Category Archives: news

Not exactly my Alma Meter but still!

The champions are from my hometown, and my actual Alma Mater is among the winners!

ACM Bulletin Archives
May 25, 2017
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Russian Team Takes World Champion Title in ACM ICPC Programming Contest

to view image click on Three students from St. Petersburg University of IT, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO) earned the title of 2017 World Champions in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). Teams from University of Warsaw, Seoul National University and St. Petersburg State University finished the competition in second, third and fourth places and were recognized with gold medals in the prestigious competition, which ended today in Rapid City, South Dakota.

ACM-ICPC is the premier global programming competition conducted by and for the world’s universities. It is conceived, operated and shepherded by ACM, sponsored by IBM, and headquartered at Baylor University. For more than four decades, the competition has raised the aspirations and performance of generations of the world’s problem solvers in computing sciences and engineering.

At ICPC, teams of three students tackle eight or more complex, real-world problems. The students are given a problem statement, and must create a solution within a looming five-hour time limit. The team that solves the most problems in the fewest attempts in the least cumulative time is declared the winner, with the top 12 teams receiving medals.

ICPC Regional participation included 46,381 students and faculty in computing disciplines from 2,948 universities in 103 countries on six continents. A record 50,145 students and 5,073 coaches competed in ICPC and ICPC-assisted competitions this year.

“As computing increasingly becomes part of the daily routines of a growing percentage of the global population, the solution to many of tomorrow’s challenges will be written with computing code,” said ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. “The ICPC serves as a unique forum for tomorrow’scomputing professionals to showcase their skills, learn new proficiencies and to work together to solve many real-world problems. This international event fosters the innovative spirit that continues to transform our world.”

Full results of the competition are available here.

Read the news release.

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ICDE 2017 in San Diego – what was happening on Day 2

Again very briefly:

  • An absolutely brilliant keynote by Laura Haas from IBM . The talk about Big Data, how to make sense out of it, and what was most interesting for me – about the human factor in dealing with the Big Data.
  • The IEEE Awards presentations, I especially liked the one by Susan Davidson from the University of Pennsylvania about data citation (will definitely write more about this presentation)
  • The panel on Data Science education – probably the most interesting panel I was ever present at 🙂
  • The next ICDE was announced, and it’s going to be in Paris, which is super cool, but the deadline is way earlier than I’ve expected… so it will be a challenge…

One more keynote, one more Industry session, and I will be on my way back to Chicago

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The change of venue for ACM/SIGMOD 2017

I understand, that these are old news, and that during the past two weeks plenty of way more important things had happened. But nevertheless I wanted to say, that I was very happy when I received the news which I copy below. Knowing how much time and effort it takes to organize events like this, and how exceptionally difficult is it to re-settle a conference of that size in the new place, i can only say one thing – I am very proud of the community!

Dear members of the SIGMOD/PODS Community:

On January 16 (Martin-Luther-King Day in the USA), the SIGMOD Executive
Committee decided to move the ACM SIGMOD/PODS 2017 conference out of
North Carolina to a new, still undecided location. The decision was made
unanimously by the Committee following extensive discussions with the
SIGMOD Advisory Board.

The SIGMOD/PODS community is open and inclusive. It embraces all forms
of diversity, including diversity of gender identity. Our commitment to
these fundamental principles would have been in question if we held the
SIGMOD/PODS 2017 conference in North Carolina, hence the decision to move.

The decision was triggered by North Carolina’s HB2 bill and the decision
of North Carolina’s policy makers not to repeal HB2 in December 2016.
With its decision, the SIGMOD organization follows the example of many
other organizations (science, industry, sports, and arts) to move major
events that were planned to take place in North Carolina to other
locations. A total of 68 international companies (including many companies
that employ members of the SIGMOD/PODS community around the world) and
several states of the USA have protested and taken a stand against HB2.
The Department of Justice of the United States has filed a lawsuit
against HB2 and the state of North Carolina.

It has also come to our attention that many members of the SIGMOD/PODS
community, including some of our senior leaders, have already decided to
not attend any conference in North Carolina to show solidarity with the
LGBTQ community. A conference without full participation and with only
limited discourse between the members of the community is undesirable.
Furthermore, many of our industrial sponsors are likely to not want to
be affiliated with conferences held in North Carolina.  We do not wish
to strain our relations with our sponsors and friends from industry.

This decision has many practical implications for which we need your
help. We are actively working to find a new venue and will announce the
outcome as soon as possible. In the meantime, please hold back with travel
arrangements. Changing the venue might also involve changing the dates.
If you have already made travel arrangements, please contact us. We are
also looking into issues related to visas. We apologize for any
inconvenience this decision may cause and will try our best to alleviate
any resulting difficulties.

We thank the North Carolina local organizing committee, led by Rada
Chirkova and Jun Yang, for all the work that they have done so far.
Rada and Jun have graciously accepted to continue to serve as general
co-chairs of the relocated conference. Without their help, relocation
would not have been possible. The Program Committee, lead by Dan Suciu,
will continue to organize the program as planned. We are extremely
thankful to all volunteers for their commitment.

The decision to relocate the SIGMOD/PODS 2017 conference was not
taken lightly. It was made after an intense debate over the last two
weeks from which it became clear that there was no easy solution to
the issue that had emerged. We truly hope that this decision will help
unite the SIGMOD/PODS community, sending a message of inclusiveness
and respect for one another.

