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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Sadovnichy, a few years ago, you told me about the plan for the development of Moscow State University, our leading higher education institution. We then broke it up into several stages. The first stage ended in 2011. What is happening now and what are the plans for the near future?
Moscow State University Rector Viktor Sadovnichy: Mr President, I just wanted to report on all of your directives, including the Development Programme, which you approved on September 27, 2010. The Development Programme has been adopted up to 2020.
The first stage has been completed and I believe Moscow State University has achieved good results. The programme focuses on ten priority areas.
The first area is the training of highly qualified personnel. The other priorities include science, the integration of science, and innovation. In terms of personnel training, this is the first time that our own standard has been adopted in Russia.
We have changed our degree programmes to six-year courses, so that we take six years to train a specialist who is not just an expert in a narrow field, but is also proficient in related disciplines and is ready to work under new conditions. We have started to issue our own degree certificates – large format, beautiful degree certificates of Moscow State University.
As a consequence, the number of student applications to Moscow State University has increased very significantly this year. Therefore, I think the academic part of the development programme is being implemented very successfully.
The remaining programme areas focus on science and the science-education link. Here our global standing is very good. Our first priority in science has been information technology.
We had planned to develop a supercomputer with a capacity of 500 teraflops as the main programme element. We tripled that capacity, going far beyond what had been stipulated in the programme: 1.7 petaflops, three times more powerful. We are a global leader in this area, and our competitors include national centres in the United States, China and Japan.
Vladimir Putin: Have you received any orders for the use of the supercomputer from our businesses or other organisations?
Viktor Sadovnichy: I have brought some materials and orders to show you. Six hundred teams are working already and two hundred are on the waiting list. This supercomputer has been used to obtain record results. For example, a new drug has been developed, which has already been supplied to pharmacies. It is medication for the eyes, and it could not have been developed without the supercomputer.
The new world record for cryptography has been set on the supercomputer. Cryptography involves the so-called collisions in hash functions, that is, the task is to determine how reliable an encryption is, and here only a supercomputer can be of use.
Graduate students from the Mechanics and Mathematics Department have set the world record for this collision, disproving some American version. They did calculations for two months on the supercomputer, and such an amount of calculations is also a world record.
There are many other achievements in information technology, and I wanted to tell you more about them a little later. Another programme area is our own Moscow State University satellite.
Vladimir Putin: Does it work?
Viktor Sadovnichy: It is in orbit now. It works perfectly and supplies us with valuable data.
Vladimir Putin: Who uses this data?
Viktor Sadovnichy: This is a joint Russian-Indian project. We have supplied radiation and space exploration equipment, and the Indian university and our partners are exploring the Earth using the data for their research.