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Delta State University Invites PSU Patrons for Conference on Blues

On 1-2 October, 2021, Delta State University (DSU, Cleveland, Mississippi, USA) invites Perm State University (PSU, Perm, Russia) to take part in the 8th Annual International Conference on the Blues (ICOB).

The event aims to celebrate the blues art form through scholarly activity, discourse and music, online. In 2021, the Conference is available through the award-winning event and conference platform, Whova. The program starts on Friday 1 October at 7pm local Perm time (5pm Moscow time and 12 noon UTC). Free registration on behalf of PSU is available polsvetlana@yandex.ru (see the link below).

The conference’s “Spirit of the Blues” theme explores connections among blues, gospel, and spirituals as interrelated African American music traditions in the Mississippi Delta and beyond. The Spirit of the Blues initiative is supported by a grant, awarded by the National Park Service’s Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative to Delta State’s Delta Center for Culture and Learning

Blues is known as a music genre growing in the Deep South of the US around the 1860s having its roots in African-American folk tradition and spirituals. The primary blues form is famous for its call-and-response pattern, ‘worried notes’ and confession mood. In the 20th century, blues gave birth to a vast variety of genres, including jazz and rock music, and even influenced rap and heavy metal.

The Conference will start with performances connecting the Black gospel tradition to the blues. The afternoon will feature academic presentations, exploring the music of the African diaspora; Black musical traditions and influences on American music and culture; the influence of blues, gospel, spirituals, and soul music; Black music as protest and social commentary; and Black artists and the music industry.

All academic presentations will be recorded and available for on-demand access.

“While live music is best, a positive of the virtual platform is that any registrant will be able to watch the performances, presentations, papers, and keynote addresses in real time and again as many times as they wish through Oct. 31, 2021,”

said conference co-chair Don Allan Mitchell, associate professor of English at Delta State.

Featured performances and presenters of the Conference include: Grammy-nominated Jontavious Willis; the Coahoma Community College Gospel Choir; Rev. Dr. Dwight Andrews, professor of music theory and African American music at Emory University and senior minister of First Congregational Church in Atlanta; Annette Hollowell, attorney, social activist and producer of traditional Black music for live music venues, and many more honorable guests and participants.

Perm State University thanks Delta State University for a kind and friendly offer to join! Online registration is now open to general public at www.deltastate.edu/blues To register on behalf Perm State University for free, please, write to Ms. Svetlana Polyakova, teaching professor at the Faculty of Modern Languages and Literature at polsvetlana@yandex.ru.

Delta State University has been a partner of Perm State University since 2013. In 2014, three professors at PSU – Dr. Nina Bochkareva, Prof. Elena Gritsenko, Prof. Svetlana Polyakova took place in the 2nd Annual International Conference on the Blues, for the first time, in person. PSU teaching staff actively involves music and arts into teaching process, hence the partnership.

Useful Links:

To learn more about the International Conference on the Blues, view past conferences or register for this year’s event, visit www.deltastate.edu/blues.

For questions, please address the Conference organizing Committee at blues@deltastate.edu

To register on behalf of Perm State University, please, write to: polsvetlana@yandex.ru

Please, read the full press-release here.

Pictures’ Source: Delta State University and Shutterstock.com

Perm Krai to Support Russian-German Projects

The Department of International Relations at Perm State University (PSU) reminds of a Russian-German youth exchange opportunity. Applications are due to 15 October, 2021.

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Perm krai (Perm territory) has announced the annual program for Russian-German youth, schools and professional exchange.

Applications are accepted from those organizations who have partners in the Federal Republic of Germany and have such an exchange project for 2022.

Applications for the Exchange Program ‘2022 may be submitted until 15 October (6pm Moscow time, 3pm UTC). Please, see the link for applications and official info letter below this post.

Persons responsible for coordinating the program:

The exchange program is implemented annually in accordance with the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany in youth cooperation, dated 21 December, 2004.

Info Letter by Ministry of Education and Science of the Perm krai (Perm territory)

Application Form

Combat Robots: the Future Unstoppable?

The fast progress of hi-tech and introduction of robots into society is no longer a wonder. Will peaceful technologies turn against us? Shall war conflicts result in less victims? How will combat robots affect the future of humanity?

The Science and Life of Israel has published an article “Combat Robots of the Terrestrial Civilization”, co-authored by an Israeli academician and a Russian professor from Perm State University (PSU).

