The Independent University of Moscow

The Independent University of Moscow (IUM) is a small institution of higher learning and research in mathematics. The IUM consists of two subdivisions: the Higher College of Mathematics (Math College) and the Higher College of Mathematical Physics. The MMJ is launched by the Math College.

The College is established to train elite students to become research scientists, and has the following goals: to preserve the best traditions of the Moscow mathematical school; to develop a high level modern mathematical curriculum for future research scientists; to strengthen the relationship between research and university education; to integrate Russian mathematical science into the international mathematical mainstream; to enhance cultural and scientific cooperation with the Russian diaspora in the West; to fight the irreversibility of the ``brain drain'' from Russia.

The IUM was founded, under the initiative of N. Konstantinov, by its Scientific Council, presided by V. Arnold. The Council consisted of A. Beilinson, R. Dobrushin, L. Faddeev, B. Feigin, Yu. Ilyashenko, A. Khovanskii, A. Kirillov, S. Novikov, A. Rudakov, M. Shubin, Ya. Sinai and V. Tikhomirov. Professors P. Deligne and R. MacPherson, both of whom have actively supported the IUM since its foundation, are Honorary Members of the Scientific Council.

In the late Soviet period (late sixties through the middle eighties) many of the best alumni of the Department of Mechanics and Mathematics of Moscow State University were not involved in university teaching and had no chance to create their own schools due to political reasons. That chance was given to them by the IUM and they form the main core of the College faculty now.

Starting from 1991, when the IUM was founded, lecture courses were given by: D. Anosov, V. Arnold, A. Kirillov, S. Novikov, Ya. Sinai, V. Vassiliev, A. Belavin, V. Beloshapka, B. Feigin, S. Gusein-Zade, Yu. Ilyashenko, A. Khovanskii, I. Krichever, A. Rudakov, A. Sergeev, V. Tikhomirov, M. Tsfasman, and many others.

The leading professors, including V. Arnold, S. Novikov, V. Vassiliev, and B. Feigin, gave plenary talks at World Mathematical Congresses. V. Arnold and S. Novikov are members of numerous universities and academies. V. Arnold is the Craffoord Prize winner, and S. Novikov is a Fields medalist.

Faculty includes former students of V. Arnold, S. Novikov, A. Kirillov, I. Bernstein, Yu. Manin, B. Feigin, D. Kazhdan, V. Vassiliev, A. Khovanskii, Yu. Ilyashenko and others. Some courses are given by graduate students of the IUM. The possibility for a talented young person to give a course of his/her own choice is one of the advantages of the College. Among them one can name S. Arkhipov, A. Bufetov, A. Glutsuk, S. Nemirovskii (the winner of the prize of the European Mathematical Congress, Barcelona 2000), V. Ostrik, and V. Timorin.

Our curriculum is research-oriented (with excursions into ``live´´ mathematics even in the basic courses) and our style of teaching favors problem solving over memorizing proofs. We try to make the student participate in discovering the subject matter, rather than present it in a formal and dogmatic way. The spectrum of proposed problems varies from routine exercises to open research problems.

There are about 100 students at the College now. The College also has a graduate program in which 17 students are presently enrolled.

Since 1991 the Higher Math College has published more than thirty obligatory and optional lecture courses given in the College, either as informal lecture notes or in book form. Among the most popular are the lectures on PDE by V. Arnold, on Calculus by A. Kirillov, on Algebra by E. Vinberg, on Geometry by V. Prasolov and V. Tikhomirov. Since 1997 the Survey Student Lectures were organized; they are given by leading mathematicians. Later on the series was transformed into the ``Globus'' seminar. The first collection of the lecture notes of this series was published in 2000. It includes lectures of A. Anosov, V. Arnold, A. Kirillov, Yu. Manin, S. Novikov and A. Razborov.

The College faculty is involved in international scientific cooperation in many ways. In 1994 IUM signed an agreement on friendship and cooperation (jumelage) with the Ècole Normale Supèrieure (Paris, France). The first exchange of students and graduate students under this program took place in autumn 1994. After that annual visits of ENS students to Moscow and IUM students to Paris have become traditional.

Leading worldwide mathematicians regularly give talks to the students of the IUM. In 1999 such talks were given by Pierre Cartier (ENS, Paris), Steve Smale (Hong Kong-Berkeley), Alexander Kirillov (Univ. of Pennsylvania), Anatole Katok (Penn State University), Miles Reid (Warwick) and others.

In 2000 the Independent University of Moscow announced its Math in Moscow program. Under this program, the IUM invites undergraduate students majoring in mathematics and/or computer science, as well as graduate students specializing in these fields, to come to Moscow for one semester (15 weeks) of mathematics courses given in English by IUM professors. Features of the Math in Moscow Program: modern, research-oriented curriculum; highly qualified professors, with sufficient teaching experience in English; comfortable modern university building in Moscow's historic center, with all the necessary facilities (library, e-mail, Internet, copiers, inexpensive cafeteria on the premises); credits transferable to North American universities; small study groups, individual attention to all the students; Russian language learning options; the student can take as many courses as he/she likes; modest tuition, low living expenses.

In 2001 we established research brotherhood (jumelage) with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France).

A crucial point in the history of Math College was the creation, in 1994, of the Moscow Center for Continuous Mathematical Education (MCCME). The Center is governed by its Board of Trustees (chaired by V. Arnold) and headed by its directors, I. Yashchenko and V. Furin. The main activities of the Center are related to high school education, teacher training and contests, but it is also the organizational backbone for the Independent University, in particular, it provides working space for the Math College. (The Center also houses the organizing committees of the Moscow Math Olympiad, the International Tournament of Towns, the Lomonosov Science Tournament, ``math circles'', seminars for teachers, the MCCME publications group, and other groups involved in mathematical education.)

IUM, together with MCCME, becomes a new important center of the mathematical life in Moscow.

MMJ Cover

Moscow Mathematical Journal
is distributed by the
American Mathematical Society
for the
Independent University of Moscow

Online ISSN 1609-4514
© 2001, Independent University of Moscow

AMS Website