“Fizmatclub” or “Phys-Math Club” (Physics and Mathematics Club of Steklov Institute of Mathematics at Saint-Petersburg)
Fizmatclub is a formally nonexistent educational organization. The mission is to present a choice of courses in modern mathematics and mathematical physics to those students of St. Petersburg universities who really need it and ready to spend an extra time tonight and at weekends. The attendance on our courses is free for everyone. The students are encouraged to pass exams at the end of the courses, but it is not a necessary requirement. Successful and active students who demonstrate high skills in theory and especially in solving nontrivial problems can expect a carrier support from the top mathematicians of Saint-Petersburg and a material support in attendance of Russian and International mathematical schools for students.
Fizmatclub was started at fall 2004. Weekly the courses and seminars are attended by the audience starting from 40 (at 2004) and up to 300 (in 2010) students. Our students are of very different age and background. This reflects in a big diversity in the program. We have a Sundays program for senior high school students and primary undergraduates.
There the aim is to fill gaps in school education, for example so called “Feynman program” is devoted to reading “Lectures on Physics” by Richard Feynman with detailed discussing of the background mathematics. The same audience are addressed various courses with the aim to show how elementary problems can easily turn to be very deep. To level gaps in university education we are specially supporting students-for-students courses and seminars, where strong graduate students are teaching and directing younger or less educated students. Also we are supporting students self-education reading seminars especially for modern subjects where qualified lectures are not available is St. Petersburg (sadly, there is a lot of such subjects now). On such student-to-student courses and seminars the circles of scientific friends are formed and this is very important from our point of view.
The main core of the program is various advanced courses and seminars addressed to postgraduate and PhD students. Here the stress is made on broadening the scientific horizon, one of the slogans is “Mathematicians should learn physics, physicists should learn modern mathematics”. For Saint-Petersburg we have recovered after the long break the systematic courses in Algebraic Geometry, modern Quantum Field Theory (understandable for mathematicians), Geometric Measure Theory and many others. We have a unique course in now proved to be very important A.D. Aleksandov Metric Geometry. Due to lack of lecturers on many important subjects we are developing live Internet lectures and seminars where students are lectured by lecturers from Moscow and from abroad.