Ruslan GSoC Student


My name is Ruslan Yermakov, I am a senior undergraduate student with a major in Computer Science at Sumy State University, Ukraine. I find it so hard to put into words how much I am enthusiastic to be accepted as a Google Summer of Code student and excited to become a member of the Whitaker lab research group and to contribute to the scona project, an open-source toolkit for neuroscientists! My interests include data visualization, data science, neuroscience and design of intelligent algorithms and systems.

Why scona and neuroscience?

Being initiative and enterprising, I am always willing to learn new things and look for new ideas. I value self-development and consider education to be the best investment. Based on the Coursera’s recommendation once I’ve decided to complete the online course “Learning how to learn” (the best ever course) presented by Dr. Barbara Oakley. This is how I have got excited about neuroscience field. What I liked the most, all the tips and suggestions of how to “learn smart not hard” were backed up by insightful facts and recent researches, that inform about the way our brain works, which is helpful for improving one’s productivity. That’s why the chance to apply my knowledge and skills to develop the tool for neuroscientist was so appealing to me.

From the list of INCF’s projects, scona project grabbed my attention the most. It matches my previous experience and skills as well as my interests. I especially appreciated the chance to contribute to the python project (love Python) that has great potential to be used by many people. In short, I just felt that this project was right for me.

Some more interests

In order to gain practical experience, in March 2018 I moved to Germany to work at SAP SE as a Software Engineer Intern for the following 6 months. During my internship, I was working on the integration of Google Service - BigQuery into SAP DataHub (BigData platform). To complete the task I developed new components (operators) in Python, covered code with unit tests and made well-written documentation. While working with teammates and mentors on the project, I became familiar with the collaborative workflow and agile software development.

I am a happy dog owner, football-addicted (once red, forever red), constantly broadening my outlook by engaging in exciting discussions about the meaning of life and if a hotdog is a sandwich. I am interested in machine learning and artificial intelligence, new advancements and achievements in hightech. Love reading and hearing awesome stories and points of views from interesting people (Elon Musk is not the only one).

Waiting for the summer with my buddy

What’s next

First things first, over the summer I plan to achieve the goals and ideas I mentioned in my proposal for the project. While contributing and working on scona I personally want to hone my programming skills and put my problem-solving skills to the next level. In addition, I would like to help to grow a community around the scona package.

As per my future plans, I plan to have my Master’s studies at a nice university with the major in Data Science. Most of all what I appreciate about Computer Science and programming is the way it enables people to bring their ideas to life and solve the problems our community faces. I also like to work on real-life projects and see the outcomes of my efforts that have influence business and society. That’s why my Master’s Degree I decided to have in Data Science, as I believe this field fits my interests at best. Interacting and collaborating with people from The Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence, will be incredibly beneficial and valuable for my future. While applying I did not know that project is within a lab at the Turing Institute though. What a great coincidence!

I am delighted of being able to contribute to such a meaningful project, become a member of the Whitaker lab research group and be part of the vast community of INCF organization. Looking forward to the great summer!

With the World Cup last summer. Next time with the real one ;)

My motto

Question everything, challenge yourself, execute!