Research areas and departments
The HSE University – St. Petersburg International Laboratory of Quantum Optoelectronics was established in 2020. The main objectives of the Laboratory:
- Investigation of the properties of micro-photonic devices and materials to obtain new scientific knowledge in quantum optoelectronics and related fields of physics and nanotechnology.
- Investigation of physical phenomena in new types of nanophotonic structures with a quantum-sized active region, development of the fundamental principles of applying these structures for optical data transmission and the creation of key elements of new generation photonic integrated circuits, including neural networks.
- Participation in educational activities, including participation in development and implementation of educational programs in physics.
The laboratory created a unique scientific installation “Complex optoelectronic stand” in 2020 to allow studies in the properties of semiconductor micro- and nanostructures, as well as the features of devices based on them with high spectral and temporal resolution in a wide temperature range. The study was resulted in proposing and implementing a method allowing to transfer arrays of microdisk lasers to another substrate, for example, to a silicon substrate [A. E. Zhukov, et al, InAs/GaAs quantum dot microlasers formed on silicon using monolithic and hybrid integration methods, Materials 13(10), 2315-1-14 (2020)]. The method allows lasing generation with injection pumping and individual addressing to any required microlaser from the array. The method is of interest for the integrating laser emitters based on A3B5 semiconductors with silicon electronics and photonics.
The purpose of the Centre for Market Studies and Spatial Economics is to obtain significant results in economic theory and empirical research, based on a new class of models of market systems with free entry. The main area of scientific activity of the Centre is fundamental research on the theory of market structures with an emphasis on the application of the developed theories to international trade, the theory of industrial markets and the urban economy.
The Centre conducts both theoretical and empirical studies. The purpose of the theoretical part of the study is to explain the impact of the form of demand functions on trade flows between countries, the spatial structure of the economy, market power and other key characteristics of the market in applied general equilibrium models with imperfect competition and spatially distributed agents having heterogeneous preferences. The empirical studies by the Centre are aimed at identifying the most significant driving forces of the regional inequality, at estimating the competition intensity at urban, regional and international markets, at considering the nature of the impact of localization and coagglomeration on the formation of the structure of settlement in cities, as well as at assessing agglomeration effects and their influence on spatial patterns of localization of economic activity, taken into account for developing measures to regulate the economy.
The Centre holds an annual international conference for the theory of industrial markets and spatial economics – one of the leading events in research not only in Russia, but also in the world.
The aim of the International Laboratory of Game Theory and Decision Making is to build new bridges between cooperative behavior models and the normative concept of cooperation and fair sharing, in particular in their algorithmic and asymptotic aspects.
Key research areas:
- Design of economic mechanisms and development of new applications for specific problems of resource allocation (sharing of losses and/or profits).
- Definition of new concepts in the cooperative game theory aimed at analyzing interactions of players building up and breaking alliances through public and/or secret agreements.
- Consideration of information effects for dynamic games.
- Development of algorithmic game theory aimed at assessing the complexity of finding equilibrium outcomes.
- Investigation of the asymptotic properties of large games.
The International Laboratory for Game Theory and Decision-Making was founded by a group of leading economists, experts in mathematical game theory from SPEMI RAS, headed by the Soviet and Russian mathematician and economist Elena Borisovna Yanovskaya. The mission of the laboratory is to develop the research areas of the St. Petersburg Scientific School, collaboration with foreign scientists and the attraction of young researchers.
The laboratory allows interaction of both researchers who have long received international academic recognition and many young employees, including research interns from among the most successful undergraduate and graduate students of the Higher School of Economics.
The Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR) is engaged in sociological research from a comparative perspective. The main subjects for the study include the problems of subjective well-being and the level of happiness, the problems of migration and attitudes towards migrants in the society, the problems of nationalism and ethnic conflicts.
