Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting
St Petersburg University researchers included in the ranking of the best scientists in the world
St Petersburg University researchers are included in the rankings of the best scientists in the world, according to the research portal Research.com. St Petersburg University is the best mathematics university in Russia (Positions of St Petersburg University in the world ranking of the Research.com).
According to Elena Lebedeva, Acting Vice-Rector for Research, the inclusion criteria for scholars to be considered for the ranking of top scientists are based on their h-index, the proportion of publications in international journals, the citation of authors, and the awards and achievements of scientists. The authors of the ranking studied more than 168,000 researchers. The list of the best scientists includes 14 scientists from St Petersburg University. They are scientists in mathematics; physics; medicine; genetics and molecular biology; chemistry; materials science; Earth sciences; electronics; and engineering sciences.
According to Research.com, the total number of all publications of the leading scientists at St Petersburg University that were taken into account in the ranking, is 3,162, with an average value of publications per scientist of 225.86. The total number of citations by the University scientists is 185,967, with an average value of 13,283 citations per scientist (St Petersburg University researchers included in the ranking of the best scientists in the world).
St Petersburg University is a leading university in terms of the number of mathematicians included in the world ranking of the best scientists. Nikolay Kuznetsov, Head of the Department of Applied Cybernetics at St Petersburg University, received the Mathematics in Russia Leader Award, according o Research.com. He is the third among Russian scientists and 313th in the world in the field of mathematics. It is the best result among the St Petersburg University scientists.
Recently, an international scientific group led by Nikolay Kuznetsov proved the existence of hidden points of attraction in an electrical circuit as part of the development of the theory of hidden oscillations. For reference: he has been among the most cited scientists in the world according to the Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers ranking for several years. In 2020, Nikolay Kuznetsov became the youngest external member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. Last year, he was elected a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and received the Medal of the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland", 2nd class.
The list of the best mathematicians also includes St Petersburg University Professor Gennady Leonov, who passed away in 2018. He takes 13th place in Russia and 1059th place in the world. The list also has Mikhail Ioffe, Head of the Department of High Energy Physics and Elementary Particles at St Petersburg University. He takes 24th place among Russian mathematicians and 1949th place in the world ranking.
Among the best scientists in Russia and the world who work at St Petersburg University is Raul Gainetdinov, Director of the Institute of Translational Biomedicine at St Petersburg University. He takes 1st place among Russian Medicine scientists and 5629th place in the world ranking. He is St Petersburg University Professor and has recently received a letter of gratitude from the President of Russian Federation. He is the best Russian Medicine Scientist. Last year, a scientific group, which included the Professor of St Petersburg University, found a new way to partially restore memory in Alzheimer’s disease.
Alla Lapidus, Deputy Director of the Centre for Algorithmic Biotechnology at the Institute of Translational Biomedicine at St Petersburg University, received is the Genetics and Molecular Biology in Russia Leader Award. She takes the 3rd place in Russia and 922nd place in the world. She is the head of the groups of bioinformaticians at the University who have developed an assembler for deciphering the genomes of coronaviruses.
