Statement by MIPT Alumnus (01/1998)
The Engineering Student

When I heard that theoretical strength of a material is higher than its practical strength as much as hundreds times and that is all only because of presence of cracks, I was surprised. I decided to learn this phenomenon and carried out great number of various investigations to understand how cracks grow and how to predict demolition of materials with cracks. Now I can definitely say that I approached the final explanations of these questions.

I have been interested in science for a very long time. In high school, I attended additional physical course that included theoretical training as well as work in a school laboratory. There I first tried myself as an experimentalist making a simple hologram. When I started my studies at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) my interest in experimental physics only increased. MIPT opened great opportunities for my growth. After close acquaintance with laboratories of our department and their researches, I decided to work in field of experimental mechanics.

Investigations of mechanical properties of materials attracted my attention. In my second year I had spent all my spare time in the laboratory and it allowed me to make great progress in my investigations. My first research project was about stress concentration, especially at the top of the crack. My oral topic at Final Exam in physics was "Determination of stress concentration at the top of the crack". Later my interest shifted to more complex problem - investigations of crack creep growth and creep fracture. With results of this research, I took part in Scientific Technical Conference of MIPT with report "Investigation of kinetics of cracks by polarization-optics method". I was the only student from my Department who took part in this Conference. My work won third place award in the section "Physical Mechanics" and as one of the best works of the Conference will be published in the collection "Transactions of MIPT 1997". Currently I prepare my latest work for publication in scientific journal "Applied Mathematics and Mechanics".

Work in the laboratory gave me many qualities that will be needed for successful Ph.D. study. The strongest is skill to work with laboratory equipment. Participation in Scientific Conference developed my public speaking skills. That all and Bachelor of Sciences that I will receive next June will help me in graduate study at Your University. Another skill that work in the laboratory gave me is skill to communicate with people and as a result I became the captain of my department soccer team and later the captain of my institute soccer team. In addition, I think my participation in the Students' Theater helps to form my personality. I think I will not only enhance scientific potential of Your Department, but also enrich cultural and sport life of Your University.

Unfortunately the latest changes in Russia brought about not only positive democratic reforms and political freedom but also reduction of employment possibilities for scientists and curtailment of stable government subsidies for scientific projects. As a result the concerns about students suffered a lot. All this encouraged me to look for possibilities to continue my study in the USA. I think it would be a good chance to receive high-level education under guidance of strong scientists and excellent teachers and with the help of first-class equipment.

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