The Department of Computer Technologies was founded in 1991 by professors Vladimir Vasilev and Vladimir Parfenov for the implementation of a special educational project aimed at creation of a through system of selection for schools and universities of training and employment for gifted in the field of precision sciences students and pupils. Over the past two decades, the project has received a wide recognition and numerous positive reviews of Russian and foreign specialists. Currently, the Department of Computer Technologies is training about 200 students, more than half of whom are the winners of regional competitions in the precision sciences and about seventy of whom are the winners of international and national competitions in mathematics, physics and informatics.
For the skills of students and teaching staff and technical equipment with the computer machines the Department of Computer Technologies is among the best Russian specialized computer Departments.
The teachers of the Department made a significant contribution to the forming of the international brand "Saint - Petersburg programmer" who is individualized by the high level of theoretical knowledge, creative approach and ability to solve difficult non-standard tasks. This brand has significantly helped in the promotion of St. Petersburg software developing companies in the world market and the formation of the St. Petersburg software industry. The software developing area has become the most rapidly developing direction of high technologies in the city. As the result, St. Petersburg has rightfully became known as the capital of Russian programming.
Currently on the basis of the Department of Computer Technologies that provides training in the 010500 "Applied Mathematics and Informatics" direction successfully works the center for preparation of young gifted programmers that has received the worldwide recognition.
Due to the victories of students who were trained in this center the NRU ITMO won the first place in the world and Russian university rankings based on the results of performances in the World Championship. The students of the Department have won the World Championship in programming semi-finals for six times, and in 1995 they were the first people from Russian universities who made it to the finals, they have become the champions of Russia in programming for five times in 1996, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2007 and for three times in 2000, 2005 and 2006 they have become the vice-champions. For fifteen years, starting in 1996, the students of the Department invariably were making it to the finals of the World Championship, in 2000 they won the silver medals in the championship, in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 they won the gold ones and in 2004, 2008, 2009 they became the absolute world and European champions in programming. These results made it possible for the NRU ITMO to take the first place in the world in Russian university rankings on the results of performances in the World Championship in 2008 and also they made it possible for the university’s team coach, the associate professor of the Department of Computer Technologies Andrew Stankevich to become the most successful coach in the world. By the teachers’, students’ and graduate students’ of the Department of Computer Technologies efforts the semi-finals of the Northeastern European Regional Contest of the World Programming Championship, National Olympiads in informatics and programming for students and pupils, National Internet Olympiads in informatics, mathematics and computer science and programming for pupils are held. For the creation of the National and International Olympiads in Informatics and programming system and for the achieved success in these competitions the Rector of the NRU ITMO, the Head of the Department of Computer Technologies Professor Vladimir Vasilev, the Dean of the Department of Information Technologies and Programming, the associate chief of the Department of Computer Technologies Professor Vladimir Parfenov, the Departments’ teachers Roman Elizarov and Andrew Stankevich were awarded the Prize of the President of Russia in the field of education in 2003.
It should be noted that a significant interest in the achievements of students and teachers of the Department is showed by the heads of the country and the city. The students of the Department of Computer Technologies of the Department of Information Technologies and Programming of the NRU ITMO who are the World Championship in programming winner were allowed to visit the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, the First Vice Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matvienko who pays great attention to the development of the St. Petersburg software industry.
The Department was a Department based on an enterprise for the works in the scientific and educational direction "Programming and software developing technologies" performed by the implementation of innovative educational programs of the University in 2007-2008. As part of this innovative educational project a very actual nowadays problem of constructing of the "school - university - research - industry" system that provides the search, career guidance, selection, additional training, preprofessional and professional training (including training in the masters’ programs, postgraduate and doctoral programs) of the highly qualified specialists in the field of software development who will be able to act as developers, researchers and managers in a wide range of scientific and technological, research and innovative projects was solved. In the implementation of this system there were used both the project and competitive approaches at the same time.
The practicability and efficiency of the usage of project approach of the educational process in the preparation of highly qualified specialists in the field of software development are coming from the technological nature of the profession of the programmer and studying disciplines. The competences in the field of programming can be acquired only in the course of solving the problems that are encountered in the course of implementation of programs and bringing them to the operating condition. During this work there has been developed and implemented the concept of continuous through ("school - university") project-based training which is based on specially designed components: the programming paradigm , the instruments, the online libraries and unified methodological approach. In 2008, for the creation of the innovative system of training for highly qualified programmers based on the use of project and competitive approaches the Rector of the NRU ITMO, the Head of the Department of Computer technologies Professor Vladimir Vasilev, the Dean of the Department of Information Technologies and Programming, the associate chief of the Department of Computer technologies Professor Vladimir Parfenov , the Head of the Department of Programming Technologies Professor Anatoly Shalyto, the assistant of the Department of Computer Technologies M. Kazakov and the associate professor of the Department of Computer technologies G. Korneev were awarded the Government of the Russian Federation award in the field of education.
In the educational process of the Department about fifteen leading Russian software developing companies that are based in St. Petersburg are involved. More than twenty employees of these companies are the part of the staff of the Department of Computer Technologies.
The achievements of students and graduates of the Department are well-known. For example, in July 2008, the St. Petersburg team of students led by the fifth year student of the Department of Computer technologies Anatoly Nikitin won the prize for the best engineering development in the finals of the most prestigious in the international computing community competition of student projects Imagine Cup, which was held in Paris. In the end of November of the same year the presentation of the first in the world WiMax communicator was held by the brand Yota. Its software was developed under the guidance of graduates of the Department of Computer technologies, programming champions of Russia (2001) and the owners of the world championship (2003) gold medals – the assistant of the Department of Computer Technologies, the General Director of the Scartel Star Lab Alexander Shtuchkin, the leaders of the company group Eugene Yuzhakov and Timofei Borodin.
Several hundred of gifted younf specialists who have graduated from the Department over the past decade have occupied a large number of leading positions in St. Petersburg software developing companies and have organized numerous companies by themselves, which currently employ more than a thousand programmers.
As part of an innovative project implementation at the Department of Computer Technologies two new masters' programs "Programming Technologies" and "Technology of software production" were created to which we invite not only the students who have completed the bachelor course of the NRU ITMO , but also promising graduates from regional universities.
The first masters’ program is aimed at training of specialists who are qualified with competences of a leading programmer, system architect and researcher. The second masters’ program is focused on training of specialist who are qualified with competences of a project manager in the production and development of software. Within these two specialties that are undertaken to meet the requirements developed by the Software Engineering Coordinating Committee "Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge SWEBOK" there were developed the educational methodical complexes, some of them are in three modules and include seven disciplines for bachelor training in the "Applied Mathematics and Informatics" direction, and some are in six modules and include fifteen disciplines for two masters’ programs.
At the Department of Computer Technologies there is research held by teachers, students and postgraduates in a wide range of areas of modern theoretical informatics, among which should be noted such directions as "Programming technologies and software production", "Automata control of mobile robots", "High Performance Computing and Computer Modeling", "Systems and algorithms for coding and compression of data", "Network optimization", "Intelligent systems and knowledge representation systems", "Artificial Intelligence", "Modeling of software and business processes", "Bioinformatics", "Programming algorithms and their visualization".
Since 2009, at the National Research University on the basis of the Department of Computer Technologies a National Research Centre "Programming and Artificial Intelligence Technologies" works.