MOSCOW CENTER FOR CONTINUOUS MATHEMATICAL EDUCATION
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During the period from Fall of 2009 to Spring 2012 69 students participated in the program: 52 students from US universities, 16 students from Canada, and 1 student from Europe. 10 students spent two semesters in Moscow, 1 student spent three semesters, and 1 girl took four semesters.
We obtained further information from 30 students of US universities having participated in the program in the semesters indicated above: 3 of them are still undergraduates; 8 alumni are taking their Master's programs now, 3 of them will begin their PhD programs this fall, 18 are working on their PhD now (9 in the top-twenty universities by the ranking of math graduate schools in mathematics), 1 is working as research analyst. 2010 is the tenth year for the Math in Moscow program. We asked our alumni to write a couple of words on the role of Math in Moscow in their education and its impact to their career. Below are their reports.
Will Fletcher (Pomona College; junior; participated in MIM during the whole academic year 2009/ 2010)It exposed me to a wide field of mathematics, and gave me an idea which parts of mathematics I would like to enter.
Adeel Khan (University of Maryland, Baltimore; junior; participated in MIM during the whole academic year 2009/ 2010)The "Math in Moscow" program was a great opportunity for me. At the time I was an undergraduate in UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), and I was feeling rather bored with the level and variety of mathematics courses offered there. MiM opened my eyes to the world of modern algebra, and helped confirm my decision to attend graduate school in mathematics. Now I am working in algebraic geometry and using what I learned in Moscow every day.
Christina Lorenzo (North Central College; senior)The Math in Moscow program was an excellent way for me to study advanced mathematics by leading researchers in their fields. It was an experience that I believe helped prepare me for graduate school in mathematics and was a great cultural experience as well.
Austin Mack (University of North Carolina at Ashville; sophomore)Math in Moscow played a large role in my education. This program gave me the opportunity to take classes in a setting I would not have been able to do at my home university. I was introduced to a field that is not taught at my university or many undergraduate universities in the US. This field lead me to heading to graduate school in mathematics to further study this field. This program played a large role in my mathematical education and I am not sure what my future would have been without it.
Bill Robinson (Grove City College; graduate; participated in MIM during the whole academic year 2009/ 2010)I attended the Math in Moscow program immediately after graduating college with a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics. The quality of education in Moscow was excellent, with a wide variety of classes offered. I had the opportunity to learn subjects which were not offered for my college degree, and I matured greatly as a mathematician. When I entered graduate school, instead of being in the bottom third of my incoming class (as I would have been without MIM), I was in the top third and had a clear idea of what I wanted to study. I still maintain contact with some of those I met in Moscow, both Russian and American, and I have gained a great appreciation for the Russian and their culture.
Natalie Sheils (Seattle University; senior)MiM was a wonderful opportunity that definitely set me apart as an applicant to graduate school. Not only did it give me the chance to see a new part of the world where an incredible amount of mathematics is and was done, but I learned from very smart people and was surrounded by peers who were also interested in pursuing careers in mathematics. These relationships have been important during my PhD work. I was able to take small classes with wonderful professors and I'm certain I wouldn't be where I am today without it.
Blagoje Djordjevic (University of Texas at Austin; sophomore)Math in Moscow made a great impression on me as a mathematician and a scientist. I went to Moscow mostly with just the mindset of a physicist but came back with a deep appreciation for the unique challenge and artistry involved in higher mathematics. The Russian approach to teaching was different for me and at times hard to keep up with, but it in the end only reinforced the respect I had for Russian scholarship. As a result of my experience in MiM I ended up finishing a bachelors in both mathematics and physics with a thesis topic in theoretical physics, which was heavily influenced by my time there. My experience studying at MiM, although not without difficulties, left an indelible impression on me and I hope that it will continue to be available to students in the future.
Moyang Li (Columbia University; sophomore)I went to Math in Moscow after my sophomore year at Columbia, when I was trying to understand what it was about mathematics that interested me. At Math in Moscow, instructors emphasized the intuitive, creative aspect of the concepts and skills we were learning. Theorems were often accompanied by imaginings of what their original inspirations might have been. Though I've decided not to continue with mathematical studies in graduate school, Math in Moscow inspired my interest in studying the creative, aesthetic and narrative aspects of proofs and proof-writing, something I'm still interested in exploring.