The international ranking of the research portal Research.com also includes:
- Valeri Larionov, Chief Research Associate in the Department of Astrophysics at St Petersburg University, who passed away in 2020; he takes the 6th place in Physics in Russia and 1013th place in the world
- Vadim Kukushkin, Professor in the Department of Physical Organic Chemistry at St Petersburg University; he takes the 6th place in Chemistry in Russia; he also received the Chemistry in Russia Leader Award; he takes 3689th place in the world
- Viktor Sergeev, Professor in the Department of Earth Physics at St Petersburg University; he received the Earth Science in Russia Leader Award; he takes 2nd place in Russia and 858th place in the world
- Vladimir Dubrovskii, Professor in the Department of Solid-State Physics at St Petersburg University, Head of the Laboratory of Physics of Semiconductor Nanostructures at St Petersburg University; he received the Materials Science in Russia Leader Award; he takes 10th place in Russia and 4425th in the world
- Aleksandr Fradkov, Professor in the Department of Theoretical Cybernetics at St Petersburg University; he received the Electronics and Electrical Engineering in Russia Leader Award; he takes 3rd place in Russia and 1983rd place in the world
- Nikolay Kuznetsov, Head of the Department of Applied Cybernetics at St Petersburg University, is the 6th among Electronics and Electrical Engineering in Russia Leaders and 3466th in the world
- Alexey Matveev, Professor in the Department of Theoretical Cybernetics at St Petersburg University; he takes 8th place in Electronics and Electrical Engineering in Russia and 4410th place in the world
- Andrey Legin, Senior Research Associate in the Department of Radiochemistry at St Petersburg University; he takes 38th place in Chemistry in Russia and 10558th place in the world
- Nikolai Tsyganenko, Associate Professor in the Department of Earth Physics at St Petersburg University; he takes 9th place in Earth Sciences in Russia and 3516th place in the world
- Anatoly Zaitsev, Professor in the Department of Mineralogy at St Petersburg University; he takes 17th place in Earth Sciences in Russia and 5888th place in the world
Thus, according to the ranking of the international academic platform Research.com, among the best scientists in Russia and the world are:
- five staff members of the Mathematics and Mechanics Faculty
- four staff members of the Faculty of Physics
- two staff members of the Institute of Translational Biomedicine
- two staff members of the Institute of Chemistry
- one staff member of the Institute of Earth Sciences
The meeting congratulated colleagues on their achievements and wished them continued success.
According to Vice-Rector for International Affairs Sergey Andryushin, the following events have been held.
Events at the St Petersburg University Representative Office in Spain
On 28 February, the St Petersburg University Representative Office in Spain held an online lecture by Liubov Bugaeva, Professor in the Department of the History of Russian Literature at St Petersburg University. The lecture focused on the film "Sputnik" by Egor Abramenko. On 2 March, there was an online lecture by Arkadii Demidchik, Professor in the Department of History of the Ancient East Countries at St Petersburg University. The lecture focused on the ancient Egyptian temple as a historical and cultural phenomenon.
Meeting of the discussion club of the working group "Politics and International Relations" of the Korea−Russia Dialogue Forum
On 3 March, experts from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea held a meeting of the discussion club of the working group on "Politics and International Relations" of the Korea−Russia Dialogue Forum. The meeting discussed the development of the Indo-Pacific region. The meeting was moderated by the leaders of the working group. Among them are: Konstantin Khudoley, Professor at St Petersburg University; and Gu Ho Eom, Professor at Hanyang University.
Cooperation agreement between St Petersburg University and the Institute of Linguistics named after A Baitursynuly (the Republic of Kazakhstan)
St Petersburg University and the Institute of Linguistics named after A Baitursynuly (the Republic of Kazakhstan) signed a cooperation agreement. The text of the agreement can be found on the St Petersburg University portal in the list of Partner Universities in the International Cooperation section.
Memorandum of understanding signed by St Petersburg University, the MPD Collaboration, and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research
St Petersburg University, the MPD Collaboration, and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research signed a memorandum of understanding that is set to regulate the issues relating to the MPD experiment to study baryonic matter at the NICA collider. The text of the agreement can be found on the St Petersburg University portal in the list of Partner Universities in the International Cooperation section.
Contract for state testing in Russian as a foreign language between St Petersburg University and JJL Overseas Education Consulting & Service Co., Ltd
St Petersburg University and JJL Overseas Education Consulting & Service Co., Ltd (the People’s Republic of China) signed an agreement to conduct state testing in Russian as a foreign language. The text of the agreement can be found on the St Petersburg University portal in the list of Partner Universities in the International Cooperation section.
Memorandum of understanding signed by St Petersburg University and the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment of Population of the Republic of Tajikistan
St Petersburg University and the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment of Population of the Republic of Tajikistan signed a memorandum of understanding. The text of the memorandum can be found on the St Petersburg University portal in the list of Partner Universities in the International Cooperation section.
