the quarantine, teachers of the AI Department continue to engage in the scientific work and participates’ in conferences. On May 14-15, 2020, our teachers and students tooks’ part in the 9th International Scientific Conference “Mjdern problems of mathematical modeling, forecasting and optimization”, which was taking place in the Kamianets-Podilskyi. The second one was took place on May 15-16, 2020, in Zaporizhia and Kropyvnytskyi.
The new day on quarantine started with the routine: reading the mail, watching the news, studying the next chapter of the “Creating and sustaining value” module. Than for changing the scene, I started completely fresh movie series ‘Hollywood’ 2020. Well, it was a straightforward genre and battered plot, but suddenly it has a profound message and great actors’ play. But in parallel, I’ve been reading the article which became the subject of my today note.
I don’t believe any evangelists. I think all of them are an upstart, at least most of all. They cling to a popular idea and with their mediocre acting and charismatic ability to hold the audience in impatient wait for a miracle just to spin up the view! The article has the exact title “Cure Impostor Syndrome with Functional Programming” by Loïc TRUCHOT.
The author is a practising programmer with 10-year experience and the position of the senior. He recently started to teach and write the articles for Medium.com.
It is the practitioner-programmer’s confession in all possible deadly sins of modern programming. It evokes sympathy and attracts attention: “Who, after a degree and ten years of practice in a field, can feel like an impostor; an eternal newbie? Programmers, of course.”
We are teachers and do the creatures of imposters, upstarts, eternal newbie? We teach all that crap: “DDD, design patterns, API, microservices, TDD, linters + prettiers, comments, GitFlow, best frameworks and libraries, Docker, CI/CD and DevOps, KISS, Redux, ReactiveX, Agile management, task runners and transpilers, pair programming and reviews, etc.”
YES! That is all the spaghetti code in mind of the future programmers! We program the students with the idea to make mistakes and then struggle to overcome them! “It’s bug oriented programming.”
When I came to the second part of the article I’ve been convinced it is the gospel! It can not be anything else! Just listen to this:
“Stop filling the endless void with more code.”
“Stop combining unreliable tools without knowing the basics.”
“Stop developing new data structures without expressing the potential of existing ones.”
“Stop being an impostor.”
“Have you heard about functional programming?”
Unbelievable! Behold, and be happy! And there is the preaching the righteous path.
I still am in doubt and looking for the path. I am at the beginning of it. Anyway, the articles like this one give a hope our students will take the advice: “I still have everything to learn from math, because I avoided it for all those years. But now, my impostor syndrome begins to vanish.”
I hope you will find 9 minutes for reading the article and reflecting on new arguments!
Distance learning provides new opportunities for students and teachers. This time we gained the experience of presentations and defending student essays online.
Third-year students defended group essays in the module “Systems of intelligent processing of natural-language information.” The idea behind this activity is as follows. Students formed teams of 2-4 people on their own. Since the module is elective, the team may include students from different academic groups. Each team chose a topic for the essay based on their preference. The problem can be selected either from the proposed list or some other relevant to the course subject.
The team member in charge of leadership has a responsibility of representing the work overall. Here is the scenario of team presentations. One team’s member showed up the slides for a public. Every student spoke in turn. The first student makes an introduction, including a history of the theme and the current state of the problem. The next one makes a detailed analysis of the problem and suggests well-known methods for solving it. The last one concludes, speaks about the obstacles that exist in this area of Natural Language Processing and some promising approaches to solving the problem at hand. Thus, everyone feels responsible for the material presented as a whole and for their part.
Postgraduate first-year students defended their essays in the module “Ontological Engineering.” It was an individual task. Each student chose a topic from the list or offered their own. Since almost all of them already work for IT companies, they approached to work professionally and did an excellent job.
Thus, students gained new experience of online defending their work, which will undoubtedly be useful in the formation of their competencies as IT specialists. The ability to represent and uphold the results of research, to seek and analyze new tasks that require a creative approach, new software tools, methods and algorithms is vital. The results showed that students welcome new challenges and are ready to tackle challenging but exciting tasks.
We continue to expand our knowledge and improve distance learning skills. Now we have gained new experience – how to conduct an exam online. Discipline “Methods and Systems of Artificial Intelligence” exam for the ITCSz-17-1 group is passed today. There is the topic “Exam” with the section “Tasks” in the module of this course. Each student has a folder in the section for publishing their answers. The teacher and students met at a video conference at the Google Hangouts Meet at the beginning of the exam. It is an online form of authentification confirmation. On the next stage, students sent a request letter to the teacher from their address at @nure.ua domain, in response, they received a pdf file with the personalised exams tasks. On the next two hours, students had to write answers on questions from their exams cards. Each student had to shot their written response, to create a pdf file and to send it to the course page, placing it under the “Exam” task section, into the folder with their last name. Next two hours, the teacher was checking and marking received answers. Then everybody gathered again for a videoconference, where teacher voiced her assessment in mark points for each student. The grade depended not only on how well the answer was provided but also on the students’ work through the semester and the labs’ tasks results. As a rule, part-time students work very hard and practically they have not enough time for studying. However, they are distinguished by their motivation, purposefulness and maturity of thinking, tend to learn new knowledge, often learn late in the night. Interestingly, in the context of a strict deadline for the delivery of labs’ reports, many students sent their assignments late at night, as they sought to increase the rating score even before the exam. The exam showed that our part-time students were well done. Although the results are different, they, like us, have gained new experience in working for the result under conditions of severe time constraints for online learning. I would also like to note the explicit and well-thought-out work of the Scientific and Training Centre for Part-Time Education (STCPTE). They sent an electronic examination sheet and instructions for filling it out. It was appreciated.