Jun Yong Park (University of Minnesota; sophomore)Inspiration and discovery. My first progress in mathematics wouldn't have been able if I hadn't learned topology from my study at Moscow.
Changwei Zhou (Bard College; sophomore)I am becoming seriously interested in algebraic topology after this program. I think I like my experience.
Sen Zhao (Carleton College; junior)I am grateful for the training I got at Math in Moscow. The classes offered in the program were very rigorous which trained my ability in quantitative reasoning. Therefore, although currently I am not working in a field of pure math, I do benefit from the training I got at Math in Moscow. Furthermore, Moscow is a fascinating city. My experience living there was unforgettable. I am now more comfortable to merge into a new community. The experience helped me a lot when I moved to Seattle.
Harold Blum (Swarthmore College; junior)The Math in Moscow program was essential in exposing me to fields of math that I was unable to take courses in at my home university. It was a formative experience for me
Santiago Guisasola (University of Central Florida; junior)Some of the other students I met while attending Math in Moscow are still great friends today. We often talk to each other about current research in a few fields and sometimes chat for hours about mathematical ideas. Besides this, my experience while studying in Moscow was very inspiring. It offered me a grander view of mathematics I did not have at my home university.
Matthew Stoffregen (University of Pittsburgh; sophomore)Math in Moscow was a great experience for me, and I think it has been instrumental in my experience in math so far. The quality of math instruction was great, and the topics presented were, I think, far beyond those presented at almost any undergraduate institution in the US in both sophistication and variety. I feel that the education there has made me a much stronger student of mathematics than I would otherwise be. The topics I first learned there directly helped me in an REU back in the US, and in research thereafter, and I imagine will continue to help and shape my work in the future. For me, Math In Moscow served as an introduction to mathematics above and beyond the standard undergraduate curriculum, and made my mathematical perspective completely different from what it had been at my home institution. And, because of that, I'd say that most of the math I've learned, I've learned at, or due to, Math in Moscow. Math in Moscow inspired my decision to go to graduate school, and it was the education I received there that made going to graduate school possible.
Ethan Twisdale (University of Northern Colorado; senior)Math in Moscow was instrumental in allowing my education to take its next step into graduate school. Many of the ways in which it helped me were predictable; I gained confidence in my ability to succeed at the graduate level, gained exposure to subjects not routinely taught in undergraduate programs in the United States. It also helped immensely in some less predictable ways. For instance, it provided me really the only opportunity I had to work as part of a group of strong mathematical minds. While routine in graduate school, this frequently isn't the case in undergraduate courses, and it was helpful to have a preview of sorts for this sort of interaction. It also taught me the sort of time management needed for graduate school, as its classes are more reliant upon student initiative to learn the material than undergraduate courses are in the US. Highly recommended for anyone considering graduate school.
Markus Vasquez (Oklahoma State University; senior)Math in Moscow was a great way to bridge the gap between my undergraduate coursework and the work that was expected of me when I started graduate school. I think that Math in Moscow was essential to my mathematical career.
Christopher Adkins (McMaster University (Ontario, Canada); junior; participated in MIM during the whole academic year 2011/2012)It made me switch from physics to mathematics! Made me a much better problem solver as well.
Jonathan Eskeldson (Universit of Oregon, sophomore)What I got most out of it wasn't exactly the classes, but more of the general approach to mathematics that I learned. Oftentimes, a professor would say something about math in general as a remark or introduction to what they were about to introduce. After a little more thought, you'd realize that what they just said was really significant.
Joe Ferrara (University of California, Berkeley; senior; participated in MIM during the whole academic year 2011/2012)Math in Moscow introduced me to the world of mathematics, and challenged me in many ways. The experienced helped lead me to starting a graduate program in mathematics starting this fall.
Ricardo Kabila (Connecticut College; junior)Math in Moscow helped me affirm my interests in applied math. There is so much about life, math, friendship and carrer path that I learned in the program that surely will serve me well in the years to come.
Kirill Lazebnik (State University of New York at Geneseo; senior)Math in Moscow was great! Students from liberal arts schools rarely have the chance to take classes taught by research mathematicians, and it is very important they take such classes before graduate school. Math in Moscow is one of few programs that give such students the chance, and it is unrivaled in its level of student-teacher interaction. It was also my favorite semester as an undergrad!
Zachary Breig (University of California, Berkeley; senior)Math in Moscow was amazing training in mathematics and an important cultural experience that will inform my future work in economics.
