I grew up in a small industrial town close to the geographical border between Western and Eastern Siberia. Then I moved to Novosibirsk where I studied telecommunications at Siberian State University of Telecommunications and Information Sciences. During the first year of my master’s program, I got a chance to participate in an exchange program between my home university and Luleå University of Technology (LTU). This experience led to rather drastic changes in my life, as the seven years after getting the master’s degree have been spent in Northern Sweden in Luleå near the arctic circle. During these years at LTU, I obtained PhD in computer science and did my first postdoc, mainly studying Vector Symbolic Architectures and sometimes stepping away to use machine learning for solving applied problems in various domains. Over these years, I have also gained quite a lot of teaching experience while taking different roles in five different undegraduate courses given by the Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering.