Alumni Testimonials: Fall 2019

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Attending the Math in Moscow program was my best decision of my undergraduate years so far. Our group was met with great hospitality and everyone ensured that our transition to a new country went as smoothly as possible. In terms of mathematics, the level was rigorous and rich in content, in addition to the IUM classes we were allowed to also choose from a plethora of amazing courses at the HSE. Additionally, the professors truly cared about our learning and we all had great experiences learning about them outside of the classroom as well. Life here has been rich in many dimensions, and I would urge anybody who looks for a mathematical, cultural, and social experience to attend.

Caleb Ji
Washington University in St. Louis


If you love math and have some background knowledge in modern mathematics, then this is definitely
the best study abroad program you could ever find. In the beginning, the fast pace and “textbook-independent” teaching style made me hard to follow. However, once I get used to this kind of teaching style. I learned way more math here and started to form my “big picture” in math. End with a quote from Quora: In Russia, Math does you!

Yonghao Yu
Bard College at Simon’s Rock


Howdy,
I am a first year math student. I say this so you can feel my pain. Overall this program beat me up everyday out of love. And I am highly thankful.

Skylar Werner
University of North Texas


Мы на уроке русского языка узнали следующее:
“Если душа человека жаждет чуда, сделай для него это чудо. Новая душа будет у него и новая – у тебя” (Александр Грин)
If your soul seeks something which you hope to find in Moscow, then pursue it here, and you will not be disappointed. Be it mathematical enlightenment or cultural enrichment, the Math in Moscow program offers the unique opportunity to dig as deep as you desire in any direction you choose, with a number of kind and brilliant mathematicians to mentor your development. Like with most things in life, you get out of the program what you put in, so it helps to know what you want in advance while leaving room for necessary adjustment. Know your priorities, and manage your time accordingly. That said, I believe all the participants of this semester’s program ended the semester not only satisfied, but also pleasantly surprised with their experience in Moscow. Here I witnessed beauty in a myriad of forms, be it the deep connections between different branches of higher math, the glowing exterior of an enchanting city, or the generosity and hospitality in the hearts of the Russian people. Expect in turns hardship, adventure, and fulfillment, and if you are able, spend some time exploring the city, which is highly accessible and has a lot to offer. Looking back, you will be surprised and gratified by how much you will have grown both as a mathematician and a human being. Thank you, Moscow, for the memories, and the math.

Victoria Tsai
Stanford University


Math in Moscow is what you make of it. If you are here to learn and improve as a mathematician, you can go as far and as fast as you want. If you are here to experience another culture, the city offers so many opportunities. But whatever it is, no one here will hold your hand. You really are responsible for your own development. That’s not to say the program won’t help you. Quite the opposite. The quality of education here is superb: the professors are very dedicated to each student, and the instruction is very individualized. And the MiM staff and professors can help you find opportunities to do things around the city.

Two things I wish I had know before MiM:
1) If there isn’t a class being offered on something you are interested in, you can talk to the program coordinators. Very likely they can find a class at HSE or set up a directed study for you on that topic.
2) Find a way to do whatever you like doing for fun in Moscow. If you are having trouble finding something, ask the coordinators/staff/professors for help.

Overall Math in Moscow helped me orient my interests in math. The courses here really taught me how to learn, and as a result I feel much more confident in my ability to study advanced math. But in the end, it was the Moscow rather than the Math that made the experience worthwhile for me. As much as I grew as a mathematician here, I feel I grew as a person vastly more.

Спасибо Москва! Это не прощай.

Samuel Serra
University of Colorado Boulder


The Math in Moscow programme is a braid – its threads mathematics and Russian culture, woven closely together. It is an immersion into a uniquely Russian mathematical atmosphere which permeates every aspect of life here. Here one has the opportunity to explore any alley of mathematics as thoroughly as one desires, with talented and passionate professors illuminating an otherwise murky and difficult-to-traverse path towards understanding. Practically, this means opportunities to attend a wide range of courses and seminars at HSE, creating a reading course on a topic of one’s own choosing, and professors eagerly answering any and all questions; it is a mistake not to use these, but the real cornerstone of the programme and what enables so much learning is the amazing people – professors and students alike – which one gets to know and develop kinship with. It is what makes learning fun and inspires one to persevere when mathematics gets difficult, as it inevitably always does. Combined with getting a first acquaintance with Russia and her people – and perhaps a glimpse of the Russian soul through them – the experience in Moscow will be unforgettable.

Malcolm Fack
Lund University