The LCSR focuses on the comparative analysis of norms and values. In particular, it concerns such subjects as explaining the dynamics of value shifts in Russia and other post-Soviet states for the recent 30 years, correlation of these dynamics with political and economic changes, including that in a global context, comparing Russian regions with each other, clarifying relations between cultural and historical characteristics and the level of economic development of the regions. In total, LCSR employees perform about 50 research projects aimed at publication in international peer-reviewed journals. In addition, methodological workshops are held on a persistent basis in our Laboratory, open to everyone. During the workshop, the laboratory’s employees and external participants have the opportunity to present and discuss the results of their research projects.
The LCSR performs three main functions:
1. performs fundamental scientific research in actual issues of the modern society, contributing to the development of quantitative comparative sociology in Russia and performing advisory functions in the social policy;
2. performs studies of the population and regions of the Russian Federation and the CIS countries, thereby filling the existing gaps in the missing data on the subjects studied;
3. train young people for research work, namely: attracts students and postgraduates, young PhDs not only from Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also from other regions of the Russian Federation to research work; conducts training in new modern methods of analysis, thereby reviving comparative quantitative sociology in Russia; and also makes a great contribution to the education and short-term internships of young Russian researchers abroad.
An important prerequisite for the establishment of the Laboratory for Social and Cognitive Informatics (until 2019 – the Internet Research Laboratory) is an exponential growth of computational social sciences – an area where the HSE University – St. Petersburg has a chance to occupy strong positions at the international academic arena. The specific focus of the laboratory's study is the study of social and cognitive factors of production, distribution and consumption of knowledge in a new digital environment, including Internet, aimed at developing the positive consequences of digitalization and countering negative effects. The results of the laboratory's study are a kind of response to the growing need of society for more efficient information processing, more informed decision-making and wider delegation of routine cognitive tasks to automated systems. This focus of the research should provide the HSE research team with an opportunity to activate their advantages in the basic social sciences by transforming them into more practical solutions with elements of artificial intelligence.
The interdisciplinary team of the Laboratory for Social and Cognitive Informatics studies and models interactions of individuals and groups with information, information technology and other users. Research rely on knowledge from the social, behavioral and cognitive sciences as well as advanced computer science methods, including machine learning and computational linguistics. Network analysis and advanced machine learning methods are widely used to reveal hidden patterns in highly unstructured and noisy internet data. This allowed the SCILA team to obtain important findings in the study of such diverse issues as the influence of online communities on participation in offline political life, motivation to participate in communities promoting destructive methods of treatment, the relationship of users' online activity with the individual social capital and factors affecting the ability people to detect fake news. The aim of the laboratory is to obtain breakthrough scientific results in social and cognitive information sciences under the guidance of a leading international researcher and to achieve strong positions in the international academic community.
The International Laboratory of Intangible-driven Economy at the St. Petersburg School of Economics and Management is a part of a distributed research Centre joining scientists and young researchers from the Higher School of Economics, as well as universities in Europe and America. Starting in 2018, ILIDE was transformed into a distributed research Centre between two HSE campuses – in St. Petersburg and Perm.
The aim of the research Centre is to create and publish new fundamental and applied knowledge in organizational sciences and management with a special focus on the intangible resources of companies.
The research group in St. Petersburg mainly implements projects in digital business models and digital transformation of companies and markets, as well as in economics and sports management. In addition, projects on strategic entrepreneurship and evidence-based methods in management were launched in 2020.
The priority of the ILIDE activity is to create conditions for professional growth and academic development of young researchers. It is why the ILIDE is actively engaged in the implementation of postgraduate and research master's programs at the Higher School of Economics.
The mission of the International Centre for Health Economics, Management, and Policy: a long-term contribution to improving the public health indicators through studying the quality of life and health of the population in the face of globalization, climate change, modern man-made threats and the long-term aging trend in the Russian Federation.
The Centre's projects are carried out in four areas:
(I) Health indicators (health-related life quality, the methodology and evaluation of health-related life quality, healthcare technology assessment, health inequalities);
(II) Health risks and behavior patterns (health and labor market, occupational illness, health and environment, online environment and health);
(III) Chronic diseases (HIV/Hepatitis C, cardiovascular diseases, socially significant diseases, mental health);
(IV) Evaluation of programs and policies in healthcare (development of regional strategies for health development, anti-drug policy, health insurance in Russia, assessment of regulatory impact programs).
