St Petersburg University has been visited by a delegation of Hamad bin Khalifa University (Qatar). It was headed by Adam Al Saadi, Director of Public Relations and Student Affairs. The purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with master’s and doctoral academic programmes of St Petersburg University, taught in English; as well as to establish scientific cooperation.
Anna Porodina, Assistant for General Issues of the Deputy Rector for International Affairs of St Petersburg University, said that, due to its special status, the University has broad academic autonomy. This greatly expands the opportunities for cooperation with higher education institutions of other countries. At present, St Petersburg University implements exchange programmes with more than 300 foreign partner universities. Their geography is quite extensive and covers almost all continents.
international students are annually enrolled at St Petersburg University for academic mobility programmes.
Additionally, about 2,000 students master Russian language programmes. The list of programmes that are taught in English is expanding. Talking about the academic and research potential of St Petersburg University and its history, Anna Porodina emphasised that the University is the cradle of the study of the Arabic language in Russia.
Mr Adam Al Saadi delivered a presentation on Hamad bin Khalifa University for the participants and introduced the meeting attendees to the university’s priority areas of study. They include: computer and engineering sciences; law and general politics; healthcare and biology; Islamic studies (Islamic finance); and humanities and social sciences. The university consists of six colleges and three research institutes that are engaged in finding solutions relevant to Qatar and other countries of the world. For example, one of these institutes is studying environmental issues and alternative electricity, while another one is investigating computer technology and artificial intelligence. According to the guest, about 82% of graduates find jobs in high-profile Qatari and international organisations or continue their studies at respected universities in the USA and Europe. He also added that cooperation with foreign partners is of vital importance for the university and suggested specifying promising areas of research and academic cooperation.
Irina Novikova, Dean of the School of International Relations of St Petersburg University, told the Qatari delegation about the potential of the research and academic division and noted that it represents the University in the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs. It unites all the top-ranked schools of world diplomacy. Applicants who wish to study international relations at St Petersburg University can choose from 15 master's programmes. Two of them – ‘International Relations’ and ‘Strategic and Arms Control Studies’ - are taught entirely in English. A few years ago, there appeared a module on the Middle East as part of a bachelor’s programme. So, students study the Arabic language, the history of Middle Eastern countries and modern international relations in this region. Irina Novikova said that a great number of international students from different countries study at St Petersburg University. Consequently, it is interested in cooperation with Hamad bin Khalif University, in particular, in the field of Islamic studies and social sciences. Also, of great interest are: modern international relations in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf; and the challenges of non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
Oleg Redkin, Professor of St Petersburg University, is a representative of the University oriental division. He proposed cooperation in translation from Russian into Arabic and interdisciplinary studies on politics, economics, and intercultural communication. He said that this year the first graduates of the new academic programme ‘Islamic Studies’ finished their studies. After completing the course, they received senior appointments from the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Russian Federation.
At the end of the meeting, the parties agreed to exchange information, as well as discuss the possibility of organising a conference on one of the areas of mutual research interest.
St Petersburg University and Gazprom Neft have developed a unique digital platform for forecasting asset development
Specialists from St Petersburg University and the Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre have created a unique IT system ‘ERA: ProActive’ for the integrated data analysis of hydrocarbon reserves. Cognitive algorithms built into the programme facilitate timely evaluation of proven reserves and make it possible to predict the development of existing and new assets, with myriads of factors taken into account. The programme optimises up to 90% of routine operations when analysing reserves.
The data on the Gazprom Neft resource base include the results of thousands of explorations since 1981. This is information on: reserve volumes; geological features of assets; and physical and chemical properties of oil and gas. Assessing that amount of data for tackling ongoing tasks took a large number of working hours.
The Electronic Asset Development (EAD, or ERA) is a development strategy for Gazprom Neft digital projects in the field of exploration and production. It covers all key areas of activity: geological prospecting and exploration; geology; drilling; development; production; and installation of field facilities. There are currently about 40 projects under way that are included in the ERA.
The ERA: ProActive makes it possible to optimise the resource base and put in place its development strategy. The programme includes constantly updated information on the company's assets. The developed algorithms are based on a comprehensive production forecast and the current state of the company’s resource base. They make it possible to develop a balanced approach to replace reserves, and maintain and increase the production of an asset in the long term.
The new tool will help geologists, developers, economists, managers of mining enterprises or government agencies to solve the challenges they face. The developed tool can be adapted to any database, including a nationwide one.
