The Artificial Intelligence Systems at the Lviv Polytechnic National University and Data Science & Intelligent Systems at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv are one of the pilot educational programs implemented with the support of Lviv IT Cluster. In 2021, the first graduates of these educational programs got their Bachelor’s degrees. The details of the educational process, collaboration with the tech industry, and challenges on the way of implementation of these programs are highlighted below.
In September 2016, professor of the Lviv Polytechnic National University Natalia Shakhovska and graduate of the Lviv Polytechnic National University, Director of Software Development Office at SoftServe Ivan Zagorodniy initiated the Artificial Intelligence Systems modernization. With the support of Lviv IT Cluster the workgroup of the IT specialists and the representatives of the Lviv Polytechnic National University was formed. This workgroup developed the education program for Artificial Intelligence Systems. The SoftServe, GlobalLogic, CIKLUM, N-IX, Epam companies significantly supported the program development. The Department of Artificial Intelligence Systems involved specialists from Epam, Intellias, Inoxoft, GlobalLogic, Solidbrain, Grammarly to give classes within the program. The program started in 2017, 136 students joined the program that year and 4 years later 88 of them got bachelor’s degrees.
“I, as well as other tech industry representatives, could not predict the demand for our program graduates in the future while we have been modifying a particular education block of the Artificial Intelligence Systems. The first two courses give basic fundamental and professional education, allowing students to find themselves in various IT fields. Most of our students start working from the second-third year of studying and all of them are employed after graduation. Besides that, we took a risk and, together with SoftServe company, organized a dual form of education for 20 students, who, on the third year of studying, became a separate class,” Natalia Shakhovska, the Head of the Artificial Intelligence Systems Department at the Lviv Polytechnic National University.
We were starting from the educational projects for the AI and IoT directions. The first one cost us a lot of effort and it took two years to form a team of experts, create the education program infrastructure and, of course, organize the educational process. More than 150 people were involved in the working process: the university experts, Lviv It Cluster, and Lviv IT companies. I am happy that during these four years of our work we had realized everything we planned and today we have first graduates, almost a hundred of them have got their bachelor’s degrees and successfully work in Lviv tech companies,” Ivan Zagorodniy, Director of Software Development Office at SoftServe and Artificial Intelligence Systems program lead from the tech industry.
Andriy Natiahlyi, a graduate of the Artificial Intelligence Systems program: “First of all, AIS is about the community of those who have chosen progress and development alongside getting a higher education degree. The principal value of the program is in its complexity. Students can fully form their curriculum vitae and gain tech and communication skills before they finish the university, thanks to the projects they do in small groups, and then present them to the experts each semester.”
The Information Systems and Technologies program was developed by the lecturers of the Faculty of Electronics and Computer Technologies at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv in cooperation with Lviv IT Cluster members, particularly SoftServe, GlobalLogic, PLVision, InfoPulse, Infineon Technologies, Vakoms, EPAM, and N-iX. The program is called innovative and unique because, after the first year of study, students can choose between 4 different directions in the tech field:
- Internet of things;
- Smart systems and solutions;
- Data analysis;
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning;
Since the program had no option for students to study for the cost of government, Lviv IT Cluster, in collaboration with Western NIS Enterprise Fund, held a competition for the entrants with the best grades to receive a scholarship for education for the first two years of studying. Lilia Leskin became the lucky one who had the opportunity to study for free.
“I want to thank Lviv IT Cluster and university teachers for giving me a chance to study in this program and winning the scholarship for the first two years of studying. I appreciate that professors and experts acknowledge my assiduousness because only the best students with good grades for independent external evaluation and those who showed excellent results during studying at university could have an opportunity to learn at no charge,” says Liliya Leskiv, Data Science and Intelligent Systems graduate.
Also, the Infopulse Data Science & Machine Learning Lab allows students of the program to develop their projects related to processing large data sets; this lab was opened in February 2019 with the support of Infopulse, Lviv IT Cluster member company.
Ihor Olenych, Head of the Department of Radio-Electronic and Computer Systems, Faculty of Electronics and Computer Technologies, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv about the program: “Educational program Information systems and technologies is the first program of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, developed and implemented under the sponsorship of Lviv IT Cluster. Our students have the possibility to use international academic mobility, combine learning and research activities, join workshops, summer and winter tech schools, take part in scientific groups, and present their scientific research results at the conferences.”
“In 2017, at the initiative of Roman Shuvar, Head of the Department of Systems Design, we launched the education program DS&IS, the first program at the Faculty of Electronics and Computer Technologies, which was developed according to an entirely new approach. Professors, engineers, and Lviv It Cluster did a great job elaborating everything about the program: every lecture for each of four DS&IS education directions,” Volodymyr Bigday, Principal Engineer, Infineon Technologies, Lead of DS&IS education program during 2018 – 2020.
“Throughout the offline studying at university (before the pandemic), we were visiting different events, having tours to the tech companies’ offices, taking part in the workshops, lectures, and creating projects in cooperation with tech industry mentors. We even had a chance to visit the IT Arena conference twice! I am so grateful for gaining such an experience,” Anastasia Senko, a graduate of Information systems and technologies specialty.