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'Math in Moscow Programme Was Absolutely Incredible'

Jonathan Gerhard from James Madison University spent one semester studying in Math in Moscow programme run jointly by HSE, Moscow Center for Continuous Mathematical Education, and Independent University of Moscow. During his time in Russia Jonathan took intensive maths courses, studied the Russian language and traveled to several Russian cities.

I think the programme was fantastic. To forgo the mathematics for a second, my experience in Russia was phenomenal. The level 2 and 3 Russian courses were taught by a fantastic, helpful, and enthusiastic professor (Dasha), who really helped me see the logic in the Russian language. By the end of the semester, I felt like I could actually come up with new sentences and phrases. Additionally, she would speak quickly to us (which I think was good for learning), but it became very evident that she was being very careful with what she was saying so that we could understand most of it, and explained words we didn't know before we even had to tell her we didn't know them!

In regards to the Russian language and culture, being in the capital of Russia was the best possible learning opportunity. People on the street don't slow down or avoid slang. Of course, everyone I met there was very receptive that I was a foreigner and would try to converse with me, but hearing the way they say things and seeing how they do things was immensely helpful in trying to adapt to Russian life for those four months.

Additionally, there were many friendly people around the dorms: people working at the food stands, grocery stores, or the hair cuttery that was a minute away; they were all incredibly nice. Having a comfortable home environment, as well as having a metro card to explore the city (there was so much to see! And much I learned I missed...but I'll save that for next time!), made for a very enjoyable stay in Moscow.

We also went on a few excursions: I personally went to both the Vladimir/Suzdal and Saint Petersburg trips. Again, these were incredible! The Saint Petersburg trip was very interesting, as we saw many royal palaces, museums (the famous Hermitage, and more), and other notable spots, as well as just exploring the city ourselves each night! The trip to Vladimir/Suzdal, rightly led by our guide named Vladimir, was so much fun! Our guide was hilarious, and made the trip immensely enjoyable. Seeing the old Russian towns of Vladimir and Suzdal with him was so much fun and very educational. The Russian architecture was absolutely beautiful! (That statement applies not only to those towns but to essentially every Russian monument/building/church we saw).

Finally, the math. It was incredible. It became very obvious that these classes would not be a walk in the park. We had incredibly intelligent professors whose own research was in the topic they were teaching. I took Algebraic Topology, Commutative and Homological Algebra, and Algebraic Geometry. The commutative algebra and algebraic geometry worked with eachother very well, and the homological algebra and algebraic topology had a beautiful interplay. These classes were incredibly hard, and yet after putting in a week's worth of work every week, I feel like I've really internalized the material.

Though I enjoyed every class massively, I absolutely fell in love with Algebraic Topology. This course was taught by Dr. Alexei Gorinov, whose homeworks were inspiring. We began solving the homeworks by working a problem at a time, but as the weeks went on, we discovered beautiful interplay between the questions. One thing we did two questions back help here, and that combined with the last question gives us the next result! It read like a novel. In that class, I feel I not only learned the material, but I learned the intuition and I gained a thinking process. I hope to go to graduate school to study Algebraic Topology.

Overall, I thought the programme was absolutely incredible. I will be strongly encouraging other students at James Madison University to participate in this programme. 

Applications for Spring 2017 semester are accepted until September 30, 2016.

See also:

Moscow Mathematical Journal Named Most Influential Russian Journal in Mathematics of 2017

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Young Stars of Mirror Symmetry Come Together in Moscow

Mirror symmetry is a relatively new field of mathematics which came into being in the 1990s. In 2017, HSE opened the International Laboratory for Mirror Symmetry and Automorphic Forms. The December conference, ‘Mirror Symmetry and Applications’, was a commemoration of its first year of operation.

HSE Researchers Find Optimal Rules for Seedings in Knock-out Tournaments

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'I’ve Liked HSE and Moscow a Lot'

Carlos Cortez, a bronze medallist of the International Mathematical Olympiad (2011, 2012, 2013) and a Mathematics graduate of MIT, recently completed a two-month research internship at the HSE Faculty of Mathematics under the supervision of Professor Sergei Lando. He will soon be pursuing a Master’s degree at University Paris-Sud in France followed by a PhD at Northwestern University (USA).  The research internship was made possible through a cooperation agreement between MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) and HSE.

‘Mirror Symmetry Was Discovered by Physicists, But Very Quickly Got the Attention of Mathematicians…’

The HSE International Laboratory for Mirror Symmetry and Automorphic Forms, which is among several international laboratories to recently open within the Higher School of Economics, was created in December 2016 as part of the Russian government’s mega-grants program. Below, the lab’s academic supervisor, Ludmil Katzarkov, along with deputy heads Valery Gritsenko and Viktor Przyjalkowski, explain why the laboratory is fully capable of becoming a unique multidisciplinary unit dedicated to the study of mirror symmetry, automorphic forms, and number theory.

Decision-making Rules Least Susceptible to Manipulation, According to Science

HSE researchers have used computer modelling to demonstrate the varying manipulability of decision-making procedures and to identify those least susceptible to manipulation. Their findings are published in the paper 'Manipulability of Majority Relation-based Collective Decision Rules'.

HSE Students Win Prizes at International Mathematical Competition

Three HSE students from the Faculty of Mathematics and the Faculty of Computer Science won medals at the Vojtěch Jarník International Mathematical Competition held in the Czech Republic. Nikita Gladkov, a mathematics student, scored maximum points and was recognized as the outright winner in his category.

Where Mathematicians Are Made

This summer, the HSE Faculty of Mathematics moved into a new building on Usacheva Street. As part of the Open House project, two HSE students – Petr Ogarok, a second-year student in the Mathematics programme, and Anastasia Matveeva, a first-year master’s student in the Mathematics and Mathematical Physics programme – gave an excursion around the new building.

International Laboratory for Mirror Symmetry and Automorphic Forms

The new International Laboratory for Mirror Symmetry and Automorphic Forms will open at HSE’s Faculty of Mathematics in 2017. This project, overseen by Ludmil Katzarkov (Professor at the University of Miami), won the Fifth Mega-Grants Competition of the Government of the Russian Federation.

Curiosity as a Good Motivation for Researchers and the General Public

In 2015 Alexey Bufetov graduated from HSE Doctoral School of Mathematics, and is now working at MIT. He has talked to HSE News Site about his research and his career as a mathematician.