Bruno Benedetti, April 2008,
BMS Phase II student, MSc University of Genoa
A challenge can push one to strive for excellence toward things thought unobtainable in ways never before imagined. The Berlin Mathematical School is composed of such challenges: born in the heart of old Europe, this institution strives to compete with the elite American universities, which will, no doubt, benefit by this competition greatly. This goal of excellence is pursued in all aspects at BMS. For example, a team of collaborators has helped me to efficiently navigate through all of the university's bureaucratic red-tape, and solved such real-life problems like finding an apartment, a doctor, and a language course. The environment here is highly cosmopolitan, and I had no problem whatsoever in feeling integrated, and at home.
The research was stimulating from the very beginning. When I arrived here as Ph.D. student in the Combinatorics and Discrete Geometry group, which collaborates with analogous high-level research teams all over the world, the group's enthusiasm for its research and its challenges were overwhelming. I love that there's no "nerd" within the group, just lively, friendly and motivating professionals. Combinatorics or discrete geometry are not very popular topics in my country (Italy), and woefully so, no such research team exists in Italy. This is one of the main reasons for my presence at BMS together with the never-ending charm of Berlin: a "poor, but sexy" city, to quote the Mayor, a place where many challenges can be accomplished.