We wish our students, teachers and staff good health and tremendous success! P.S. Replica of the examiner: this exam was a real challenge for the teacher. Ten minutes before the exam begins, at 9:20, I lost the Internet connection. I tried everything. Nothing helped, then I called the provider, “Triolan.” The operator replied: “Repair work is being carried out at your address, the expected completion is 12-00.” I answered: “Gosh, My online-exam breaks down!!!”. The Internet worked again in five minutes. Such surprises happen in distance learning.
Everyone has already mastered teaching and studying online. But now we have a new challenge – how to do an undergraduate practice online!
We created the module “Undergraduate practice at the AI department” on the MOODLE platform (dl.nure.ua). For each of three teachers, the practice supervisors, we made a separate Consulting Point with access to video conferences via Google Hangouts Meet, where the teacher are presented every day according to the schedule attached to the module for counseling students.
We assigned the own group for each teacher. In addition, students need to be self-registered in the attendance section every day.Interestingly, the meeting was scheduled for 9-30 on the first day the practice. Almost all students attended! We exchanged impressions about distance learning, discussed what and how students will do in practice, requirements for reports and future diplomas, set a date for the next
In the context of a nationwide quarantine, the educational process at the Department of AI continues remotely. Teachers of the department use various platforms and tools for distance learning. The classes are continuing using the Moodle course management system, Google Classroom, Hangouts Meet … During the quarantine, the department created more than 40 distance learning courses. Wishing to all of us health and success in teachers’ hard work!
On March the 4th, French-Ukrainian students virtual programme “European Virtual Venture” for the academic year 2019-2020 successfully started. Well-prepared and highly motivated students of AI Department are traditionally selected to represent Kharkiv National University of Radioelectronics in the programme. From the French side it is the Higher School of Engineering (ECAM-EPMI Graduate School of Engineering) from Cergy that take part in the programme.
A course of the joint trainings on business development (ICT startups creation) for Ukrainian and French students are held in the virtual environment by means of video conferencing and e-learning management. For two months the students will develop business plans and learn how to launch international startups based on innovative ideas in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Industry 4.0, etc. A team of French and Ukrainian academic and industrial experts will guide them through the process.
The first video-session was brightened by the participation of Dr. Mariia Gavriushenko from Finnish University of Jyväskylä, a successful project manager, who paid a visit to her first alma-mater. As a NURE student Mariia was once also a member of the EVV programme and can witness its positive influence on the students` professional and personal development. Mariia made a brief presentation about her EVV experience, study and life in Finland and wished everyone to succeed in the project development.
Mariia Gavriushenko graduated from the AI Department of NURE in 2011, won the competitive selection for admission to the master programme of University of Jyväskylä, then continued her studies as a PhD student, in 2017 successfully defended her PhD-thesis under the supervision of Dr. Olexii Khrienko. Now she works as a project manager and a researcher in the COLD-project in the field of AI in University of Jyväskylä.
How to have admission on Master’s Degree Program in Germany? A graduate of AI Department, and now, undergraduate student of Technical University of Munich, shares her experience
It is always pleasant when our graduates come to visit AI department, tell us about newest IT technologies, where and how they work or continue their studies at the magistracy at European universities. This time one of our best former students, Anya Makarevich, came to us (in almost all subjects she had the highest mark “A” − 100 points). After graduating from the bachelor’s program, Anya submitted documents for admission to the magistracy to several European universities and everywhere passed a competitive selection. However, she chose the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and get admission to master’s program “Data Engineering & Analytics”. TUM is one of the most prestigious universities in Germany. Studying there is free, in addition, Anya received a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship by submitting all the necessary documents and successfully passing an interview with German professors.
Anya told our students in detail about her experience in submitting documents to the TUM University Master’s program, about what pitfalls can be encountered in the process of preparing and submitting documents, how it is possible and realistic to receive a DAAD scholarship. And, of course, everyone was interested to listen about how the educational process is organized in the master’s program in Germany, what disciplines are studied in the framework of the master’s program, how practical classes are held, where and how students live. Anya willingly answered all the questions and said that she really wants to help our students in submitting documents for study at the master’s program of German universities. The meeting was productive and interesting, in informal setting. In parting, Anya received a branded T-shirt NURE as a gift.