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Skoltech launches summer school of machine learning in Altai

The Skoltech Summer School of Machine Learning (SMILES) has started in the Altai region, in the unique pre-mountainous area of Belokurikha Gornaya. A 12-day intensive course, SMILES is designed for young professionals. It gives them an opportunity to explore contemporary avenues in machine learning and apply knowledge to address intricate engineering challenges in sustainable development. The school has secured informational partnerships with the Artificial Intelligence federal project pursued as part of the Digital Economy national initiative and the Russia is Land of Opportunities open platform.

From over 700 applicants, the school invited 65 students — master’s and PhD students from leading Russian universities — for in-person participation and over 200 attendees to join online. Participation is provided free of charge.

The curriculum covers contemporary machine learning tools — probabilistic models, generative modeling, optimal transport, geometric and topological data analysis — and approaches that combine physical and mathematical models with predictive machine learning models. Practical seminars will emphasize the role of these physics-informed methods in solving sustainable development challenges, using cases of existing industrial applications. Participants will implement the discussed methods and algorithms in their own projects during the AI Methods for Solving Industrial Sustainable Development Challenges hackathon, held among teams of two to four individuals. The most outstanding projects will be awarded prizes.

“As of now, artificial intelligence is advancing rapidly, with groundbreaking technologies emerging nearly every few months, capable of swiftly transforming entire applied fields and scientific domains. A crucial task for educational institutions is anticipatory learning — not just teaching technologies that already exist and have become established, but also introducing students to entirely new advancements,” noted Professor Evgeny Burnaev, the head of Skoltech Applied AI Center and the organizer of SMILES-2023. “This is exactly what we aim for at our summer schools — to deliver to students and postgraduates those new trends that are difficult to include in foundational courses. Apart from discussing these trends, we practice them through group projects.”