The staff of the Centre is an interdisciplinary collaboration including sociologists, economists and demographers with extensive experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods.
The Centre for Youth Studies (CYS) is one of the leading Russian academic platforms for the sociological study of the youth. It was founded in 2009 as a partnership project between the NRU HSE University – St. Petersburg and the Research Centre “Region”. Over the past 12 years, the Centre's team has been actively engaged in a comprehensive analysis of various aspects of youth life, using qualitative and quantitative methods. In our research, we try to overcome problematizing, marginalizing and generalizing approaches to understanding the youth. It is important for us to consider young people as a subject and an active participant of social relations, building their lives under certain structural conditions. Studying young people, in our opinion, allows to better understand the ongoing situation in the modern society and to anticipate what may happen in the future. We try to critically interpret the social research of the youth, taking into account the theoretical and methodological background forming in different national contexts, and to observe the world standards of youth research.
The key research interests of the CYR include: youth cultures, subcultures, scenes and solidarity, values and lifestyles of youth, interethnic and interreligious relations on youth scenes, growing up, age and life course, youth citizenship, labor market and employment, youth entrepreneurship and consumption, youth policy.
The employees of the Centre have long proved themselves as experts in issues of youth life and youth policy in Russia.
The mission of the Center for Interdisciplinary fundamental research HSE – Saint Petersburg (CIFR) is a comparative study of literatures and forms of arts, primarily in the study of Russian literature and its international relations, in the study of the interaction of Russian, Western European and American cultures. It is aimed at studying the mutual influences of literary forms, ideas and plots in different languages, considering the deep processes in the formation and perception of a literary text. A special attention is paid to the IT area: digital research and modeling in literary criticism and linguistic poetics, studies in the genesis and evolution of poetic forms, analysis of typology in the implementation of metrically homogeneous structures in different languages.
The main objective is to reveal the historical, cultural and linguistic conditions ensuring the translation of literary forms and mechanisms of creativity. A special attention is paid to the development of the most advanced trends in literature. The study also considers the influence of Western European models of poetics, literary and cultural theory, as well as philosophy on the formation of Russian literature in the key periods of the 17th – 20th centuries. We are interested in the adaptation of Western European ideas and artistic practices in Russian literature, which was the main area of cultural and ideological exchange between Russia and Western Europe for a long time. For Western Europe and the United States, in turn, the language of Russian literature served as the most important means of communication with the Russian and Slavic world. The aim of this study is to review the phenomenon of Russian literature, providing highly intense processes of intercultural and interlingual exchange in key periods of the European history.
We use digital humanities methods, including the analysis of big data for multilingual texts, as well as computer modeling, corpus compilation, comparative study of text parameters using the apparatus of quantitative linguistics. Our activity is aimed at studying a wide range of conditions to ensure the interaction and interpenetration of literary forms, the reception of philosophical ideas and models of culture.
Areas of historical research related to the study of the history of relationships between people and nature through technology are currently very relevant and demanded. It is extremely important for the concept of the Laboratory to jointly develop two areas: environmental and technological history. Environmental history is the history of the relationship between the human and nature with implementation of these relationships through technology. Therefore, the projects implemented in the Laboratory fit into the context of both of these areas. Of considerable importance is also connection of these areas with the history of science, which determines both the development of technologies and the understanding of the laws of the functioning of nature and natural resources.
The development of these studies allows historians to be actively involved in a productive interdisciplinary dialogue with economists, sociologists, ecologists, geographers, and engineers. Studies in environmental and technological history are demanded under large international projects, including those related to modern policy in environmental management, climate risks, and the development of socio-technological systems. A special focus is placed on transnational historical research of the North and the Arctic, as well as the Baltic Sea region and the North-West in general.
The main areas of scientific research:
- The history of the study and use of natural resources, landscapes and climate in Russia and neighboring countries.
