Faniry Harijaona Razafindrazaka,
BMS Phase II student,
BSc University of Antananarivo Madagascar,
Qualifying Exam BMS, MSc Freie Universität Berlin

I was in South Africa in 2009, at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), when I decided to continue my study here in Berlin. At AIMS, I used to play with a 3D software called Blender, which does not have anything to do with what we were learning at that time. I realized then what kind of mathematics is my mathematics. It is the field of geometry processing and visualization. I applied to BMS because it enables me to do my kind of mathematics and to have the necessary support, not only financially, but also academically.

BMS accepted my application and finally I traveled to the old continent. I encountered many problems during my first five months here in Berlin but the BMS staff were always there to assist me bureaucratically (when I lost my documents with my passport) and morally (during my stay in the hospital). They are really good people.

The materials covered in classes are complete and are already research oriented. I did have a small problem to adjust myself to the German system but thanks to the mentoring program, my mentor was always there to advise me.

I think words alone are not enough to describe the advantages one can have here academically. My goal was always to bring together something that I like with something that I do. I achieved this goal when I was accepted to be part of the geometry processing group at the Freie Universität. I am really comfortable with this group because research should not only be about producing results but also socializing and doing things together. It may seem like the adventure will end once you are at the PhD phase, but I am just at the "phase I" of the Phase II of the BMS program, which is the phase where you have to play around with everything. The trip is still long but I know that I will not walk alone.

published in April 2012

Update 2018: Since 2016, Faniry is a research scientist at Charité in Berlin.