Amendments to the Federal Law "On the State Language of the Russian Federation"
On 28 February, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed the law ‘On amendments to the Federal Law "On the State Language of the Russian Federation"’. The adoption of this law was the result of a long work, which was initiated at the meeting of the Russian Language Council under the President of the Russian Federation in November 2019 (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 11 November 2019). At the meeting, Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev initiated a discussion of the issues in relation to the need to improve the legislation on the state language. This need was discussed and proved in a number of articles published in 2015–2019 by Rector Nikolay Kropachev and Sergei Belov, Director of the Research Institute for the State Language at St Petersburg University (in particular, the article "What is needed for the Russian language to become the state language?"). The result of the discussion at the council meeting was developing a number of instructions from the President, including an instruction to change the law on the state language.
According to Sergei Belov, Dean of the Faculty of Law, journalists from a number of media presented this law as a law that prohibits the use of foreign words. Yet, in fact, this part of the law on the state language changes slightly, while there are a number of provisions of the law that are more fundamental.
In terms of the use of foreign words, the prohibition to use foreign words remains unchanged. When using the Russian language as the state language, i.e. in the areas of its mandatory use, the use of foreign words that do not correspond to the norms of the modern Russian literary language is not allowed. This prohibition has been in force for many years. The changes that are being introduced are a clarification that foreign words that have no analogues in Russian can be used when such words are included in the standard dictionary of the Russian language as the state language of the Russian Federation.
Normative dictionaries, reference books and grammars were among the issues that were most actively discussed during the preparation of the draft of this law in the government committee on the Russian language and the working group for the preparation of this bill. After the presidential order was issued, the committee and the working group included representatives of St Petersburg University. Among them are: Rector Nikolay Kropachev; Sergei Kuznetsov, Professor in the Department of Russian; Sergei Belov; and other researchers at the University. It was a long and painstaking work to coordinate different positions and to convince representatives of the expert community and state bodies of the need for specific changes. This was greatly facilitated by scholarly and expert research conducted at St Petersburg University during all these years. The researchers at St Petersburg University could stop the adoption of several projects discussed by the working group and the government committee.
Sergei Belov said that in the previous version of the law on the state language, the requirement to comply with the norms of the modern Russian literary language when using it as the state language was of a general and non-specific nature. In accordance with the new version of the law, it is necessary to comply with the norms recorded in the normative dictionaries, reference books and grammars. The selection procedure and requirements for the compilation of these dictionaries, reference books, and grammars shall be determined by the Government of the Russian Federation.
Unfortunately, the law has not introduced certainty. As a result, some people insist that there can be many normative dictionaries. Yet St Petersburg University follows the position that the norms that must be observed must be clearly defined. In order to organise an exam in Russian as the state language and to assess compliance with the law in advertising or in media materials, a specific source of verification of the norm must be issued. This is exactly the situation in many foreign countries. For example, in France, Belgium or Spain, there are dictionaries of national academies that fix the literary norms of the language. In China, the official source of Putonghua norms is published. The researchers at St Petersburg University wrote about this not only in articles, but also in the monograph "The state language of Russia: norms of law and norms of the language".
In a number of other provisions, the newly adopted law clarifies and concretises the requirements that were previously contained in the law on the state language. For example, if earlier Part 2 of Article 1 had a vague provision "the status of the state language implies that its use is obligatory...", now the legislator is more direct and categorical: "the use of the Russian language is obligatory in the areas" defined by the current legislation, and the state bodies ensure ‘the right of citizens to use the state language.’ The areas of mandatory use are also clarified.
If the previous version of the law required the use of the language in "the activities of organisations of all forms of ownership", now the law requires organisations of all forms of ownership to use the state language "in official relations and official correspondence".
Registration of addresses of senders and recipients of telegraph messages and postal items as an area of mandatory use of the state language is stipulated as a separate area. At the suggestion of St Petersburg University, the list of spheres of mandatory use in the law on the state language was supplemented by the sphere of education. Previously, the requirements for the language of education were only in the legislation on education. Additionally, the list was supplemented by information for consumers of goods, works and services. Previously, it was only a requirement of the Consumer Protection Law. The newly adopted law also covers an obvious gap: the requirement for the mandatory use of the state language in state and municipal information systems. Both Nikolay Kropachev and Sergei Belov spoke about the need to cover this gap at the meeting of the government committee on the Russian language in 2020.
It is more clearly defined that, in the areas of mandatory use of the state language, the texts in other languages that are parallel to the Russian text must not only be identical in technical design, but also must match in terms of placement and must have the same parameters, e.g. colour, type and font size.
