We’re always looking for new ways to provide people with the tools they need for learning the most in-demand data science skills. Collaborating with leading academic institutions to create online learning opportunities is an excellent way for us to impact as many learners as possible. Today, we’re proud to announce another channel for online learners - we’ve partnered with Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) University and Coursera to help launch Russia’s first online English master’s program in data science.
Students of the Master of Data Science will benefit from the combined expertise of one of Russia’s top universities, the country’s largest tech company, and the world’s leading online learning provider. By hosting the courses on Coursera and teaching the curriculum entirely in English, the new program will be more accessible to learners around the world and help prepare students for more global opportunities.
As an industry partner for the program, we will lend our background in end-user products to suggest today’s most critical data science skills. Experts from Yandex helped create some of the courses for the online program, and Yandex representatives will take part in reviewing final project presentations.
“Yandex and the Higher School of Economics are both renowned experts in data science and leaders in online learning,” says Elena Bunina, Director of HR and Educational Programs for Yandex. “Working with academic partners to create online learning opportunities is a key part of our education initiatives. We believe that online education is crucial for satisfying the growing demand for data scientists. Thanks to a combination of practical training, complex mathematics, and a research training track, future Master of Data Science graduates will be prepared to pursue opportunities in either tech or scientific research.”
The new Master of Data Science program is just the latest in our academic collaborations with both HSE and Coursera. We also co-founded the Faculty of Computer Science at HSE, which now has nearly 2,200 students across ten degree programs. There are several specializations on Coursera jointly designed by FCS and Yandex experts, one of which Coursera recognized with the Outstanding Educator Award for Innovation earlier this year. We also offer several data science courses on Coursera, in both Russian and English.
Prospective students can learn more about the Master of Data Science on the HSE website, as well as on Coursera, where they can apply to enroll in the program. Applications are due on December 6th. Good luck and happy learning!
As one of Europe's largest tech companies, we believe we have a responsibility to create learning opportunities for the current and future generations of data scientists. As many industries continue to enhance their businesses with AI and data science, it's critical to teach students the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow. While we began our education initiatives in our core market of Russia, our education goals are part of a broader global learning environment. We're committed to steps that reflect the needs of learners around the world and extend the reach of our academic programs to as many individuals as possible.
Successful education is rooted in the exchange of knowledge - sharing expertise and learning of experts from different parts of the world. Today we are expanding our global efforts in multiple ways and continuing to engage education professionals from around the world to enhance both our programs and others’.
Adapting to Local Learning Environments
The Yandex team members who founded our Yandex School of Data Analysis headed to Israel in 2018 to establish a program suited for local learners. Through collaboration with local experts, we created Y-DATA at Tel Aviv University, a one-year career advancement program meant to bridge the gap between online courses and a full-time Master of Science program. YSDA personnel designed the Y-DATA curriculum to precisely reflect the needs of the data science community in Israel. Y-DATA provides fundamental skills for data science careers but also uniquely offers engaging hands-on projects with local companies.
Our team in Israel has continued to take steps to integrate Y-DATA into the local data science community and boost the exchange of knowledge. For example, the Y-DATA team hosts regular meet-ups in Tel Aviv that are open to anyone interested in learning more about machine learning and data analysis.
Offering Programs for Global learners by Global Experts
We welcome international experts to contribute to our programs for learners both in Russia and elsewhere in the world. By welcoming experts from different institutions and education systems, we drive more diverse learning opportunities for students.
One example is the Machine Learning in High Energy Physics summer school. Each year since 2015, we've helped organize a ten-day machine learning summer program. Working with one of our academic partners in Moscow, the Higher School of Economics, we annually stage the school at a different European host and welcome experts from around the world to teach. This year, the DESY research center in Hamburg, Germany, hosted 71 postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers from 17 countries. MLHEP is an excellent way for us to engage with global learners interested in machine learning, as well as academic institutions across Europe.
Similarly, we invite experts from around the world to teach at our Natural Language Processing (NLP) Week that we host at Yandex headquarters. This past year we welcomed two international data scientists to NLP Week. Wilker Aziz of the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam taught courses on latent variable models, deep generative models, and advanced topics; Mirella Lapata of the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh taught semantic parsing.
Establishing Online Courses for Learners Everywhere
We believe it's critical to make education opportunities as accessible as possible. By partnering with Coursera, the leading online education provider, we bring data science tools to an even larger audience, unhindered by physical location. We host several online specializations on Coursera in English, which are open to anyone around the world interested in data science.
In April, we attended the Coursera Partners Conference to engage other academic partners. We shared more about our experience leading the way with collaboration between industry and academia. Through in-depth cooperation with academia, we can help define the skills today’s learners need for the jobs of tomorrow. We were also honored to accept an award from Coursera for our Advanced Machine Learning specialization.
Engaging in Open Dialogues with International Representatives
Besides bringing our programs to an international audience and adapting them to local learners, we also share our expertise and engage in cross-cultural dialogue. By meeting with representatives who have a similar passion for education, we can share our knowledge and learn how other education leaders are shaping their tech programs. Russia has traditionally excelled in STEM, and we are always eager to share our current work and vision for the future in this area.
As part of our efforts to engage with the global education community, we recently welcomed Shamma Al Mazrui, the Minister of State for Youth Affairs for the United Arab Emirates, to our Yandex office. Our academic team spoke with Al Mazrui about our shared interest in expanding access to data science education. Al Mazrui discussed the various education projects of the UAE, and we presented information on Yandex's academic programs. Our team shared how the Yandex.Textbook service provides elementary school teachers with interactive assignments. For older learners, Al Mazrui learned how Yandex.Practicum provides tools for adults seeking to retrain themselves for new careers in data science.
Learning more about the education systems of other countries is an excellent way for us to tailor our academic programs to a global audience.
We look forward to creating more opportunities for global data science learners and expanding the reach of our educational programs.
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.