MLIT JINR: about past Autumn School of Information Technologies

Conferences, 31 October 2023

On 16 – 20 October, the Meshcheryakov Laboratory of Information Technologies (MLIT) hosted the Autumn School of Information Technologies of JINR. The event represents the first stage in a series of JINR Schools of Information Technologies, the main goal of which is to involve young specialists in solving tasks that face JINR using state-of-the-art information technologies. Over 50 senior students from 11 Russian universities, including those ones where JINR Information Centres operate, participated in the event.

At the School, outstanding scientists delivered lectures on general topics to students. JINR Vice-Director Vladimir Kekelidze (Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Doctor of Physics and Mathematics) spoke about the history of JINR’s foundation, the Institute’s structure, its major achievements of recent years and directions of research. MLIT Scientific Leader Vladimir Korenkov (Doctor of Technical Sciences) presented to the audience a talk on the IT infrastructure of the Institute and the main projects implemented by MLIT. MLIT Director Sergei Shmatov (Doctor of Physics and Mathematics) discussed the most urgent problems in elementary particle physics, including data analysis. Director of the Laboratory of Radiation Biology (LRB) at JINR Alexandr N. Bugay (Doctor of Physics and Mathematics) delivered a report in which he reflected the key role of information technologies in the development of life sciences, particularly in the tasks solved at LRB. A MLIT chief researcher Gennady Ososkov (Doctor of Physics and Mathematics), a scientist who was at the forefront of the creation and use of machine learning algorithms at JINR, shared his experience in applying various methods to high-energy physics tasks. Listeners learned a multitude of useful information about opportunities for students from a lecture on the Institute’s educational programmes given by Deputy Director of the JINR University Centre Alexander Yu. Verkheev (Candidate of Physics and Mathematics).

The scientific programme was enriched by lectures of invited world-class experts. Alexander Degtyarev (Professor of the Department of Computer Modelling and Multiprocessor Systems of St. Petersburg State University, Doctor of Technical Sciences) spoke about the process of creating, developing and using a virtual laboratory to provide high-performance computing. Ruslan Smelyansky (Honoured Professor of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Head of the Department of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics) delivered a lecture devoted to the network computing environment and algorithms for selecting the optimal transport channel. Arutyun Avetisyan (Director of the Institute of System Programming of the RAS, Academician and Professor of the RAS, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics) presented highly interesting materials about trusted artificial intelligence. A working visit to JINR was paid by Leonid Sokolinsky (Head of the Department of System Programming of South Ural State University, Professor, Doctor of Technical Sciences) who spoke about the application of artificial neural networks in linear programming. A lecture on the NIKS network for the development of the scientific and educational infrastructure of Russia was given by Andrey Gonchar (Deputy Director of the Interdepartmental Supercomputer Centre of the RAS). Alexander Moskovsky (General Director of RSC Group) enlarged upon the elaboration and implementation of advanced solutions in building Russian supercomputers.

The School’s programme was divided into several thematic areas. Within the scientific direction dedicated to research conducted using JINR infrastructure, the students listened to lectures by JINR scientists, representatives of collaborations of the experiments of the NICA complex, JINR’s flagship project. The HybriLIT Heterogeneous Computing Group headed by Oksana Streltsova (Candidate of Physics and Mathematics) conducted a tutorial within which the students learned to employ tools based on Python libraries and the Jupyter ecosystem in solving scientific and applied tasks. The programme within the scientific direction “Modern Methods and Technologies of Information Processing and Analysis” embraced lectures and workshops from the team of the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI. A.A. Artamonov (Head of the Department of Competitive Systems Analysis of the NRNU MEPhI, Candidate of Technical Sciences) spoke about the practical application of Big Data analytics methods and algorithms, and department assistants E.V. Antonov, M.S. Ulizko and K.V. Ionkina demonstrated to the students algorithms for automated data acquisition, storage and visualization. A tutorial by Alexander Uzhinskiy on the application of the Google Earth Engine platform to geospatial data analysis on a planetary scale evoked a particular interest among the participants.

A separate session was devoted to the JINR Digital EcoSystem. MLIT specialists told the audience about the development of a system that integrates various information and functional modules of the Institute’s scientific, organizational, administrative and service activities, as well as demonstrated the functional features of the system being developed and considered the tasks that need to be solved when creating and developing JINR websites and web services.

In addition, MLIT employees spoke about the support and development of the JINR Multifunctional Information and Computing Complex (MICC), the Govorun Supercomputer, which is part of the MICC, the tasks of elaborating and implementing new systems into the HybriLIT heterogeneous platform.

The Parallel Computing Hackathon added the competitive spirit to the School’s programme. The students were asked to implement the fastest method for calculating the approximate value of π in terms of the volume of a three-dimensional sphere that was obtained as the sum of elementary volumes. The winners of the Hackathon (first place) were 3rd year students of Far Eastern Federal University (Danil Dereza, Gennady Karpov, Maxim Skazkin). The 2nd year student of St. Petersburg State University, Fedor Shuvalov, proposing an original, but slightly slower solution to the task, took the second place.

On the final day of the School there were held round tables within all scientific directions, where the scientists answered the students’ questions on materials from the lectures and classes. There emerged lively and fruitful discussions on possible topics of graduation theses within JINR research areas. Based on the results of the School, the students selected theses’ topics and JINR supervisors. During the second stage, namely, at the JINR Spring School of Information Technologies, which is planned for April 2024, the students will present the results of joint work with the Institute’s specialists.

One of the most memorable events of the School were excursions. The students visited the NICA Accelerator Complex, the “JINR Basic Facilities” exhibition and the JINR MICC at MLIT.

At the closing of the School, JINR Director Grigory Trubnikov, JINR Scientific Leader Victor Matveev, JINR Vice-Director Latchesar Kostov delivered speeches and congratulated the students wishing them success in their scientific work. University representatives A.B. Degtyarev (SPbSU), A.A. Artamonov (NRNU MEPhI), E.N. Cheremisina (Dubna University) and S.N. Chagovets (Tula State University) expressed gratitude to JINR, MLIT and the organizers for holding the School, which contributes to the strengthening of scientific ties and the involvement of young people in science.