‘The success of any project in software development is based both on the professionalism of its participants, and on an appropriate selection of the development process and tools. Together with the experts from the Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre, we managed to put an effective team together in the shortest possible time and set up the process following a flexible methodology. I would like to note that developing a system without any precedents is innovative and creative work that has become possible thanks to an ongoing open and constructive dialogue with our partners. As a result, we have an advanced IT system that visualises large amounts of data in a user-friendly format,’ said Marat Nemeshev, Assistant Professor at the Department of System Programming, St Petersburg University, and the development team coordinator of the project.
The project was implemented as part of the ERA technology initiative. St Petersburg University acted as a partner in developing software. The programme and the corresponding trademark have been registered by the Federal Service for Intellectual Property.
We are the first in the industry to develop a programme that makes it possible to see the company's full resource base at any time. There simply hasn’t been anything like this before.
Alexei Vashkevich, Head of Technological Development, Gazprom Neft
‘This is a major step forward in reserves management not just for our company, but also for the industry as a whole. Representatives of relevant ministries have already seen our programme. In the future, they will be able to apply these solutions to develop a similar, industry-wide platform. The new IT system will be able to be used as a commercial product that we will offer on the open market,’ said Alexei Vashkevich, head of technological development, Gazprom Neft.
St Petersburg University has been visited by a delegation of Atatürk University (Turkey), led by its rector Professor Ömer Çomakli. During the meeting, the parties entered into an agreement on cooperation. This includes the development of the Centre for Contemporary Turkish Studies at St Petersburg University.
The agreement with Atatürk University, which is located in Erzurum, is the first agreement with a top-rated university in eastern Turkey.
One of the oldest Turkish language schools has been established at St Petersburg University. We are focused on cooperation with Turkish universities. This is demonstrated by the fact that the other day the Centre for Contemporary Turkish Studies was created at St Petersburg University.
Sergey Andryushin, the Deputy Rector for International Affairs of St Petersburg University
Apollinariia Avrutina, director of the Centre for Contemporary Turkish Studies at St Petersburg University, said that one of the main missions of the new division is to develop Russian–Turkish humanitarian academic relations and organise events aimed at promoting Russian and Turkish cultures. It is also expected to develop joint academic interdisciplinary projects within the bilateral cooperation.
Atatürk University is one of the oldest higher educational institutions in Turkey. It has 450,000 students, who study full-time and online, and about 10,000 teachers. The following areas of study are well-established at Atatürk University: medicine (it has six medical faculties); agriculture; economics; design; engineering; and social sciences.
An example of the cooperation is that St Petersburg University is ready to provide Atatürk University with methodological assistance to create a testing centre. It will make it possible to receive a certificate confirming the level of Russian proficiency.
Additionally, the agreement between universities provides for: cooperation in the field of joint research; promotion of academic programmes, scientific advice and peer review; and organisation of practical training and internships for students and academic exchanges.
The members of the Turkish delegation thanked the administration of St Petersburg University and personally the University rector Nikolay Kropachev for the warm welcome and invited them to make a return a visit. ‘Atatürk University has signed many cooperation agreements with European higher education institutions, but now we are looking to partner up with more Russian partners. Russia and Turkey are fraternal countries, so I hope that we will have a lot of joint projects in the future,’ said Ömer Çomakli, rector of Atatürk University.
St Petersburg University and Moscow State University are top among Russian universities in overall scientific productivity
The Expert Analytical Centre’s data for the ‘Subject Ranking of Scientific Productivity of Universities – 2019’ shows that Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg University are well ahead in overall scientific productivity among leading Russian universities. Both universities are in the top five in 19 out of the 21 ranking categories. In the other categories they are in the top ten.
The annual ranking by the Expert Analytical Centre ‘Subject Ranking of Scientific Productivity of Universities’ assesses universities in different subject areas based on indicators of publication activity. This makes this ranking similar to scientometric rankings such as the CWTS Leiden Ranking Leiden and NTU Ranking released by National Taiwan University. The main indicators include: h-indices; the number of citations per publication; and the quality of journals in which university scientific papers are published. They evaluate the three balanced parameters of university scientific productivity. These are: the extent and sustainability of scientific activity; the demand for scientific activity; and growth degree.
In 2019, the ranking has been compiled for 21 subject areas (nominations): ‘Biochemistry’; ‘Humanities’; ‘Engineering’; ‘Artificial Intelligence’; ‘Computer Science’; ‘Mathematics’; ‘Medicine’; ‘Management’; ‘Metallurgy’; ‘Life Sciences’; ‘Earth Sciences’; ‘Materials Science’; ‘General Ecology’; ‘Social Sciences’; ‘Physics’; ‘Chemical Technologies’; ‘Chemistry’; ‘Ecology in Earth Sciences’; ‘Managerial Economics’; ‘Economics’; and ‘Energy Engineering’. The ranking lists represent only the universities whose number of publications makes it possible to evaluate scientific productivity with sufficient reliability. A total of 127 universities are listed in the tables, but most of them are represented in a limited number of subject areas.
