"Winter schools are a unique chance for the participants of our competition to meet with experts from the leading companies in their industries and like-minded people from different cities of Russia. One of the goals of schools in this regards is to provide students with an opportunity to look into the future of selected professions and learn about the latest trends directly from those who form these trends," explained Valeria Kasamara, the head of the project "I am a professional”.

Who can take part in the Winter School

Winter School "It’s Your Call!" at ITMO is included in the official list of schools of the academic contest "I am a professional". It will receive 150 participants of the All-Russian competition. When selecting participants, the organizers take into account the results of the first round of the competition, as well as their motivation letters and portfolios.

ITMO, however, wants to give an opportunity to all talented students who either did not have time to take part in the competition "I am a professional", or those who were not successful in the first stage to participate in the Winter School. These guys can send their portfolios and motivation letters through a special form on the site (available in Russian) of the Winter School "It’s Your Call!". Students from any higher educational institution in Russia who are trained in programs corresponding to tracks supervised by ITMO ("Computer Technologies", "Information and Cybersecurity" and "Photonics") can take part. The organizers will provide all the participants with free accommodation and meals in St. Petersburg, but ticket-fare to St. Petersburg and back will have to be paid independently. For more information, visit the school's website (available in Russian).

What ITMO’s Winter School has to offer

Lectures, excursions and workshops

The participants of the Winter School "It’s Your Call!" will be spending a significant part of the school’s time on excursions and workshops. So, the excursions common to all the tracks will be covered not only by the leading companies of the country (Yandex, Kaspersky Lab, Avantgarde), but also by ITMO’s scientific and educational divisions, including FabLab, Optics Museum, eScience Research Institute, International Laboratory "Solution chemistry of advanced materials and technologies" (SCAMT), the Center for Robotics and others.

Winter school “It’s your call!” is attracting a great panel of speakers: Andrey Sebrant - one of the first figures of RuNet, a Russian scientist, the director of marketing services of Yandex; Roman Elizarov - the head of the group of developers of libraries for the computer language Kotlin in JetBrains; Lidia Perovskaya - the tutor of Yandex academic programs; Alexander Boukhanovsky - director of the eScience Research Institute; Sergei Stafeev - curator of ITMO’s Optics Museum; Vladislav Bougrov - director of ITMO’s School of Photonics and others.

ITMO's Higher School of Lighting Design


However, excursions, lectures and workshops will be only a warm-up before one of the main events of the Winter School, the Semi-hackathon, as part of which ITMO will offer participants to solve urgent and global tasks under the guidance of mentors from partner companies. Neurointerfaces, cryptographic encryption, optical invisibility - these are no longer issues of the future, but the challenges of the present. In order to be fully armed and informed, before the hackathon students will visit workshops from leading experts on each track. So, the students who will choose the "Computer technologies" track will be invited to attend the workshop on sports programming from the permanent coach of the ACM-ICPC champions at ITMO, Andrey Stankevich, and the master class on programming of the Internet of Things, participants of the track "Photonics" are going to take part in a workshop on the construction of hybrid 3D structures based on semiconductor quantum nanocrystals, a workshop on hybrid nanophotonics and optoelectronics, as well as a master class on laser microtechnologies. "Information and Cybersecurity" track’s participants will visit the workshop on hardware information protection systems and CTF.

"It is important for us to show to the participants all the opportunities of the interdisciplinary approach being implemented today at ITMO during the Winter School, and to demonstrate those areas in which the students can manifest themselves so they do not become limited to some narrow focused area. While Semi-Hackathon will be an interdisciplinary project of our Winter School, during which participants will be divided into teams - each team will consist of representatives of three tracks. Semi-Hackathon is an experimental format that will give students an understanding that in the future they will have to work in a team; they will immediately have access to several scientific areas in which they can use their potential," explains the public relations specialist from the signature events office at ITMO, Alexander Gostev.

Solution chemistry of advanced materials and technologies (SCAMT) lab.

Chess Pong and St. Petersburg’s cultural code

Sports block will become a separate track of the Winter School “It’s your call!”. So, the participants of the school will participate in the competition in the sports complex Bars Arena in one of the buildings of ITMO. Chess Pong is a game invented by the organizers, which, as one can understand from the title, combines chess and ping-pong. In the game, participants must constantly alternate intellectual activity with activity on reaction and attention, that is, regularly change the playing field from the chessboard to the pingpong table.

Organizers decided to take advantage of the location of the Winter School. So, the entertainment part of the program will necessarily include activities that are directly related to the cultural code of St. Petersburg.

We’d like to point out that eleven Winter Schools of the Students Competition "I am a professional" will be held in January-February in five Russian cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tomsk, Sochi and Nizhny Novgorod. Each Winter School includes educational content on one or several tracks of the Competition.

What’s next?

After the Winter Schools and the final stage of the Competition, from February 19 to March 2, the winners will be named. More than 50 gold medalists will receive cash prizes. For Bachelors, the amount of cash prizes is 200 thousand rubles, for masters and specialists - 300 thousand rubles. The winner has the right to dispose of these funds at their discretion. Also, more than 1000 winners and prize-winners will get invited for internships to major Russian companies: Alfa-Bank, VTB, Sberbank, RZD, EVRAZ, Pipe Metallurgical Company, Yandex, Metallinvest, Interfax, TASS, Russia Today, Schvabe, Magnit, Norilsk Nickel, VTsIOM, Kaspersky and others. Internships will take place for at least three months, many of them will be paid ones. In addition to that, the winners and runners-up will receive the maximum score upon admission to the Master’s and PhD programs of the leading Russian universities. Also, all the winners and runners-up will get listed in the closed national database "Young Professionals", access to which will be provided to the recruiters of the largest Russian companies.