Based on the analysis of various Internet sources, the most ambitious projects for the use of combat robots by USA, China, Israel, Russia and some European countries are described. The researchers then propose a methodology for calculating the attention to combat robotics by different states. The article ends up with assumptions about the influence of combat robots on the future mankind.

The article has been published by O. L. Figovsky, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Academician of EAS, RIA and RAASN, President of the Association of Israel Inventors, Head of the Department of Science, Technology and Education of the Alliance of the Nations of the World (Israel), and  O.G. Pensky – Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, Perm State University (Russia).

In researchers’ view, the list of open information on combat robots by leading military states manifests the amount of money spent on such publications, resulting in media competition and demonstration of soft power, as well – acquiring to strategic defense tasks.

Not only do we call robots those automatic devices who partially or completely replace humans in their ‘usual’ habitat, but also aerial and aquatic environment (think aircraft drones or underwater vessels) – naturally reducing the amount of human victims within a wider range of war conflicts.

Most modern combat robots, being a means of communication, require operators’ presence. Consequently, the progress in robotics, be it peaceful or military machines, is impossible without upgrade of human intelligence – like programming, collecting and interpreting data, performing tactical tasks, and carrying the responsibility for the decision, overall.

In 2015, the Pentagon unveiled its vision of future military conflicts. According to that survey, as modern cities tend to grow rapidly, so that in the next couple of decades, most of the world’s population will live in urban areas. This means that military conflicts will likely escalate within cities, with potential threat coming from all sides. Robots will play a prominent role in such conflicts; their introduction is believed to avoid losses of human personnel.

Regardless the advantages of hi-tech, the dependence of machinery on electric power significantly limits such use. ‘Old school’ robots usually use batteries, while modern ones are ‘fed’ on solar energy or chemical compounds, naturally extracted. According to military developers, biohybrid robots will come to replace the mechanical ones through growing organic muscle tissue in the labs.

“Electrical impulses or chemical action may act as sources of power. The main advantage of artificial muscles and tendons is their flexibility, as they can bend, stretch and lengthen, the researchers state. – A perfect example is animals covering the rough terrain, overcoming unexpected obstacles, reacting to them almost instantly. A tracked or wheeled robot does not have such capabilities. “

The first examples of integrating muscle and hardware are e-glasses for service dogs to command them remotely. A visual indicator projected in through the lens will show the dogs where they need to go. The dog instructor will detect objects on the animal track, using the built-in camera. In March 2021, the US Army signed a ten-year contract with Microsoft for $ 21.88 billion to supply the IVAS AR headset for training instructors and animals.

The Russian Defense Ministry also intends to expand the range of robotic systems – presumably, heavy robots for mine clearance, radiation and chemical reconnaissance, including on – and underwater robots.  Along with the US and China, Russia will attempt to navigate strategic drones using space communications. Germany, France and Spain intend to jointly develop a Future Combat Air System, including unmanned aerial vehicles launched from aircraft. The Israel Defense Forces are already using artificial intelligence and supercomputers to combat the Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip – like combat robot patrols, equipped with a routing system and satellite GPS, remotely controlled.

“A revolution is taking place in military technology of today, the third one after the invention of gunpowder and nuclear weapons,” the researchers admit. A major breakthrough in military robotics is expected between 2030 and 2040, starting a new arms race between the United States, China and Russia, also to mention Israel who has been actively using robots during the recent conflict in the Gaza strip.

The above descriptions of the combat robots by leading world powers still lead us to a conclusion that the military robotization is aimed at solving strategic defense tasks, primarily. The exception is Israel, where combat robots are created to solve tactical war tasks, making it the leading country in creation of tactical robot technology, so far.

Taking into consideration the nuclear threat, the researchers recall the words of Isaac Asimov, a famous sci-fi novelist and futurologist, stating that history has reached a point where humanity can no longer afford mutual hostility. Yes, we can not make all humans love each other, yet eliminating hatred is an attainable task.

News source – “Combat Robots of the Terrestrial Civilization”.

Photo by: Sergei Konkov/TASS/Scanpix (source).

PSU Scientists to Present Innovative Developments to Chinese Experts

Researchers from Perm State University will present their innovations and collaboration ideas to the academic and business community in China. The VI Roundtable, titled “Russian-Chinese scientific and technical cooperation in the development and implementation of high technologies” will be held online on Wednesday, 7 July.

The Roundtable will also discuss the issues of training qualified personnel for high-tech and innovative industries.

