‘Internationalising Education Is an Essential Condition for Improving Standards’
The Master’s programmes in Mathematics and Mathematical Physics at the Faculty of Mathematics were started two years ago. We put our questions to the Dean of the Faculty, Professor Sergei Lando, to get a progress report.
— What are the first results of the Math Master’s programmes? Do you plan to make any changes in the programme this year?
— We have two Master’s programmes at the Math Faculty. Over the past two years our main task was to organise teaching on these programmes. It’s quite a serious problem for all Russian universities because while we can lean on decades of experience of devising Bachelor’s degrees and doctorates, Master’s programmes are a new thing for us. This intermediate stage, however, is important to create flexibility in higher education. The role of the Master’s is to provide essential training for those who want to be researchers but didn’t get experience while studying for their Bachelor’s degree, because it wasn’t part of the course or they were in another discipline. Over these two years we’ve learnt more about the levels of preparation Master’s students have had in other universities and now we know what they need us to teach them. Besides we needed to show graduates from other universities and colleges that our Master’s programmes were accessible to them and could be interesting. In general, we’ve solved the problems successfully.
— What tasks have you set for 2013?
— Starting this year, the Master’s programme in Mathematics is translated into English and a number of students from abroad are taking it. In 2013 we wanted to increase the number of foreign students significantly but it’s not easy because immigration laws put high barriers in the way of attracting foreigners. At the same time, everybody knows that internationalising education is an essential condition for improving standards. It’s very important for Master’s students to be able to spend a few months in other Russian or foreign universities which offer high levels of training. At the moment, these trips are sporadic but we plan to make them a regular thing, open for everyone.
— Are you expecting lectures from visiting Math “celebrities”?
— Lectures with remarkable mathematicians – both in the faculty and from outside, are happening all the time. They are attended by undergraduates, Master’s students, post-grad students and teachers alike. In fact on 17th and 18th February we will be holding lectures by members of the International Expert Council of the Mathematics Faculty – Heinemann Laureate 2012, Professor Tetsuji Miwa (University of Kyoto) and Sergey Fomin (Robert M. Thrall Collegiate Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor). They are coming for a meeting of the Expert Council. Three council members are Fields Medalists (International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics), two of whom, Pierre Deligne and Stanislav Smirnov have already given lectures to our students.
The International Mathematics Competition for University Students was held in Bulgaria from June 28th to August 3rd, 2019. 360 students from 77 teams from all over the world took part in one of the most prestigious student competitions in mathematics. Teams from the Faculty of Computer Science and the Faculty of Mathematics represented HSE University at the event.
Recently the Laboratory of Topological Methods in Dynamics, which is headed by Professor Olga Pochinka on HSE’s Nizhny Novgorod campus, received international status. Professor Pochinka spoke with the HSE News Service about the applied use of research in fundamental mathematics and her grand plans for the future. This interview is the first of a special series on HSE’s international laboratories.
Anna Kozhina, a Research Assistant at HSE’s international Laboratory of Stochastic Analysis and its Applications, earned her PhD at Heidelberg University in Germany with highest distinction and earned an academic degree of the first category from HSE’s new Dissertation Committee. This year Anna’s dissertation was awarded the Wilma-Moser prize, which recognizes the best work among female graduate students in the natural sciences. In an interview with HSE News Service, Anna discussed what made her fall in love with mathematics and how science keeps her on her toes.
Faculty of Computer Science of HSE and Skoltech are pleased to announce the launch of the second joint Olympiad in Statistical Learning Theory (SLT). The competition will be open to students specializing in the fields related to Applied Mathematics and Informatics. Following a pre-selection phase (application details below), the Olympiad final will be held at Skoltech on April 6-7, 2019.
Mathematicians at the Higher School of Economics have developed a model that explains how cell specialization arises in the context of resource constraints. The results are published in PLOS One journal.
An international group of researchers (the first author is Nikita Kalinin, HSE Saint-Petersburg, the last author is Ernesto Lupercio, CINVESTAV, Mexico) has presented the first continuous model describing self-organised criticality. The proposed solution is simpler and more universal than the classical sandpile model: it integrates areas as remote from one another as economics, developmental biology and gravity in the context of tropical geometry. The paper was published in PNAS.
Graduates of the Faculty of Mathematics at HSE, Andrey Ionov and Lera Starichkova, who have since enrolled in educational programmes at leading international universities, spoke about their love for mathematics, the level of the Bachelor programme at HSE, and admission to foreign PhD programmes.
The HSE Summer University is off to a strong start this year, and one of its programmes – the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Mathematics – has already been met with considerable enthusiasm by participating students. Designed for undergraduate students majoring in Mathematics or related areas, participants work on research projects under the supervision of distinguished mathematicians.
In July, HSE is launching two English-taught courses on Coursera. Enrollement for the courses is still open. The full list of online courses offered by HSE is available on HSE MOOCs page.
Moscow Lectures, a new series of books in English, is set to be published by Springer Nature. The series is issued jointly by HSE and Skoltech, and its Editor-in-Chief is Alexey Gorodentsev, Professor at the HSE Faculty of Mathematics. Twelve volumes are currently in preparation and the first volume will be published at the beginning of June 2018. The series builds on the outstanding research and education in the field of mathematics in Moscow. It is aimed at graduate and undergraduate students, as well as lecturers and researchers, across the globe.