Statement by MIPT Alumnus (01/2000)
The Physics Student, admitted to Rutgers, Boston University, PennState

Being born in a family of physicists I was fond of science from my childhood. Even when I was a little girl, my favorite toys have all been mechanical. Their inside was always a tempting mystery for me. Later on, the questions I asked myself have progressed to more sophisticated ones, usually dealing with nature phenomena around me - like why the sky is blue, how clouds or rainbow form, what the lightning is and so on. Fortunately, my parents were able to help me with providing the answers to some of those questions, or in some cases providing me with references on how to manage myself. Since we had a pretty extensive library at home, soon I was reading books like Swarz “Unusual physics of usual phenomena, Walker’s “Flying Circus of Physics”.

After finishing high school phys-math lyceum in 1994 I entered Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) with a strong intention to expand my knowledge of physics and mathematics. MIPT has proved itself to have the best and most uncommon educational system in our country. A lot of its alumni are now world-known prominent scientists. Here I have chosen the Department of General and Applied Physics as the most prestigious and close to my interests.

My group belongs to the sub-faculty of Quantum Radio-physics. Due to the fact that it included people who after their winning the Olympiads had had a right to enter any Russian University without exams my group was a very strong one. The spirit of competition made me study independently a lot. When I was taking special laboratory courses on advanced optics, I was struck by our teacher Prof. A’s so-called “golden hands” - very often the laboratory equipment obeyed only him. My interest in optical phenomena deepened when in 1996-97 I joined the MIPT optical laboratory of Prof. B. I joined this group mainly because they had had interesting ideas of what and how to do and were going to assemble a proper setup. Then we were assembling and tuning optical interferometers and other optical devices, investigating pumping of neodim laser.

In 1997 I was able to find the area that was of the most interest for me in physics and started to work as a research assistant in Molecular Luminescence group of Prof. C at P.N.Lebedev Physical Institute. From the beginning I was actively involved in research in our laboratory. I especially enjoyed its experimental part when I was making something with my own hands and could see the result of my work. I have assembled and mastered a Langmuir-Blodgett mini-trough and managed to obtain good quality films of fat acids and close materials. I have also got acquainted with spin-coating technique of film deposition and have fabricated polymer films for the devices. Apart from technical problems it is interesting to me to be involved in experimental investigation of energy migration in the films and complicated chemical compounds. In this lab I have gained experience of work with the equipment for absorption, polarization and luminescence spectroscopy, time-resolved electrical and fluorescence measurements, various methods for data analysis.

Along with my study and work in the lab I also worked part-time at MIPT Correspondence School (grading schoolchildren works on physics and mathematics) and at MIPT Phys.Tech.School (as an English teacher for schoolchildren) along with working as a private teacher. I enjoyed this job greatly. I enjoy communicating with people and I have got much from my students as well as my students have got from me. I believe this experience will significantly help me both in my teaching assistant assignments and in my future academic career.

Now my interests in science lie in the area of molecular, optical and chemical physics. After completing my PhD program I would like to work as a researcher and as a teacher in this field. I also believe that my serious intention for study and research, my past laboratory experience and academic background in various areas of Physics and Mathematics will be beneficial for my graduate studies. I have chosen Massachusetts Institute of Technology for continuing my education because as I know it provides excellent opportunities for studying physics and mathematics as well as for the research in the area of my interests.

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