Margherita Lelli-Chiesa,
BMS Phase II student,
MSc Sapienza Universita di Roma

When I looked at the BMS website for the first time, I was impressed by the richness of the Berlin mathematical landscape and how clearly it was presented. I decided to apply because of my interest in algebraic geometry, in particular, in moduli spaces, which is a very active research field in Berlin.

After two and a half years since my arrival in Berlin, I believe that this is one of the best cities to do a PhD in math! First of all, students can take advantage of both the many research groups at the three universities and the activities organized by the BMS, such as the BMS Fridays, which provide a very wide perspective. Berlin is a meeting point for mathematicians coming from all over the world for just a few days or for longer periods; this makes the research environment stimulating and exciting, expecially for young people. While in Berlin, I got in touch with a number of mathematicians personally whom I previously only knew by their research.

A graduate program is generally quite demanding and it is necessary to have someone to talk with. This is something that I have surely found at the BMS; indeed, students are very active and there are many social events where it is easy to make friends. I am confident that even after I leave, I will keep in touch with many people I met in Berlin since we have become close friends during these years!

Last, but not least, Berlin is a wonderful city and suits students perfectly! Housing is cheap (at least in comparison with other European capitals). As a PhD student, I can afford living in a nice apartment located in the center of the city; I often go to the theatre and to concerts at the Philharmonic. I enjoy the eventful nightlife that Berlin offers. It is very hard to get bored here!

published in April 2012