Why Study Programming and Nano-Tech in Russia?

The doors to new friends, research collaborations, hi-tech and job opportunities: where to start with? Ever thought of studying neural networks, nanotechnology and programming? Why not try PSU?

According to the average software developer salary in Russia is RUB 1,294,904 ($17,500) per year. In the global scale, the knowledge of programming plus competencies in nano-tech and neuroscience increases this figure several times, hence the demand for education in that field. Which is quite affordable here in central Russia, as well.

Recently, the students of the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, PSU won prizes at the RuCode 4.0I international educational festival. Festival participants Vasily Chelpanov, Nikita Ponkin and Vladislav Smirnov won the artificial intelligence competitions.

The RuCode 4.0 IV All-Russian Educational Festival Finals in artificial intelligence and algorithmic programming were held on 20-21 November. In total, 5540 people from 82 regions of Russia and 39 countries took part. The Perm krai has entered Top 5 five active participants, taking the 4th place in terms of the number of Festival participants – 118 people.

PSU contestants took first and third places in the track by the School of Deep Learning at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and second in the track from Research Data Infrastructure, as well as prizes in the algorithmic programming championship.

“The championship allowed us to test our knowledge and skills in the field of machine learning. In one of the tasks, we had to experiment with architecture of neural networks, stepping in some kind of research. It was fun to see the solutions of the top participants on all tracks, and learn something new,”

says Nikita Ponkin, student of the Applied Mathematics and Computer Science Module, PSU.

The RuCode Festival is known as an international intensive training for young programmers who want to improve their knowledge and gain experience through competitions. The IT Network University and Perm State University assisted to the event in the Perm territory.

Picture source and more info on programming in Russia.

PSU Scholars Explore Nano-Links of Human Brain Cells

The research allows to detect the conditions under which Alzheimer’s disease and other related illnesses appear. Russian News Agency TASS, one of the largest news agencies worldwide, reports on the research which involves Perm State University scholars:

Russian scientists have described a mechanism that controls the ability of the human brain to change. This will help to better understand the conditions in which brain function is impaired – for example, in Alzheimer’s disease. The research results have been published in the Science Advances scientific journal, as Perm State University press service reports.

The researchers have identified the functional nano-architecture of synapses, which enable contacts between nerve cells. The article describes the structure of molecular mechanisms controlling the ability of brain to change along one’s life. The scientists determine the important role of calcium ions accumulated in ‘nano-tanks’, typical of every synapse, contributing to nerve cells’ operation.

When the synapse is triggered, the ‘nano-tanks’ is emptied, and then filled up again. The details of such  mechanism have remained previously unknown. The studies show that the ‘tank’ is strictly oriented in space and retains a kind of a memory vector.

“Alzheimer’s disease is known for the loss of synaptic contacts. For the first time ever, our article describes the molecular mechanism by which the ‘nano-tank’ can be filled without the synapses being involved. We assume that learning to control this mechanism can alleviate the symptoms of the disease and preserve memory,”

says Dr. Eduard Korkotyan, co-author, professor at Perm State University and Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel).

Learning to control this process, we reduce the consequences of many diseases associated with brain damage.

“It has been found that nanostructures within thousands of spines, located on the surface of each neuron, are capable of precisely directing calcium gradients that create rapid transients. This happens in milliseconds and less than ten thousandths of a millimeter in space. To explain such processes, we had to apply newly the theory known as statistics of extreme events “,

notes Professor Eduard Korkotyan.

In addition to Professor Eduard Korkotian and graduate student Lilia Kushnireva, the group of researchers, included Kanishka Basnayake (École normale supérieure,, France), David Mazaud (Institut Curie, France), Alexis Bemelmans (CEA Université Pierre et Marie Curie,  France), Natalie Ruach (Collège de France, France) and David Holkman (École normale supérieure, France).

Please, see the article here.

The picture shows calcium (yellow), which is transported from the synapse to the nano-tank (green) thanks to ion pumps (red). Then it moves along the arrows and stands out from the opposite side of the tank through the pore systems (blue). The whole process takes less than 1 millisecond. The tank is about 200 nanometers in size.

PSU Scientists Analyze Basalt Reserves in Belarus

As part of a group of Permian scientists, PSU geologists examined a deposit of basalts found in the Pinsk region (Belarus), regarding its capacity for production of cast glass-crystalline materials. The total reserves of basalt and tuff are estimated at 164.1 million tons.

“Basalt is known as one of the main ‘building components’ of the earth’s crust. Since 5/6 of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans, it is mostly the oceanic type we are talking about. With a thickness of 5-15 km (3-9 mi), it is mainly represented by basalts. The challenges of basalt technologies have been the subject of our University scientific research for more than 10 years,”

states Dr. Vladimir Naumov, Department of Prospecting and Exploration of Mineral Resources, PSU.

The laboratory and technological samples were sent to the Natural Science Institute at Perm State University, where a complex of analytical and experimental studies have been carried, determining the composition and mineral structure of the initial substance, as well as change of its properties under the high temperatures, within melting,. Using a micro-analyzer, information on samples’ chemical composition was obtained.

“Using the potential of a specially accredited lab here at PSU, enforced by professional equipment and experts involved, recommendations were developed for methods and parameters of rock processing to obtain cast glass-crystalline materials. The scientific report showed the charge compositions with various technological additives; it served a demonstration of specialized melting equipment and principles of its operation, and also commented on physicochemical properties of the materials obtained,”

says Dr. Vladimir Naumov.

The scientists presented a technological scheme for obtaining cast glass-crystalline and welding materials, as well as information on types of products and areas of their application. Also, the analysis of market demand and final products’ application have been performed, with regard to stone casting methods, on industrial scale.

The study involved the cooperation of several research teams, as a ‘test-drive’ consortium of Perm Scientific and Educational Center “Basalt Technologies” – uniting the research Laboratory of Sedimentary and Technogenic Deposits, the Laboratory of Mineralogical and Petrographic Studies at the Natural Science Institute (PSU), the Division of Nano-Mineralogy (PSU), as well as specialists from the Perm National Research Polytechnic University and the Helium Research and Production Company.

On photo: photomicrographs of obtained cast glass-crystalline materials’ surface

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