Letter of Recommendation for  MIPT Alumnus (01/1996)
The Physics Student admitted to Rochester University, Rice University, etc.

P.P. Petrov
Professor of Physics at Moscow State University;
Director , Quantum Bureau of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Leninsky Prospect, 55
555555, Moscow, Russia
Tel. (095) 555-5555

I have been the leader of the USSR Physics Olympiad Team for several years. I have known Ivan Ivanov for almost 4 years. In 1991, being only 15 years old Ivan won the USSR Physics Olympiad and was invited to the winter (2 weeks) and summer (one month) sessions of the USSR IPhO team. We usually invite to the sessions 15 candidates who are seniors in High School  (i.e. 16-17 year-old students). Ivan being a junior competed in a year higher rank so we invited him also. The sessions included lectures on advanced topics in physics as well as seminars, devoted to theoretical problems and intense lab courses. The sessions also contained frequent rounds of problem solving contests designed to reduce the number of candidates. Ivan has managed to enter the final list of 7 students. He participated in 1993 IPhO as a member of Ukrainian team. His silver medal confirmed his outstanding knowledge of physics.

In 1993 Ivan entered Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). It is worth mentioning that he was accepted without any entrance examinations, while the competition for the entrance is always very keen at MIPT. As a freshman at MIPT Ivan has used his leisure time efficiently: he studied Quantum Physics and Functions of Complex Variable Theory. We have often discussed which books he should read and clarified difficult questions, if they had arisen.

I should especially mention the feature of Ivan, which stimulates him in his studies - Ivan is extremely curious person. He has a habit of asking himself  (and others) how the things work. One of the results of his searches is that Ivan is an author of 5 original problems, published in "Kvant" magazine. We (editors) annually choose 60 such problems.

During past two years Ivan has worked as an instructor of the IPhO sessions (training group consists of 4 students and 4 professors) and as a member of Soros Physics Olympiad Organizing Committee (committee consists of 5 students and 2 professors). I am sure that Ivan has acquired all the basic skills needed for work as a Teaching Assistant.

I am convinced that much of a student's success is determined by the way he used to study before entering university. According to my observations, one who used to study ahead of others in school rarely fails to do so afterwards. Ivan is not an exception to this rule. As a professor at Moscow State University (MSU), I am acquainted with students from both MSU and MIPT and I can say with confidence that Ivan Ivanov is one of the best students I have ever known.

I would like to tell a few words about some specific features of MIPT education. MIPT has close relations with the leading Russian research Institutes. The program of study is designed so that students are given all the basic undergraduate courses in their first 2-2.5 years of study. During the 6th semester of their studies students are expected to start their own scientific researches in the chosen field of physics. From my point of view the program is overloaded with physics and math, despite the obvious lack of humanities. However the main purpose of MIPT is to prepare well qualified specialists in physics - is being accomplished perfectly.

Taking into account my knowledge of Ivan Ivanov as a brilliant, industrious and intelligent student I feel confident about his ability to realize his undoubtfully huge potential.

I highly recommend Ivan Ivanov for graduate study at ... University.

Faithfully yours,

Petr Petrov

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