Kevin Carlson (Indiana University, Bloomington; junior)I would certainly not be where I am today, mathematically, without MiM. I felt the program skipped me ahead on the order of three semesters relative to the pace of my American program. When I got to Moscow I was barely toying with the idea of pursuing math, and still had little understanding of what such a career would entail; thus it currently looks like MiM comprised the most professionally important semester of my undergrad.
Ping Ngai Chung (Massachusetts Institute of Technology; sophomore)I was undoubtedly one of the greatest experience in my college life. I am fascinated by the strong academic environment in the program. Academically, the math classes are intense and of very high standard, comparable to those offered in my home university. Also since the classes are so small, we have much more opportunity to interact with the professors and hence have a much better understanding of the material than in a big class. The pace is also tailored according to our understanding. Besides, living next to the other participants of the program, all of whom are enthusiastic math majors, builds a good and intimate environment to learn math. Much of the learning is done through discussions with the other students. These provide a solid foundation for me to study more advanced mathematics when I am back to my home university, and confirm my interest in math research.
Jean Costello (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; junior)Math in Moscow gave me a broader understanding of the field of mathematics as a whole. Because the program was small, and we shared a living space, we were able to constantly share our ideas and experiences in mathematics. In addition, the professors were always eager to provide new insights . They encouraged us to be active learners in class, and small class sizes meant that the courses were tailored to the students in them. The courses I took through Math in Moscow gave me the background I needed for a summer REU, and the individualized structure of the classes helped me succeed on my project.
Jeremy Garcia (University of Northern Colorado; senior)Showed the demands of high level mathematics normally seen in graduate school to undergrads. Very challenging program helped to prepare for graduate school.
JAdam Martinez (Arizona State University; junior)It was a very good opportunity to experience thorough and challenging mathematics classes taught in a very different manner than I was used to. The faculty and students are among the most passionate I've worked with and it was perhaps my most academically rigorous semester. Programs I've applied to look very fondly upon the mention of Math in Moscow in my CV and rightfully so. The benefits are too numerous to list.
Ethan McCarthy (Michigan State University; senior)Math in Moscow was an absolutely incredible opportunity. It was quite simply the best mathematics instruction I have ever encountered. The level of enthusiasm and excitement put into these courses is second to none. The quality of instruction is superb, and the style of instruction is a thrilling opportunity to experience as an undergraduate. You are really allowed and encouraged to explore the subject for yourself, and this left a strong impact on me. The exercise sessions are just superb. This was definitely the best experience I had as an undergraduate, and it made me very excited to do mathematics. It has effected my career both in my enthusiasm and love of math, and in preparing me extremely well for my graduate studies.
Joshua Wilson (St. Olaf College; junior)The courses at Math in Moscow offered a mathematical challenge beyond that seen in my previous classes. Meeting that challenge built my problem solving skills and patience, as well as giving rise to genuine collaborations with my peers. (Of whom there were many more than usual, which was great.)
Cullen McDonald (Beloit College; junior)Math in Moscow was really the only opportunity I've had to take really advanced mathematics. It allowed me to spend an entire semester just focusing on that one aspect of my studies. It introduced me to the field of differential geometry, in which I hope to do research after graduation.
Aaron Schild (Princeton University; junior)Math in Moscow was an incredible program for me that really helped me solidify my interest in theoretical computer science and abstract algebra. I am planning to go to graduate school in CS with a theoretical emphasis.
Jesse Selover (Dartmouth College; sophomore)I was a Dartmouth student when I went to MiM. I applied for transfer to MIT while I was in Russia, and believe the program contributed to my success. MiM gave me many good friends with whom I am still in contact, and inspired me to pursue category theory further. This has actually helped me with computer science as well as mathematics classes at MIT. I intend to continue with both subjects (I am still an undergraduate).
Angela Kraft (Bethany Lutheran College; graduate)Math in Moscow helped me prepare for grad school. It gave me more confidence in my mathematical abilities. It also gave me the chance to explore Moscow and experience a different culture.
John Zanazzi (Northern Arizona University; senior)I cannot comment too well currently due to the fact that the semester just ended (I participated in the program during the Spring of 2013), but the Math in Moscow program allowed me to not only take coursework which I would not have been able to take at my home university, but to do so while immersing myself in an entirely different culture. Out of my four years as an undergraduate, the semester which I spent in the Math in Moscow program was the one which I matured the most.
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