“Projects related to the agro-industrial complex, oil industry, trade, education, public administration, finance, information technology services and the entertainment industry, will likely be discussed”

comments Natalya Dobrynina, head of the Department of International Academic Cooperation, PSU.

Those interested in participation may fill in the application due to 23 June, as well as send inquiries and suggestions to fwlperm@gmail.com.  The Roundtable is organized by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation in conjunction with the Ministry of Science of China.

PSU to Launch a New Masters Program, Uniting Partners from Europe and Asia

Perm State University team has joined a consortium of scholars from Russia and abroad – discussing the new ARTEST project, aiming at implementation of digital methods of research and teaching within humanities. The partner universities from Russia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Mongolia shared their positive experience in the field, as well as discussed possible tasks to perform.

In 2020, the ARTEST project became a grant winner of the EU international program Erasmus+. The main goal of the project is to rethink education in art and heritage and humanities in Russia and Mongolia, incorporating European standards and research practices in the field. The ARTEST program intends to create a new master’s program, run by the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, PSU.

“Our first meeting has demonstrated the willingness of partners to start the project. Albeit online, we managed to get to know the project teams and learn about their activities in digital humanities – serving a basis for creating an interdisciplinary master’s program. We are glad to start the project with such a positive “go” signal,”

says Natalya Dobrynina, Head of Department of Network Programs and Educational Projects, PSU.

PSU will serve the goal of re-translating its experience in to Asian partners from Tuva and Mongolia, while being a recipient of the knowledge the University learnt from European partners. Faculty of History and Political Science, Faculty of Philology, and the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, PSU will also take part. The consortium is coordinated by the University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln, Germany).

Israeli Scholar Offers a Brand New Course for PSU

What is innovation? What skills should an engineer in innovations possess? Dr. Klimenty Levkov, Tel Aviv University (Israel) delivered a series of online lectures on innovative engineering for graduate students of the Department of Information Technology, PSU. This is one of the first courses of the kind, taught in Russia.

While studying the course, students were introduced into technical systems’ life cycle, and the innovative stage, in particular. They also acquired new competencies required from an innovative engineer to successfully perform his/her duties.

“Here, Doctor Levkov has stated the basic principles of creating innovative projects – aimed not only at young innovators, but also members of various competition juries, evaluating innovative projects. So, we hope that cooperation between the departments of Tel Aviv University and Perm State University will grow further,”

says Professor Oleg Pensky, Department of Information Technologies, PSU.

At his lectures, Dr. Klimenty Levkov spoke about the basic principles of innovative engineering, the process of training and self-preparation, as well as discussed the structural and functional synthesis of specific devices. He also considered the basic principles, the theory of inventive tasks has do deal with.

“The course content has been completely new to me. There is recently a lot of talk about innovations, yet, for the first time I learned about the whole science behind it, incorporating dialectics and its laws, among many,”

comments Anzhelika Rudakova, graduate student, Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics PSU.

PSU Contributes to International Dictation in German

Perm State University has performed as an open platform for the All-Russian action “Tolles Diktat ‘2021”. Traditionally, the dictation in German marks the International Mother Language Day, celebrated on 21 February. The dictation was conducted by the Department of Linguodidactics, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, PSU.

In 2021, the participants on our site outnumbered 25 people – school children and college students of the 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th grades, coming from those Perm schools our Faculty cooperates with. The quality of students’ works has improved, too; they made fewer mistakes compared to 2020.

“The dictation results testify for modern trends of the language space – the desire of our children to live in a multicultural and multilingual world,”

notes Ekaterina Kupriyanicheva, teacher of the Department of Linguodidactics, Head of the Innovative Pedagogical Resources Office, PSU.

The original dictation texts were read by Katrin Köpke, Associate Professor at the Department of Linguodidactics, a native speaker from Germany. So, the participants had a unique opportunity to hear the live German speech.

“This year, I was especially pleased to see new participants studying German as the second foreign language – besides those, who had chosen it as a primary one. This speaks of the interest of modern youth in learning several foreign languages. That for sure opens new horizons and expands boundaries of their opportunities,”

comments Katrin Köpke.

The all-Russian “Tolles Diktat ’2021” is held by the Association of Public Associations “International Union of German Culture” (Internationaler Verband der deutschen Kultur) , the Regional State Autonomous Institution of Culture “Tomsk Regional Russian-German House” and the “Deutsch Online” German Language School, with the support of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation and the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs of the Russian Federation (Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs). The event had been initiated by the Tomsk Regional Russian-German House, the “Tolles Diktat” held annually since 2013.

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