Statement by MIPT Alumnus (01/1999)
The Physics Student, admitted to Rochester, SUNY-Stony Brook, University of Minnesota

Dear Professor,

Thank you for taking time to read my application. I believe that having read my materials, you will have a good idea of who I am. Before starting about myself I would like to write a few words about my school: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), where I study, then I will set forth my goals to and reasons for wanting to study at Your University.

MIPT is the foremost educational institution of the former Soviet Union in physics, (this is not a boast but a valid generalization of many facts). It provides preparation comparable to US educational standards; independent study being emphasized. It is my hope that you have already met other MIPT students who can confirm its reputation. If so, I would like you to consider me as an applicant from MIPT, not from somewhere in Russia.

My first acquaintance with physics occurred at the age of 7: I saw a science fiction movie. For the aliens in their spacecraft time passed much slower than for people on the Earth. My childish imagination was so struck by this fact, that with help of my parents I read my first book in physics: Gardner’s “Theory of Relativity for Millions". After that I started was and still constantly reading a variety of different books in science with my main interest in physics.

Since the 7th grade I started to take part in Physics Olympiads. These Olympiads were held on different levels of competitions. Not satisfied with these standard school programs at the age of 13 I passed entrance competitions and entered school that specialized in physics, math and computer sciences. New school gave me an opportunity to communicate with other young students who also had a keen interest in physics and math. And the spirit of competition among my peers made me study a lot by myself in order to be the best I could be.

In 1994 I entered MIPT, as a student in the Department of General and Applied Physics. I was automatically exempted from the entrance exams in physics as a previous winner of Regional Olympiad in Physics. At MIPT I continued to work hard. I spend a lot of time doing research. I have always dreamt of doing physics research myself and MIPT offers me this wonderful opportunity.

My first-year at MIPT I started to work at the Solid State Institute which is part of Russian Academy of Sciences. Under guidance of Dr. A I held my first real experiments. In his laboratory I am doing a lot of things myself: tune installations, take measurements, treat the results on computer. Generally our experiments concern exploration of the structure and phase transformation of the amorphous semiconductors under pressure. For me this is very interesting branch of Condensed Matter Physics. Work in the laboratory of Dr. B is very useful for me, because I independently read many books on the subject trying to understand better problems on which I am working.

During my second year of studies at MIPT I also started to work in one of MIPT laboratories under guidance of Professor A . Last year I held very interesting experiments in which I measured coherent characteristics of different light sources. For that purpose I designed special optical interferometer. Currently I am researching optical pumping of neodimium glass in the laboratory of Dr. A . I am usually so busy and fascinated with my research work that sometimes my transcript contains more B's than I desired. Still I always receive an increased fellowship (125% of usual).

Regarding my interests in science, my specialization at MIPT is Optics, though I am still working in Solid State Institute (for more than two years)  concentrating in the field of Condensed Matter Physics. I know more in these fields and find them very interesting. Despite that I still have required courses which I must complete and they last until the end of this academic year. These include General Physics, Theoretical Physics as well as a big deal of courses in Mathematics, Chemistry, Electronics, Computer Science and Philosophy. These courses will help create an excellent base of knowledge from which I plan to choose the topic of my future study. I will make a decision upon my future course of study as I come to know both the subject and the faculty of your department better.

Of course the main purpose of my longed-for studies at Your University is getting excellent education to launch myself on a career in physics. I feel and, I hope you also do, that I have been able to convince you along with my supporting materials, that this is a field I can excel in.

My second reason to apply to Your University is my desire to join the community of outstanding student, faculty and alumni of Your University. At MIPT I have mixed with the brightest students and some of the best scientific minds of Russia. I can well see that contacts with such people are the best way of intellectual development, which is, in my opinion, indispensable to real professional perfection. Your University is a famous place of concentration of the most prominent and creative people. I am sure that contacts with the brilliant people of your current staff could make the most valuable part of my education.

In conclusion I must say that I would regard my being admitted to Your University not only as a great honor and success but more as high responsibility and privilege. I will work hard to uphold and further the reputation of such a fine University. As to whether I shall have this honor is your decision but if I do, I will spare no pains to justify it.

Again thank you for your time and consideration. I feel that I can be a student you can be proud to say that I attended Your University.

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