Researchers here and elsewhere : Russia
Ekaterina Alekseeva grew up and studied in Novosibirsk, in the capital of Siberia. She currently develops multi-criteria optimisation algorithms to solve optimization problems with multiple criteria and two levels of hierarchy within the Dolphin project team (common with Université Lille1*).
What have been the major stages of your life?
I studied mathematics at the Novosibirsk State University, where I obtained specialist’s Degree (5 years studying) and a Master's Degree, with development of algorithms to solve optimization problems. I then continued doing my PhD programm in the same subject at the Sobolev Institute of Mathematics, which carries out theoretical research in mathematics, physics and computing.
How did you discover Inria?
Following my doctorate, in 2007, I worked at the Sobolev Institute. I divided my time between research at the Institute and teaching at the Novosibirsk State University. But I wanted become acquainted with European society. Through the ABCDE Fellowship Programme, which offers post-doctoral research positions in computing and applied mathematics in European universities, I was put in contact with Inria's Dolphin project team, which was looking for a specialist in my area of expertise. I applied in December 2012 and joined them soon afterwards on a two-year contract.
I currently work on developing developing algorithms to solve discrete optimization problems with multi-criteria at a lower level which are applied to management problems in duopoly market. In short, I apply mathematical models to solving management problems. I develop mathematical programming models then explore these programs to develop an appropriate algorithm to solve an initial problem.
What are the main differences between France and Russia in terms of research?
It is difficult to generalise, as the organisation of the work varies considerably from one team to another. But it is clear that the Sobolev Institute of Mathematics, where I spent several years, focuses essentially on theoretical research, whereas Inria c combines both theoretical and applied researches.
Are there any differences in terms of funding?
In general, in Russia there is more or less the same way of organizing fundings for research. Scientists are responsible for obtaining research credits from government, or (and) industrial companies. A research fellow has a base salary that is quite low plus extra funds from the grants and projects supported.
What would you say to young foreign researchers who would like to move to France?
My main piece of advice would be to encourage them to study the French language and culture. France is a country of traditions and it is important to know and understand them before thinking about a career here. Furthermore, although the working language is French, my conversations with colleagues are usually in English. So language is not a barrier within the team. The other researchers are pleased to have the opportunity to practise their English. On the other hand, the language barrier is more of an issue in discussions with industrial partners.
* UMR 8022 CNRS-Lille1-Lille 3-Inria, LIFL.