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‘HSE Offers the Opportunity to Study Mathematics Alongside Renowned Mathematicians as Part of a Vibrant Research Community’

‘HSE Offers the Opportunity to Study Mathematics Alongside Renowned Mathematicians as Part of a Vibrant Research Community’

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HSE University’s Faculty of Mathematics is one of the strongest in Russia, consistently ranking high on global university rankings. Its degree programmes attract the best students, not only from Russia, but also from around the world, by offering them a well-rounded mathematical education and a wide range of learning opportunities.  In an interview with HSE News Service, a Master’s student and an HSE alum talk about features of the HSE Master’s Programme in Mathematics.

Riya Dogra (India), second-year Master’s student at the Faculty of Mathematics

HSE offers the opportunity to study mathematics alongside renowned and accomplished mathematicians as part of a vibrant research community. It also has the added benefit of scholarships and cheap accommodation.

The rigorous coursework and the chance to learn with active researchers in diverse areas of math has been especially rewarding

My academic journey has been a rollercoaster so far, to say the least. I started off taking up a variety of courses to explore my interests. Initially, it was really hard to cope with the academic rigour and coursework because I did not have enough of the prerequisite knowledge that the department demanded.

After quite a difficult first semester, I managed to bridge the gaps enough to start appreciating the beauty of the subject, and I eventually narrowed my focus to some areas in algebra and topology. Some of the courses that caught my interest the most have been ‘Introduction to Algebraic Topology’, ‘Knot Theory’, ‘Combinatorics of Vassiliev Invariants’, ‘Cluster Algebras’, and ‘Functional Analysis and Non-Commutative Geometry’.

I have not interacted with a lot of teachers in the department, but a few who have especially inspired me and helped inculcate a keen interest in research are Dr. Sergey Lando, Dr. Vasily Gorbunov and Dr. Alexei Pirkovskii amongst others. Their ability to not just talk about the subject matter but also to demonstrate the motivation for it is amazing. Along with the results themselves, it reveals the beauty of the results within the larger context of the subject.

Since the beginning of lockdown, classes have mostly continued online with restricted access to the campus building. Some courses are being shifted to offline mode currently depending on how many students are in Moscow. The winter exams went quite well. The dormitory has study rooms equipped with white boards that helped me deliver talks for various seminars without any additional technical equipment required.

I am currently working on my Masters’ thesis and simultaneously also applying for PhD positions and Research groups for the 2021-2022 or 2022-2023 academic years.

Causley Broderick (Canada) HSE University alum’15, currently a PhD student at McGill University (Canada)

What made HSE unique was the number of graduate courses available each semester. Compared to McGill, for example, HSE offered nearly triple the number of special topics courses and seminars. There were lots of opportunities to learn a wide range of mathematical skills.

My Master’s thesis was on Bipolar Lawson Tau-Surfaces and Generalized Lawson Tau-Surfaces. I wrote it under the supervision of Alexei Penskoi. I am very grateful for him for introducing me to spectral geometry, our useful discussions, and his invaluable help. 

I continued the path of spectral geometry and now study the Steklov problem on non-smooth domains. Research feels different now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, not all changes are bad. Now that some academic events have moved online, I can now attend a wider variety of research seminars. 

My career goal is to become a faculty lecturer. My education experience, both in Russia and Canada, reminds me that I am most passionate about teaching others, and my hope is to pass down knowledge to the next generation of math students

A perk of the mathematics programme at HSE is that it is integrated with the Math in Moscow exchange semester. While I studied at HSE, I had opportunities to socialize with fellow foreign math students and other graduate students in the Studencheskaya dorm. I formed many lifelong friends, both from Russia and around the world. 

Moscow was a comfortable city for me. Before I moved, I read a few articles on Russian culture and what culture shock was, and in no time I felt at home. I learned a few key phrases in Russian so I could ask for directions and order food. I also got familiar with the nearby markets for buying groceries. My best advice is to be bold and try something new!

HSE University welcomes applicants from across the globe. You can choose from a number of online and offline programmes instructed either in English or in Russian. International students can apply for a Bachelor or Master’s programme by taking part in a separate admission competition and be awarded a full-tuition or partial scholarships.

If you apply for a Bachelor’s programme, including five of the eight Moscow-based English-taught undergraduate programmes, the results of your international exams in English and Mathematics can be recognized, including IELTS, TOEFL, A-Level, and other international examinations.

Bachelor applicants can take a MOCK test from home for an immediate self-assessment. Master applicants can have an online application interview and a preliminary assessment of their portfolio.

The HSE Education and Training Advisory Centre will be happy to consult applicants and their parents by email: inter@hse.ru, by phone: +7 495 531 00 59, WhatsApp: +7 916 311 85 21, or on social media in Russian or English: VKFacebookTelegram, and Instagram.

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