Among the universities that are regarded as classical, which means they conduct academic and research activities in a wide range of scientific areas, are: Moscow State University; St Petersburg University; Kazan (Volga region) Federal University; and Ural Federal University. They are represented in 21 scientific fields. Tomsk State University, Novosibirsk State University and Southern Federal Universities are represented in 20 scientific fields. Among the universities that have slightly fewer nominations are: Far Eastern Federal University (17); Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (17); and Siberian Federal University (16).
At the same time, it is obvious that the borderline between classical and specialised (engineering-technical and socio-economic) universities is gradually blurring. Thus, Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University is represented in 20 areas of knowledge; Tomsk Polytechnic University in 19, ITMO University in 18; Higher School of Economics - National Research University in 16; and National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute) in 15.
St Petersburg University is represented in 21 subject areas which are ranked in the top seven among all universities. In 19 of them it is in the top five, and in 12 of them it is in the top three.
It should be especially noted that the classical university has been ranked high in new areas of knowledge, which are more likely to be classified as engineering ones rather than classical ones. So, St Petersburg University was ranked sixth in ‘Chemical Technology’; fifth in ‘Engineering’; fourth in ‘Energy Engineering’ and ‘Materials Science’; third in ‘Metallurgy’; and second in ‘Computer Science’.
Such stability indicates the high balance of the University’s scientific strategy and the high productivity of research in all subject areas. Compared with the data of a similar ranking in 2018, St Petersburg University has improved its position in subject areas that include: ‘Sociology’; ‘Earth Sciences’; and ‘Mathematics’. Especially significant is the progress in ‘Engineering’. The University has moved from ninth to fifth position.
The data tabulation of the Expert Analytical Centre ranking for particular subjects makes it possible to estimate with high certainty the overall scientific productivity for the ten top Russian universities using different ranking approaches. Whatever approach is used, Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg University occupy the first two positions. In particular, both universities in 19 out of 21 nominations are in the top five, while in the other categories they are in the top ten. Such stability indicates the high balance of the scientific strategy of universities in various fields.
Scientists from St Petersburg University have patented a software application that predicts a patient’s state after heart surgery
Researchers from St Petersburg University have developed a software application that will evaluate the cognitive state of cardiac surgery patients and improve the efficiency of post-surgical treatment.
The programme was developed by the team which included: Professor Olga Shchelkova, the head of the Department of Medical Psychology and Psychophysiology at St Petersburg State University; Assistant Professor Daria Eremina, the research team manager; and Senior Researcher Associate Ivan Gorbunov.
The scientists said that the way the patient recovers after reconstructive heart surgery is of vital importance for clinical prediction. The intervention should result initially in a reduction of symptoms and an improvement of general state. Secondly, it is expected to lead to a return to normal life. However, doctors say that patients tend not to go to work after rehabilitation despite the absence of medical contraindications. Some of them appear again on the operating table in a year.
This is largely due to psychological factors, and the person’s emotional state and cognitive functioning, which is the process of rational cognition of the world and purposeful interaction with it. It significantly affects a patient’s quality of life and determines compliance – medication adherence and willingness to comply with the doctor’s instructions. ‘This involves not only taking medications, but also: a regimen of physical activity; tobacco and alcohol consumption; maintaining a healthy lifestyle; and dieting,’ explained Daria Eremina, the research team manager.
The development of a software application for predicting the state of a patient’s cognitive sphere after cardiac surgery was carried out as part of two grant projects: a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research; and a grant from the President of the Russian Federation.
While developing the programme, the scientists ran diagnostic tests to monitor the condition of more than a hundred patients at the stage of preparation for surgery – coronary artery bypass surgery. Then they monitored their condition two weeks, three months, six months and a year after successful surgery. The data obtained were mathematically processed. The innovative software application is based on a system of many regression equations that predict certain parameters of cognitive functioning.
To perform calculations, it is necessary to download the pre-surgery results of the clinical and psychological examination and the social characteristics of the patient. The programme itself will build a predicted schedule of changes. It will show the most vulnerable areas of the patient’s cognitive functioning and give a forecast for ‘dangerous’ periods of critical cognitive decline.
The consulting physician, knowing this information, will be able to: timely recommend the patient to take nootropics or other drugs; as well as determine what psychological support the patient may need.
About 150 cardiosurgical patients have become study participants so far. Programme testing is under way at the Federal State Budgetary Institution ‘The Almazov National Medical Research Centre' of the Ministry of Health of Russia. According to Daria Eremina, it can be successfully used in clinical practice in all institutions that perform cardiac surgery.