Yandex company blog

Yandex’s University Collaboration Honored by Coursera at Annual Partners Conference

4 April, 10:00

As one of Europe’s largest internet companies, we feel we have a responsibility to help educate a future generation of data scientists, as well as encourage current learners interested in subjects such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.  Through our education initiatives, we help provide the tools people need to learn the skills for the jobs of tomorrow.  Our collaborations with universities are a central part of this effort.  We believe that by sharing knowledge in partnerships with academic leaders, tech companies can help advance AI education to better prepare learners for the demands of the growing job market for data scientists.

At the Coursera Partners Conference this week in London, an annual event that brings together industry and academic partners who create content for Coursera, one such partnership was recognized for its innovative approach to online education.  Coursera awarded Yandex with the Outstanding Educator Award for Innovation for our Advanced Machine Learning specialization, which is offered through the Faculty of Computer Science at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow, a program we co-founded with HSE in 2014.  The specialization covers seven courses that teach students the skills they need to master modern machine learning methods, such as deep learning, reinforcement learning, natural language understanding, computer vision, and Bayesian methods.  The courses are taught in English by machine learning experts from the Faculty of Computer Science.

We’re thrilled to have been honored by Coursera for our specialization that is a result of our commitment to collaboration with academia and offering educational opportunities to learners everywhere.  Coursera and other online learning platforms have become an integral part of global education, providing a more accessible source of education for people around the world.  In 2018, Coursera hosted over 800 new courses covering various topics, and we are grateful to have been selected for the Innovation award among so many impressive courses.

Sofia Tekhazheva, Manager of Academic Program Services at the Yandex School of Data Analysis (YSDA), attended the Coursera Partners Conference.  Sofia represented Yandex during the “University and Industry Collaborations: Preparing the Workforce of Tomorrow” panel to share insights on the benefits of collaboration between universities and industry partners.  Sofia notes that “it’s critical to work with universities to provide academic opportunities in computer science and related fields.  We need to create education systems that will help people adapt to today’s changing job demands, especially as more industries are increasingly relying on data science.  Building these learning platforms requires both resources and expertise; collaborations among industry and academia can help better provide this.  These collaborative efforts lead to more innovative programs.  The launch and success of the Advanced Machine Learning specialization exemplify what these types of collaboration can achieve.”

The Faculty of Computer Science at HSE, which offers the Advanced Machine Learning specialization on Coursera, is at the cornerstone of our collaborative projects with academia.  When we jointly opened the FCS with HSE in 2014, our goal was to prepare a new generation of learners in software engineering and applied mathematics and informatics.  As the faculty approaches its fifth anniversary, it has grown to enroll over 1,500 students and staff over 200 experts in the field.  FCS now offers three bachelor’s programmes, six master’s programmes, and a doctoral programme, as well as initiatives like the Advanced Machine Learning specialization on Coursera.

The Faculty of Computer Science is just one of many ways that Yandex works with universities to promote education.  Since 2007, the Yandex School of Data Analysis (YSDA) has provided university students with a free master’s level program in computer science and data analysis.  YSDA courses are taught by professors from prestigious Russian universities like Moscow State University, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), and HSE, among others.  Educators affiliated with these schools also help administer YSDA.  Yandex also supports a chair of data analysis at MIPT, which teaches data science skills to a select group of bachelor’s students in the School of Applied Mathematics and Informatics.  The chair also directs a master’s program at MIPT.  In Israel, Yandex has partnered with Tel Aviv University to create the Machine Learning Initiative, which brings together a cluster of machine learning courses and supports students with Yandex Fellowships.  YSDA also hosts a career advancement program in the branch of the school at TAU.

The alumni of our many education programs have gone on to work in academia, at Yandex, and at other major tech firms.  We’re proud to see students from our academic programs continuing to foster talent across the global tech ecosystem.  With online education initiatives like our Advanced Machine Learning specialization, students all around the world have the opportunity to explore and lead careers in AI and machine learning.  We’re honored to have our education efforts and academic collaborations recognized by Coursera, and we welcome learners interested in data science to check out the course.