SIGMOD Executive Committee

Donald Kossmann
Anastasia Ailamaki
Magdalena Balazinska
K. Selcuk Candan
Yanlei Diao
Curtis Dyreson
Yannis Ioannidis
Christian S. Jensen
Jan Van den Bussche

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ACM Hour of Code Dec 5-11

I am re-posting the ACM newsletter about thee upcoming Hour of code – please consider organizing something in your community!

 

Organize an Hour of Code in Your Community During Computer Science Education Week, December 5-11

Over the past three years, the Hour of Code has introduced over 100 million students in more than 180 countries to computer science. ACM (a partner of Code.org, a coalition of organizations dedicated to expanding participation in computer science) invites you to host an Hour of Code in your community and give students an opportunity to gain the skills needed for creating technology that’s changing the world.

The Hour of Code is a global movement designed to generate excitement in young people. Games, tutorials, and other events are organized by local volunteers from schools, research institutions, and other groups during Computer Science Education Week, December 5-11.

Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event, and anyone from ages 4 to 104 can try the one-hour tutorials, which are available in 40 languages. Learn more about how to teach an Hour of Code. Visit the Get Involved page for additional ideas for promoting your event.

Please post activities you are hosting/participating in, pass along this information, and encourage others to post their activities. Tweet about it at #HourOfCode.

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About my new job, or – “you get what you’ve asked for”

Now, that I am already 3 weeks into my new job – it’s finally time to write about it. To be exact, there is absolutely no time to write, since I am so busy. But that’s what all my friends are asking about: what’s my new job, and why I made this move. Especially, because is was so fast, so sudden, with no announcement – and thereby for so many of my friends it came like a lightening on a sunny day.

Many people are asking me why I decided to leave, especially because I liked my previous job so much. I was thinking, should I write about this or not, and decided against it. After all, we all know: people change. Companies change. It’s not always uni-dimensional.  Is it good or bad, for example, that we are getting older? Good in some aspects, bad in the other, but it any case, this is an unavoidable change.

Companies change as well. And you might like or not like the changes – it does not matter, the changes are unavoidable. And you have to decide, whether you are going with that change or not, whether it is still your company or not… In this case, we went our separate paths.

One thing which came to me as a surprise – when I started to think what should be my next step, and where I want to be – I’ve realized how much I’ve changed after these five years at Enova. One thing I will never deny – working at Enova made me a very different person. Before that each time I was starting to look for new job I was thinking about stability. I was definitely interested in the creative and challenging work environment, but I wanted job security more than anything else. Also, I was avoiding any type of managing. Since my very early work experience when I had to manage a small team who would develop a system based on my methodology, I was afraid that if I manage, I won’t have time to code.

Now all of this changed. I’ve realized I want more responsibilities. I want to take a risk. I want to see a direct impact of what I do on how my company is performing. And I am not afraid of risk.

I’ve also realized that I it’s not enough for me anymore to just know “what’s the right way” and “how things should be done”. Now it’s even more important for me to lead people, to convince them that the way I want things to be done is indeed the best way.

More to follow:)

 

 

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I am featured in the Huffington Post

This interview was recorded in October, and I was told it will be published sometime in the beginning of January, so by mid-February I almost forgot about it. But here it is – in today’s Huffington Post Women in Business section.

I will be honest – am shamelessly proud of this publication, and I really hope that it will help me to promote my ideas at work, and to accomplish all these great and wonderful things I am dreaming about:)

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The statistics of inequality

A year ago, when I was getting ready to present my talk at the Moscow chapter of ACM/SIGMOD, I was a little bit panic-ing, since it was a totally new experience for me. In order to deal with this panic and to convince myself there is nothing scary about it, I decided to watch a presentation of the talk given on the previous seminar. And after I watched it, I’ve started to panic even more.

You know why? Because a presentation was given by a guy, and after it is ended, all the questions asked from the audience came out in male voices. They never turned the camera around, so unfortunately I can’t tell, whether there were any women at all in the audience, but if there were some, they were silent.

When I’ve realized that, I decided to go over a complete list of all presentations given at the Russian chapter of the ACM/SIGMOD since the seminars started – in October 1991. I’ve counted all the presentations, and then counted all the presentations, where the speakers were female.  The results of my statistics gathering were crushing….

You may be wondering, why I am recalling this now, a year later? Well. Because last week the Moscow ACM/SIGMOD chapter had one more female presenter, and guess what – that was the first time since I’ve presented a year ago!

This being said, at this point the statistics look like this. Out of 175 total presentations given so far only 11 were presented by female speakers. And ironically out of those eleven five researches started their scientific career at the Database research group of the University of Saint Petersburg (including myself).

Now let me add something else. I’ve being asked, why I am bringing this subject again and again. After all, there is no real “rejection” process happening at this seminar. Well, I am bringing this up mostly for the sake of women in Computer Science themselves. How many times I’ve heard recently: “I do not like to speak in public”! A lot! Even from my younger co-workers, who should not have any of this baggage.

I really wish women would be more bold in volunteering to speak publicly, and I also wish that the organizers of such evens as the ACM/SIGMOD seminar would seek female speakers more actively. I am sure everybody will benefit from this.

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