Joint project for pupils with outstanding mathematical ability being implemented by Gazprom Neft and St Petersburg State University

June 2015 has seen the launch of “Progress in MathematicsMathematical Progression”, a joint project between Gazprom Neft and St Petersburg State University for talented pupils showing exceptional ability in mathematics and computer science.

More than 50 high school students from 23 regions throughout Russia, including winners of the All-Russia ‘Olympiad’ and final-year high school students competing for places on the programme, visited St Petersburg where they attended a series of popular science lectures from well-known academics, obtained detailed information on educational programmes through St Petersburg State University, and visited the city’s key tourist sights.

Participants on the project, provided they are able to pass the entrance examinations to St Petersburg University, are eligible for a scholarship from Gazprom Neft, paid throughout the first year of their studies.

The “Mathematical Progression” initiative is curated by the Chebyshev Research Laboratory, under the direction of St Petersburg State University Professor (and Fields Medal Laureate) Stanislav Smirnov.

Welcoming winners of school mathematics Olympiads, St Petersburg State University Rector Nicolai Kropachev remarked on how a knowledge of mathematics allows people to fulfil themselves in various spheres of life. “Logical thinking and ability to identify inter-relationships is an important requirement for an individual living in today’s society. We understand the importance of mathematics to a successful future for Russia. Today you have the opportunity to make your mark in the development of this science.”

Gazprom Neft CEO for Corporate Communications Alexander Dybal commented: “By implementing social and educational projects, we strive to make sure people living in various regions throughout our country have the same access to education; we also try to improve living conditions, and to engage in the process of positive change in the wider environment. This new program will allow us to provide additional support to mathematically gifted students from all over Russia, seeking to study in one of the best universities in the country. ”

Gazprom Neft has been working closely with St Petersburg State University for several years and, since 2013 has supported the Chebyshev Laboratory through its “Rodniye Goroda (Home Towns)” corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme. Gazprom Neft’s total investment in educational projects managed in conjunction with St Petersburg State University amounted to RUB30 million in 2013–14. The company finances the secondment of Russian students and scholars abroad, as well as conducting seminars and conferences through the Chebyshev Laboratory. With the support of Gazprom Neft the university has been able to conduct the Gustav Lamé competition for invited professors of mathematics, allowing the organisation of a series of lectures, from internationally renowned scholars, at St Petersburg State University. Over the past year the company has endowed a series of financial awards for students and junior mathematics researchers at the university, with recipients chosen by a selection committee comprising colleagues from the Chebyshev Laboratory and associate members of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Reference

The “Home Towns” project brings together all corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects and initiatives implemented by Gazprom Neft throughout those regions in which the company operates. The programme is directed at establishing infrastructure to support children’s and public sports facilities, as well as initiatives in education, health, and in supporting the cultural potential of the indigenous minorities of Northern Russia. More detailed information on the programme is available at http://www.rodnyegoroda.ru.

About the St Petersburg State University School of Mathematics

The interdisciplinary Chebyshev Laboratory, the Theodosius Dobzhansky Centre for Genome Bioinformatics, the Centre of Game Theory and others have all been founded — and continue to flourish — at St Petersburg State University. The QS-2015 rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities 2104 (ARWU-2014) saw the University included in the top 101–150 universities for mathematics. St Petersburg State University continues to develop its cooperation with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology. Notable mathematics alumni include Mikhail Gromov, Leonid Kantorovich, Grigory Perelman, and Stanislav Smirnov.