From 1 January 2025, it will become mandatory for state bodies to conduct a linguistic examination and (or) edit the texts of draft regulatory legal acts to bring them into line with the norms of the modern Russian literary language.
State bodies are also responsible for ensuring the study of the Russian language by Russian citizens (both in Russia and abroad), compatriots, and foreigners. State bodies are also responsible to ensure state support for information resources containing information about the norms of the modern Russian literary language. Among these resources is gramota.ru. The representatives of St Petersburg University take an active part in developing the resource.
During the discussion, the participants in the Rector’s meeting noted that the position of St Petersburg University researchers is fundamentally different from the generally accepted position. At all meetings of the government committee and council, both Nikolay Kropachev and Sergei Belov insisted that clear norms for the functioning of the state Russian language shall be established. These norms should be the same for everyone and defined in dictionaries and reference books.
Currently, the work is underway to prepare by-laws that must be adopted to ensure the validity of the new version of the law. Among them are requirements for dictionaries and reference books of the Russian language as the state language of the Russian Federation. St Petersburg University experts are involved in this work.
Organisation of the teaching and learning process
Over the past week, 39 enquiries were addressed to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities. The majority of enquiries relate to preparation of documents on studies and the procedures for granting an academic leave.
An analysis of the information on the organisation of the teaching and learning process provided by the heads of academic and research subdivisions has been carried out. Classes are held according to the timetable in due order.
The heads of academic and research subdivisions continue to hold meetings with student activists: group heads, and representatives of student councils and student scientific societies to name just a few. Over the past week, meetings on the organisation of the teaching and learning process were held at: the Graduate School of Management; the Institute of Philosophy; the Faculty of Biology; the Faculty of Asian and African Studies; the Mathematics and Mechanics Faculty; the Faculty of Medicine; the School of International Relations; the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Control Processes; the Faculty of Sociology; the Faculty of Physics; the Faculty of Philology; the College of Physical Training and Sports, Economics and Technology (the minutes of the meeting were not formalised and not submitted for publication); and the Medical College (the minutes of the meeting were not formalised and not submitted for publication).
The work of the committees to check compliance with the timetable of classes and interim assessments is underway. Over the past week, 280 inspections were conducted. One case of violations was identified. The acts of detected violations have been submitted for revision to Vladimir Eremeev, Vice-Rector for Human Resources.
St Petersburg University introduces its own system of tests in English
In Russia, schoolchildren, applicants and students cannot have a certificate in their portfolio that confirms the level of knowledge of a foreign language. In response to the steady demand, the St Petersburg University Language Testing Centre has developed an alternative to international exams, i.e. the St Petersburg University Certificate Test in English.
During the presentation of St Petersburg University’s own testing system, Iuliia Pets, a representative of the working team of the University’s leading testers, spoke about what you need to be prepared for in order to receive a standard certificate. First of all, she noted, it is important to understand what level-forming dominants determine the set and content of tasks in tests B1, B2 and C1 in order to correctly determine the level of complexity. The international standard for language abilities, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, also known as CEFR, is the methodological basis for the development of the St Petersburg University Certificate Test.
In 2014, the prototype of the St Petersburg University English Certificate Test passed the examination by EALTA (European Association for Language Testing and Assessment). It is a professional association of language testers in Europe and a partner of the Council of Europe that develops and improves the CEFR system. According to Dmitry Ptyushkin, Director of the Language Testing Centre at St Petersburg University, this confirms the high quality of the tests developed at the University and their integration into common European practice. St Petersburg University is also a member of the Association of Language Testers of Europe. The University regularly participates in its events and uses leading research developments and methods. Additionally, new versions of the St Petersburg University Certificate Test are subject to mandatory testing with the participation of hundreds of respondents (St Petersburg University presents its own system of tests in English). The schedule of test sessions, demo materials, and recommendations for preparation are available on the website of the Language Testing Centre at St Petersburg University.
St Petersburg University student wins the All-Russian competition in the Arabic language
St Petersburg University student Sabina Saiakhova is one of the winners of Doha Arabic Language Prize. It is traditionally held by the Arabic Language Centre at the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Moscow. More than 400 applications from students of Russian universities were submitted for the competition. The finals were attended by students from more than ten Russian universities that offer academic programmes in Asian and African Studies.