- History of development and practices of sustainable development of the North and the Arctic.
- History of the investigation of the World Ocean and use of its resources.
- The history of water, the role of rivers and water in general in the economy, culture, and the history of cities.
- History of transport and mobility, infrastructures and technology transfers, resource development technologies.
- The history of late Soviet technologies, innovations, their role in the economy and culture.
- Study of natural and cultural heritage.
The Centre for Comparative Governance Studies works in the rapidly developing areas of comparative political research – the problems of political governance. The main research area of the Centre's team in 2020 included analysis and generalization of research experience and systematization of hypotheses relating to the factors to determine the strategies of political actors, as well as the formulation, implementation and results of reforms in systems with multilevel governance. The target of the analysis are the multilevel political systems of the national and supranational levels. The conducted studies focus on the strategies of political actors in systems with multilevel governance and the influence of the regime context on the development, implementation and results of reforms in multilevel political systems. The post-Soviet context, as well as the analysis of political courses and reforms implemented both by the institutions of the European Union and the EU member states, became the empirical field for the implementation of the established objectives.
The objectives of the Centre include:
1. research, expert and analytical, consulting activities for governmental and non-governmental organizations, other legal entities and individuals on the problems of political governance;
2. organization of joint research activities with Russian, foreign and international organizations;
3. organization and implementation of an interdisciplinary dialogue, engagement of scientific, pedagogical and other employees of the HSE University – St. Petersburg, students and postgraduates of the HSE – St. Petersburg and others, including partner organizations, including international ones, to the research work of the Centre;
4. dissemination of research results, mainly through publications in leading international publications;
5. use of the results of research and development in the educational process and promotion of the practical application of these results.
The objective of the Centre for Historical Research is the systematic development of methodology and approaches to global, comparative and transnational history in various areas of historical research. The key research topics for the Centre include opportunities and potential of historical research across the crossing of the borders of national history and beyond the research agenda of the national historiographic canon; the history of diversity and the policy of discrimination; porous boundaries between the history as a discipline and related areas of the social sciences and the opportunities of interdisciplinary setting of research objectives; an imaginary border between the past and the present; the relevance of historical knowledge for modern and future public and expert discussions in modern societies.
• Russian Empire and Soviet Union
• Comparative history of empire, colonialism and nationalism
• Environmental and technological history
• Social and cultural history of borders and borderlands
• Intellectual history and history of science
• History and anthropology of religion
• History of the parliamentary system and constitutionalism in the history of Russia and Eurasia
• Historical geography, digital humanities and geographic information systems (GIS)
Since 2017, the Centre for Historical Research has been an institutional partner of the European Information and Research Network on Parliament History, being the only member of the association representing Russia. The strategic partners of the Centre include the largest research institutions in Russia, Europe and the United States.
The Centre's signature is the regular research workshop “The Boundaries of History”, organized since 2012 in cooperation with the Department of History with the support of such partners as the German Historical Institute in Moscow, the Norwegian University Centre in St. Petersburg and the Dutch Institute in St. Petersburg.
The Laboratory of Sociology in Education and Science aims to develop cutting-edge research in the sociology of education, combining theoretical models with rigorous empirical data collection and modern analytical methods (social network analysis, advanced statistical modeling, agent-based modeling). The main areas of our research are school climate, adolescent health, school segregation, and the status of migrant children in Russian schools.
We have developed a unique research tool for measuring school climate, including bullying and cyberbullying. The Laboratory studies school differentiation and school choice, analyzing two perspectives: parents/children and school administration. We have identified four groups of signals that schools send to parents: expected cost, level of parental engagement, emphasis on academic or extracurricular aspects of school life, and barriers to admission. Parents choose a school from the existing options based on their perception of and reaction to these signals, which vary according to socio-economic status.
In our research on migrant school students, we have demonstrated that ethnic minority students have high levels of motivation, and their achievement and educational aspirations are similar to those of ethnic majority students. Xenophobic tendencies among the adult population, which are often reported in the Russian media, are not reflected in students’ interethnic friendships. Schools provide a positive environment for integration.
