Interview of Dr. N.D. Morozkin, Rector of the Bashkir State University

In anticipation of the II Open Russian Statistical Congress, the RASt press service interviewed the rector of Bashkir State University (BashSU) Nikolai Danilovich Morozkin on a number of questions about the development of statistical education in BashSU, which resulted in getting state accreditation for educational programs in statistics.

- Dear Nikolai Danilovich! What caused such an attention towards the development of statistics in the Bashkir State University?

The state strategy for the development of digital technologies having a cross-sectoral effect is directly implemented with the participation of traditional universities. In BashSU, where more than 200 educational programs are being taught, considerable potential has been accumulated in the field of natural sciences, there are all the prerequisites for effective participation in solving promising tasks for developing the digital economy. In particular, the Faculty of Mathematics and Information Technology is a source of personnel for the educational and IT enterprises for both the Republic of Bashkortostan and Russia as a whole.

Currently, our activity is aimed at further inclusion of statistical methods, data analysis and the digital economy into the social and humanitarian areas. We proceed from the assumption that the data processing and analysis, artificial intelligence and neurotechnology, technologies of virtual and augmented reality and a number of other disciplines become crucial. Our graduates cannot be successful without relevant competences in the future professional activity. This is a reason of our work on licensing bachelor and master programs in “Statistics”, where we appeared to be the first among Russian universities.

- Bashkir State University is a traditional university. What are the specific peculiarities of teaching statistics at your university?

For BashSU, priority is digital methods in science and education. While statistical models and mathematical methods are still the prerogative of professional programmers, analysts and mathematicians, specialists in the relevant fields should properly use the results and assess the impact of the introduction of digital methods into the business practice. An interdisciplinary approach to the implementation of educational programs is the basis for development. In particular, these principles are used for the development of the Department of Mathematical Methods in Economics at the Institute of Economics, Finance and Business, where the educational programs “Business Informatics” (bachelor’s and master’s programs), “Mathematical and instrumental methods of economics” (master’s program) are successfully implemented. A strong school of econometrics has been formed, thanks to that students win prestigious Olympiads and professors receive grants. The Department invests considerable resources to real projects on data mining and processing in the oil production and refining industry. There are also a number of medical projects, participation in the preparation of strategies for the development of the Republic of Bashkortostan, the city of Ufa and municipalities.

- In what direction, by your opinion, will the statistics develop in the near future?

With the development of information technologies, the volume of data collected is growing exponentially, requiring modern methods of statistical processing. The process of rapid development of data analysis technologies is only gaining momentum. Further development is seen in the expansion of applied areas, the synergy of academic institutions, faculties, departments, laboratories, business organizations and government bodies. These processes will require significant resources to develop and support software and hardware.

The specified vector for development of social and humanitarian education requires significant changes in the system of training of academic personnel. Updating of academic plans should include the employers' requirements, as well as current trends in technology development, in particular, regarding data analysis. It is important to concentrate on data collection and processing. In this respect, the immediate task is to create in our University the base department at the basis of regional Statistical Office of Bashkortostan.

We are deeply interested and confident in further cooperation in the development of the academic programs in “Statistics” in the Bashkir State University.

- Thank you very much for your answers and support of Russian statistics.

RASt press service

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January 2019