The jury included invited experts from Qatar University. Among them were: Professor Muntasir Al Hamad; Professor Alaa Abdelmonem; and scholars in Arabic studies in Russia. Among them were legends of the African and Asian studies, i.e. Vladimir Lebedev and Dmitrii Mikulskii to name just a few. The committee was chaired by Abdullah Al Saai, Second Secretary of the Embassy.
The successful performance of our student would not have been possible without her mentors, i.e. scholars in the Arabic studies at the University. Among them are: Associate Professor Olga Berdnikova; Associate Professor Yafia Yusif Jamil; Professor Oleg Redkin; and Assistant Professor Enesh Akhmatshina.
Doha Arabic Language Prize is an annual All-Russian competition in the Arabic language. It has been held since 2018 among students of Russian universities with the assistance of the Embassy of the State of Qatar in the Russian Federation. The competition has become a milestone in the development of cultural exchange in the field of education. It enables participants to test their language skills. The winners have the opportunity to continue their studies at Qatar University, which is the leading centre of education in the Middle East. In August of this year, Sabina Saiakhova and other winners of the competition will travel to Doha to study at the Arabic Language Centre of Qatar University during a year (St Petersburg University student wins the All-Russian competition in the Arabic language).
Sale of souvenirs in 2022
In 2022, souvenir products with the symbols of St Petersburg University included 145 commodity items. According to Dmitrii Shishmakov, Head of the Marketing and Media Communication Department, among these items are: clothes; badges; bags; backpacks; stationery; notebooks; diaries; thermal bottles; water bottles; mugs; and souvenirs to name just a few. They also include silver badges with the symbols of the University. For comparison: in November 2020, when this area of work was launched, there were 92 commodity items on sale. In 2022, more than 7,000 products were sold. You can buy souvenirs in all the stores of the Dom Universitetskoi Knigi (University Book House).
You can also buy them on the website store.spbu.ru. This year, a product line dedicated to the 300th anniversary of St Petersburg University will be launched.
St Petersburg University Professor and Associate Professor enter the top 100 most influential women in St Petersburg
Tatiana Chernigovskaya, Professor and Director of the Institute for Cognitive Studies at St Petersburg University, and Nina Shcherbak, Associate Professor at St Petersburg University, are laureates of the 12th Prize "Influential Women of St Petersburg". The ranking is compiled by the editors of the Delovoy Peterburg newspaper. Traditionally, it includes residents of St Petersburg, the Northern capital of Russia, who have a positive impact on the urban environment as part of their professional activities. This year, 100 women became the winners of the award. Among them are leaders, politicians, lawyers, economists, linguists, athletes, cultural figures, and writers to name just a few.
The editors of the Delovoy Peterburg noted the merits of Tatiana Chernigovskaya in the field of popularisation of science. Professor Tatiana Chernigovskaya, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Education, is a well-known specialist in the field of cognitive sciences, the author of St Petersburg University online courses on the interaction of science and art, neurolinguistics, and lectures on neuroscience, natural and artificial intelligence, the brain and culture. Last year, Professor Tatiana Chernigovskaya also became a laureate of this award.
The second laureate is Associate Professor Nina Shcherbak. She is a winner of the St Petersburg University Prize for Teaching Excellence and an author of numerous lectures on literature for students of Russian universities and universities in Finland, Scotland, Switzerland, Great Britain and other countries. She regularly delivers open lectures at the St Petersburg University Representative Office in Barcelona. Among her topics are: the work of Jerome Salinger; English-language women’s prose; and poetry of the Silver Age to name just a few. The work of Vladimir Nabokov is of particular interest to Nina Shcherbak. Under the guidance of Abdulla Daudov, Director of the Institute of History of St Petersburg University, she is a co-author of the manuscript of a book about the Nabokov house (St Petersburg University Professor and Associate Professor enter the top 100 most influential women in St Petersburg).
The participants in the meeting congratulated the laureates of the award and all women at the University on the upcoming holiday. They wished them health, joy, success and a sunny spring mood.