These results can be used to offer social policy recommendations that will decrease inequality among schools and decrease the dropout rate, underachievement, adversity, and high-risk behavior.
The Centre for Data Analysis and Machine Learning was created in collaboration with JetBrains Research.
The Centre performs research and training activities in the areas of machine learning, data analysis, human-computer interaction, improvement of artificial algorithms and the interaction of autonomous agents.
Key research areas:
- Acceleration of reinforcement learning algorithms
- Using reinforcement learning algorithms in the real-world
- Cooperative autonomous agents in multi-agent environments
- Machine learning for biological and medicine problems
- Deep learning to predict molecular properties
- Deep learning in systems and structural bioinformatics
- Multimodal deep learning
The Centre's projects involve employees of various attainment levels: from bachelors and masters to experienced researchers with many years of scientific experience.
The Centre's researchers have published dozens of scientific papers, gained awards and won more than 20 machine learning competitions.
The Laboratory of Economics for Culture is a scientific structural unit of the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg. The scientific team of the Laboratory conducts fundamental and applied scientific research, expertise in the field of culture, consultations of organizations and cultural institutions. The laboratory is engaged in research activities on the actual issues in the area of culture. Multilateral studies cover such areas as online education in museum management and marketing, development and implementation of projects of creative industries, strategic planning of cultural institutions, festival management, management of cultural clusters, including creative spaces, and many others.
The results of the Laboratory's research significantly contribute to the development of museum management and marketing, are used in the training process and are disseminated through publications in leading Russian and foreign publications. The laboratory actively contributes to the development of local, interregional and international scientific cooperation of the Higher School of Economics in the field of culture.
Logistics is both a field of practice and a science. It is connected with activities such as transportation, warehousing, cargo handling, inventory, service level support, etc. The aim of logistics is to ensure that the right consumer is in the right place at the right time with the right product of the right quality, quantity, and cost. According to different information sources, average logistics costs in the world amount to 10-14% of GDP (gross domestic product). If world GDP is estimated at 88 trillion dollars (World Bank national accounts data, 2019), annual logistics and supply chain management costs are about 11 trillion dollars.
We are interested in the problem of multi-nomenclature supply (thousands of nomenclatures) in multi-level systems (manufacturer or supplier, central or regional warehouses, customers or consumers), taking into account financial, juridical, physical, personnel, and other restrictions. Our research is conducted using applied mathematics, in particular operations research, which employs the information technologies of big data processing.
The Laboratory is developing an array of models for forecasting the demand for spare parts, considering the real conditions of running transportation units. The results of our transportation research will reduce inventories, prevent shortages of spare parts, promote compliance with operational and road safety regulations. At the same time, it will minimize the negative impact of transportation on urban ecology (for example, the reduction of traffic jams when buses break down) and ensure a guaranteed level of mobility for the urban population. These results are applicable for countless manufacturing and service companies interested in making adequate, reasonable, and secure decisions in the digital era.
The purpose of the laboratory is to form a competitive research and training center that carries out fundamental and applied research of corporate innovation systems and develops recommendations on the formation of innovation and industrial policy for legislative and executive authorities.
The main tasks of the Laboratory are:
- Participation in the preparation and implementation of international programs on the profile of the Laboratory's activities.
- Conducting applied and fundamental scientific research, expertise, consultations in the field of theory and practice of formation, development and transformation of corporate innovation systems.
- The use of research work and its results in the educational process: the creation of new and modernization of existing training courses in disciplines related to corporate finance, financial, strategic and innovative management, the involvement of undergraduate and graduate students, graduate students of the HSE and its branches in the scientific and practical activities of the Laboratory, carried out in the form of educational and pre-graduate, research practices, term papers, preparation of final qualifying works, dissertation research.
- Development of professional development programs and professional retraining of specialists in the field of corporate innovation systems research.
- Implementation of research projects, research and development commissioned by executive authorities, as well as enterprises of the real sector of the economy.