‘I Like the City as a Whole, Its Architecture and Its Strong Character’
Dr. Emiliano Catonini joined the HSE in 2013 after defending his PhD thesis in Bocconi University (Milan) and has been enjoying Moscow since then.
— What is your overall impression from your first academic year at the HSE?
— This is the first year that I have taught as a professor and in general I am satisfied. My course in game theory had many students, although not all of them came with the right attitude. Master’s students are very determined and focused. Undergraduate students are more difficult to interpret for me because they have very diverse interests and I have the impression that most of them haven't really understood what they want. It may also be due to the fact that they are very young here in Russia, on average one or two years younger than in Europe, I would say.
As for my research I didn't have much time for it in the first semester, because I had to start teaching, find a flat, get used to living in Moscow, socialise and actively participate in the life of our department. We are a small group and I believe we need to participate in all activities, even if they are not directly in our research field. Now I have more time to achieve what I wanted to achieve this year in terms of research. I will use the summer for this, so there won't be a long summer holiday for me this year. Currently I am concerned with the publication of three theoretical papers that I started in Milan when doing my PhD. The work that I do takes a lot of care, time and focus but now there is also the matter of being quick, because for one of the topics there is competition. My co-author in Milan and me are out in front but we have to speed up.
— How do you feel about moving to live in Moscow?
— I find Moscow quite a comfortable city to live in. There are nice parks, the weather is not as bad as they told me and it is predictable. I like the city as a whole, its architecture and its strong character. Moscow is unique in the world; it has some real Russian touches to it. I'd put it among the five most beautiful cities I've ever seen. It's is not a tourist-friendly city, you have to fight here to get what you want, and this is one of the things that I particularly like.
More interviews with HSE faculty can be found in The HSE LooK 6(13), July 2014