Emre Can Sertöz, April 2012,
BMS Phase I student, BSc Bilkent University
It was through a series of unlikely events that I ended up in BMS. It began when I heard about BMS from a Romanian postdoc, whom I met at the Nesin Mathematics Village in Turkey. Having initially planned on going to an English speaking country, I had no plans of coming to Germany. If it wasn't for her, BMS would have slipped from my awareness. Many unforeseen, shocking, yet fortunate events later, I found myself on a trip to the BMS Days for my interview. What I glimpsed at the BMS Days, however, made me fall in love with Berlin and the mathematical community surrounding BMS.
Many schools boast of having an international atmosphere. But Berlin itself is a city populated by people from all over the world. 10 minutes on the subway on a Friday night exposes you to 7-8 languages as people chat along around you. With many museums, shows, clubs and equally as many libraries, the mind cannot cease to be amazed by all the stimulus in this city.
On a more mathematical note, I always wanted to be in an environment where I could start a lively conversation with something like "Let M be a notherian R module..." In Berlin, I had the good fortune of befriending great people who not only respond well to such inquires, but greet me in a similar manner. I am convinced that I learned as much discussing problems with others as I did from classes.
As a final note, at the beginning of each semester I feel like a child in a candy store as I try to choose my courses amongst the hundred or so offerings in the three universities. From 'Stochastic Processes in Neuroscience' to 'Intersection Theory' in algebraic geometry, there is pretty much everything I could ask for. The few things I dared not hope to study became available through seminars with ambitious friends and postdocs keeping them alive.