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Learning Big Data in Russia

Posted on 2018-05-29 09:10:55 EEST.

On the first of May eight mechanical engineering students, senior lecturer Riitta Niemelä and Head of degree programme Lotta Saarikoski from VAMK, University of Applied Sciences were excitedly waiting for plane to depart to destination Tomsk, in the middle of Siberia and TPU - Tomsk Polytechnic University.

For most of the group it was the first time they travelled to Russia. The trip was looked forward to and the expectations were high. After long travelling and one stopover in Moscow the group arrived at snowy Tomsk airport where the local contact person and transportation to accommodation were waiting. After a whole night of traveling and key handing process we finally got some rest. The first day in Russia was planned for recovering and settling down.

The Project Begins

On the second day the breakfast was waiting for us in the school and we saw the other project participant students for the first time. In addition to VAMK`s students, there were students from Irkutsk (INRTU) and Tomsk (TPU). After coffee and networking, the actual lectures started. At the beginning we heard an introduction  lecture of big data kept by the local entrepreneur Maxim Usov from Enbisys company.

The workshop was called "Big Data Analysis for Smart Cities" and the aim was to find a solution to Tomsk's public transport problems through the Big Data Analysis. During the days, many interesting lectures were heard related to Big Data and the transport issues. It provided a good groundwork for our teamwork.

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Local entrepreneur Maxim Usov lecturing about the exploitation and applications of Big Data and the future.

Sightseeing in Tomsk

In addition to lectures and group work, the days consisted of getting to know the city and the local culture. Local students were a priceless help for us and they were tirelessly showing places in Tomsk to us. During the days, we were thoroughly introduced with Tomsk's attractions from the Mythology Museum to the library. We were truly welcomed without exception and people were happy to tell about the city's history and backgrounds.

We also visited a local bus company owner’s garage, where the company CEO introduced the company's fleet, operating methods, and expressed his views on public transport in Tomsk. On this business visit, we got valuable information about the project and there was plenty of time for questions to be asked.

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The second day at Tomsk plaza.

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At the Museum of Mythology, we got to paint our own wooden spoons according to local traditions.

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Bus entrepreneur introduces his equipment and simultaneous interpreteur translates.

A Day of Celebration

The day before the project final day there was the Russian Victory Day 9. May, which is the biggest national day in Russia. On the Victory day, the city was thronged with people and concerts or other performances which were organized everywhere. Highlights of the day were the victory day parade and in the evening a concert on the shore of the River Tom, which ended in massive fireworks. All in all, the victory day was an unforgettable experience for everyone.

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The Victory Day Parade is an important event where people gather to celebrate the day of victory and respect the fallen.

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Victory Day Concert on the River Tom.

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Fireworks were a highlight of the victory day, which tens of thousands gathered to watch.

The Sands of Time

On the final day, it was time to present the results of the intensive project work to other students and jury, which consisted of course teachers and specialists. Many groups had good development ideas and extensive analysis, even though the subject was wide and the time for implementation was very limited. After the performances, the jury met and chose the best project.

After announcing the winner team and awarding prizes, the certificates were handed for all participants of the course and once more the whole group got together for a group picture.

In TPU, the main organizers of the course were Svetlana Rybushkina, Olga Deeva, Inessa Nekrasova and teachers Veronika Sokolova, Maxim Gubin, Natalia Goncharova and Alexey Levashev (INRTU). A dozen other specialists from TPU and other local organizations also took shorter lessons. We thank our Russian hosts for the great arrangements!

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The winner team's performance was praised for good development ideas and utilization of the analysis. Team members from left: Ivan Schetin, Juho Veteläinen, Anastasiia Kayda, Rami Markkula and Fidel Arévalo.

Something to Remember

Early on Friday morning it was time for the group to head back to the summery Finland. Traveling deep to Siberia was an interesting and educational experience that certainly left permanent memories to minds and a little spark to see more of Russia. For an open minded and smiling group, the Russian hospitality shows to be the best of its kind.

The old saying was also true this time, albeit with a much more positive tone than its original purpose. Siberia really teaches!

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After a successful course, it's easy to smile!

Learn more (in Finnish):

Text: Teppo Korpela, Topias Korpi, Rami Markkula, Tuomas Kotilainen, Viljam Ämmälä, Oskari Kujanpää, Petri Jaatinen, Juho-Matti Veteläinen
Photos: TPU photographer, group members