Kaie from Estonia
BMS Phase II student,
Qualifying Exam BMS,
BSc Universiy of Tartu
At the end of 2006 a friend of mine living in Berlin sent me a newspaper article about a new international math program in Berlin. BMS had started just a few months earlier. Until then I had not considered studying in Germany, although I had learned German at school as a second foreign language and had visited Berlin as a tourist. I was thinking more about universities in English speaking countries. Eventually I applied only to BMS, because the online application process for BMS was so much simpler than what I had experienced as an exchange student in North Carolina.
The beginning of Phase I was quite hard for me because I was not used to submitting homework sheets every week. But very soon small study groups were formed with fellow BMS students to discuss homework problems. This is one of the qualities I like most about BMS. When I have a mathematical question, then there is someone to discuss it with. There are just so many mathematicians around in Berlin's three universities!
Apart from mathematics, I have benefited from additional offers from BMS. For example, there is the Kovalevskaya lunch with a female professor, where female students can learn about career paths of female professors. During my first semester in Berlin I was afraid of this meeting, because I had never had lunch with any of my professors, but now it is one of my favorite events of BMS. Another example is the soft-skills seminars, where I have learned skills supporting my mathematical knowledge; my favorites so far were Mathematical Writing and Mathematical Teaching.
published in April 2012
Update 2014: Kaie is a research fellow at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. In May 2013 Kaie defended her PhD thesis. Before moving to Finland she was a visiting postdoctoral researcher at Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn.