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Known Robot-Builders Offer Student Internships

Imagine a situation when it is a robot doctor, who helps in a hospital or public place with assistance and navigation – greeting visitors, providing first health diagnostics, reducing coronavirus’ spread and other safety risks. Fantasy? Well, a reality, already. Besides doctor’s task, having offered such a service, the team needs to perform programming, address different audiences and language groups, as well as stay keen in hi-tech. May you take part in that? Find out more for yourself!

The Department of Linguistics and Translation, PSU, in cooperation with the Promobot are inviting students for a multilingual project to adapt robot interaction scenarios for foreigners. For students of Perm State University, this will be an officially approved internship. Invited are students with a passion for new technologies and language analysis, open- and nimble-minded.  The activity will be run in four language directions – English, German, French and Spanish. This is a long-term project, starting in December, 2021 and continuing throughout the winter and spring, 2022.

Founded in 2013 by Perm-based graduate students, the Promobot today claims to be the largest manufacturer of autonomous service robots in Russia and Europe – conducting research and production in mechatronics, electronics, artificial intelligence and neural networks, autonomous navigation, speech recognition, artificial skin and muscles, as well as human-machine interaction.

The company offers several products in a shape of a robot – an info desk manager, a promoter, a receptionist, a tour guide, an administrator, a scanner, and many more – providing connection to external systems and services. The geography of Promobot has recently expanded to 40 countries, including Armenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Oman, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, USA and UK.

The Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages and Literature at PSU traditionally acts as a link between young translators/interpreters and city enterprises, government institutions, social and cultural initiatives looking for international cooperation. “Not does internship in translation help students to master their profession, but also connects them with a variety of experts, allowing them to sharpen skills and see prospects for future research,” emphasizes Natalya Khorosheva, Head of the Department of Linguistics and Translation, PSU. “In turn, we feel our students are in demand at the city’s venues, contributing to international cultural agenda.”

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PSU Linguist Announced Professor of the Year, Nationally

Dr. Svetlana Mishlanova, teaching professor and head of the Department of Linguodidactics, Perm State University, has been given the national award Professor of the Year 2021 in Philology.

Dr. Svetlana Mishlanova has spent more than two decades of educational, research and teaching activity at PSU and beyond. Her research interests include cognitive linguistics, terminology and modeling of terminological systems, discourse analysis, intercultural communication and computational linguodidactics. Her number of publications exceeds 120, plus a dozen monographs and teaching and research manuals.

Dr. Svetlana Mishlanova has been contributing to collaborations with known national and international scholars, including those from Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Romania, UK and USA, and more. Her partnership ties involve Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Lüneburg, Germany), National Communication Association (Chicago, USA), European Symposium on Languages for Special Purposes (Vaasa, Finland, 2001; Hamburg, Germany, 2007; Aarhus, Denmark, 2009); the project “Cognitive Modeling in Linguistics” (Sofia, Bulgaria, 2007; Constanta, Romania, 2009; Dubrovnik, Croatia, 2010), plus constant contribution to twinning relations with Louisville (USA) and Oxford (UK).

The Professor of the Year award celebrates notable scholars showing results in education and science. The recent nomination has taken place at the national Professors Forum ‘2021, contributing to the Year of Science and Technology in Russia. The Forum titled “21st Century: Trends and Prospects” brought together participants from more than 80 Russian universities.

PSU Teacher Resists Tragedy, Shares Her Story

Olga Grafova, Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics and Translation, Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages and Literature, Perm State University, was one of many teaching fellows, who run classes on 20 September, 2021. Olga learned about the shooting from a student who showed up late – the girl heard shots, on her way. Students started getting calls from friends around the campus.

Immediately after that, Olga and her students blocked the door and started considering the situation.

“We did feel uneasy all the time, – confesses Olga. – After we got ourselves barricaded, we searched for extra means of protection. In our case, we had a heavy metal laptop, one of the students had a pepper ‘mace’ spray. We put it by the door, so it calmed us down a bit. We spread around and sat our backs to the walls, yet we felt united, talked, and shared the news. “

For two hours, before the evacuation, Olga cheered each student with a word and hugs, maintaining a comfortable positive atmosphere in the classroom.

“Due to the fact that we stayed all together and kept talking, we felt some kind of complicity, being as one, which was helpful,” recollects Olga Grafova. – The Dean’s Office was also in constant touch: we received supporting calls from them, and reliable information.”

Olga Grafova and her students still keep in touch: “In circumstances like this, you tend to appreciate good people around and their support you,” Olga admits.

“Joining our Faculty, freshmen find themselves in a ‘family-close’ atmosphere, as we share most in common and know each other well, and so ready to help. For a student, this also means responsibility, as he or she won’t be lost in a study process. For us, in turn, it is important to deal with everyone in person, not just like an ‘audience’,” – points out Natalya Khorosheva, Head of the Department of Linguistics and Translation.

“In that extraordinary case, we as teachers never felt the necessity to continue the lesson, taking into consideration the psychological stress we were all in. Everyone, who happened to be with their students at that moment, with no immediate evacuation, did behave in a decent way – initiating support and dialogue on various matters, while keeping a constant contact with the Dean’s Office and Colleagues.

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