The Independent University of Moscow (IUM), the Higher School of Economics, and the Moscow Center for Continuous Mathematical Education invite foreign students to spend a semester in Moscow participating in the MATH in MOSCOW program. Students must be undergraduate or graduate students specializing in mathematics and/or computer science.
The Moscow School of Mathematics is generally regarded as one of the leading mathematics schools in the world. Until recent years, the "Iron Curtain" and the language barrier made contacts with Russian mathematicians rather laborious. Today, many of the school's representatives teach at the best universities of the USA, Canada, and Europe, either occupying full time positions or on a part time basis. Students may now gain from the expertise of Moscow mathematicians without learning Russian: all courses in the program are in English.
The main feature of the Russian tradition of teaching mathematics has always been the development of a creative approach to studying mathematics from the very outset. This entails discovering mathematics yourself under the guidance of an experienced teacher rather than memorizing theorems and proofs. Most of the teachers are internationally recognized research mathematicians; all of them have considerable teaching experience in English.
At least one semester of advanced analysis and one semester of linear algebra are necessary prerequisites to all courses. For additional prerequisites to intermediate and advanced courses, please consult the online course descriptions.
Before classes actually begin, several days are devoted to an orientation program, during which the students learn, among other things, to organize their lives in the new environment. Students will have an extensive excursion around Moscow to help them find their way around the city. All students have access to Internet, and assistance with problems that may arise from the transition.
Students are assisted in selecting a cultural program according to their tastes. We help to arrange excursions and short trips to the Golden Ring near Moscow and to Saint Petersburg. The IUM has modest sports facilities (ping pong tables and a small field where we hold our mini-soccer games), but we try to help our foreign students practice some other sport if they so desire.
Moscow is a clean city with no slums or high risk districts, generally quite safe. Public transportation is cheap and efficient. Pickpocketing still exists, especially in public transportation, night clubs, and pop-star concerts. Although racism is considered a crime both by the law and by public opinion, there exist extremist racist groups (like skinheads) one should be aware of.
The dangers of Moscow are no worse than those of a large city in the US or Canada. If a little caution is taken, students are highly unlikely to face any serious problems. Necessary safety instructions are provided to our students at the beginning of their stay.
Each student is provided with living quarters in a student hostel not far from the IUM. There is a very inexpensive cafeteria in the main university building ($5 for lunch) and several accessible restaurants nearby, including Hard Rock Cafe, Starbucks, MacDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts.
Moscow is one of the largest cities of the world with more than 9 million people. Walking through the heart of the city, with its intricate web of streets, squares, lanes and boulevards, one feels the dynamic beat of a modern city, but at the same time constantly sees memories of the past. This extraordinary interchange between the old and the new constitutes the uniqueness of our city. Historical places, monuments, and architectural masterpieces are innumerable here.
Moscow is the cultural, economic and political center of Russia. There are a number of theaters, museums and art galleries in Moscow. The Bolshoi Theater and the Tretyakov Art Gallery are world famous symbols of Russian culture. Because of an abundance of universities and colleges, Moscow is often called the student's city.
About two thousand square kilometers of the city's total area are parks and forests, such as Sokolniki, Serebyanny Bor and Losiny (Elk's) Island, where one may find over 1400 different kinds of plants.
Moscow winters are usually pretty cold and snowy. But the low humidity helps to bear the frost. Even children go skiing when it is -5F. With enough warm clothes you will enjoy the Moscow weather: you can take long strolls, ski, and skate.
English is a foreign language studied in most of Moscow schools. Usually Muscovites are not as fluent in English as most Western Europeans. Nevertheless, the visitor will have no difficulty in finding English speaking people who are willing to help.