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HSE Students Win Prizes at International Mathematical Competition

Left to right: Nikita Gladkov, Ilya Dumansky, Ilya Bogdanov, Gleb Posobin

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.

Participants in this competition are divided into two categories: Category I are 1st and 2nd-year students, and Category II includes students on their 3rd year and above.

Ilya Bogdanov and Nikita Gladkov, 2nd-year students at the Mathematics Faculty, won prizes in Category I. Nikita Gladkov was the only participant to score 40 points out of 40. This was Nikita’s first victory in an international student competition, and Ilya had already received a golden medal from the main international student competition in his field, the International Mathematics Competition for University Students (IMС 2016). Gleb Posobin, 3rd-year student of Applied Mathematics and Information Science at the Computer Science Faculty and the most experienced participant on the HSE team, won a prize in Category II. He has previously won silver at IMC 2016 and bronze at IMC 2015.

‘Studying at HSE is different from participating in student competitions, but my experience helped me understand certain interrelations in mathematics’, said Nikita Gladkov, ‘The in-depth understanding of the ideas behind the proof that you get from lectures helps you come up with your own proof. We’ve all had some successful experiences of participation in school contests. But student competitions are different from school contests. First, the participants are expected to have a greater volume of knowledge, meaning that the problems may include facts from mathematical analysis, linear algebra, and other areas of the university curriculum. Second, the solutions must be written in English, which isn’t always easy. But those who have a solid history of doing well in school contests are usually successful at these tasks as well’.

‘Our students achieve such high results for two key reasons: their high initial level, and the hard work they put in to their studies, including optional courses’, said Andrey Gavrilyuk, HSE team coach, ‘Gleb Posobin started his preparations with the ‘Mathpracticum’ optional course at Computer Science Faculty (called ‘Problem Solving Logics’ from the new academic year). This gives general training in ‘nonstandard’ problem solving and doesn’t require a lot of existing knowledge. Team members continued their preparations together on the Optional Course of Competition Mathematics, where they solve complex problems in basic mathematical subjects (algebra, analysis, analytical geometry etc). As a result, the students’ genuine interest, the results of the hard work they put in at school, and the effort they put in during optional courses at university all help contribute to their high results in competitions’.

Vojtěch Jarník International Mathematical Competition has been held by the University of Ostrava since 1991. The competition that took place on April 1 2017 attracted students from 39 European universities. Participant universities suggest one new, not previously published, problem for each category in the competition. Participant students get four problems selected from the general pool. They have four hours to solve the problems.

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