Gazprom Neft and St Petersburg state University honour young Russian mathematicians

St Petersburg State University has held a formal ceremony recognising scholarship- and award-winners under the “Mathematical Progression” initiative jointly founded by the institution together with Gazprom Neft. The key objective of the project is to create new opportunities for gifted young people to gain an education in mathematics and develop their personal potential.

Gazprom Neft has been working with the Chebyshev Laboratory at St Petersburg State University since 2013. The company finances the secondment of Russian students, PhD researchers and the centre’s scholars abroad, as well as conducting seminars and conferences through the Chebyshev Laboratory and funding in-depth research in the “hard” sciences. The company also awards scholarships to undergraduate mathematics students showing significant achievement in their studies and research activities, helping to engage students and young people in the scientific research process and promoting the sharing of experience with international colleagues. Prize winners are selected annually by a competition committee comprising colleagues from the Chebyshev Laboratory and associate members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Forty eight scholarships and grants were awarded to student mathematicians at St Petersburg State University in 2017, as well as to two young academics for their achievements in research.

Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov commented: “Developing the ‘hard’ sciences is critically important to the country’s development in terms of innovation. The outcomes of theoretical research and R&D activities are the basis for bringing new technologies and innovations to light — a precursor to industrial progress. For that reason, Gazprom Neft, together with the Chebyshev Laboratory, is creating the opportunity for young and talented Russian mathematicians to study and get involved in research with leading Russian and international academics. But the project does also have a practical side: colleagues at the Laboratory are involved in our company’s R&D and technical projects in mathematical modelling and in the development of cutting-edge digital technologies. Which is why, for us, the ‘Mathematical Progression’ initiative represents a long-term investment not just in ‘hard’ sciences in Russia, but also in technological development.”

Fields Medal winner and Head of the Chebyshev Laboratory Stanislav Smirnov added: “Business support forms an important part of the university system, worldwide. Thanks to support from Gazprom Neft, in particular, our laboratory has become one of the country’s leading centres for the development of the mathematical sciences. The research we are undertaking is attracting young people, and new educational programmes are engaging talented school leavers, across the entire country. It is vital for Russia’s future that leading business organisations invest in science.”

Reference

St Petersburg State University School of Mathematics

The interdisciplinary Chebyshev Laboratory, the Theodosius Dobzhansky Centre for Genome Bioinformatics, the Centre of Game Theory, the St Petersburg State University Computer Centre and others have all been founded — and continue to flourish — at St Petersburg State University. Notable mathematics alumni include Mikhail Gromov, Leonid Kantorovich, Grigory Perelman, and Stanislav Smirnov.

The Chebyshev Laboratory at St Petersburg State University was established in 2010 as part of a Russian Government programme directed at the development of key areas in mathematical research, as well as supporting young academics. More than 300 courses and seminars have been held through the centre since 2010, as well as more than 20 scientific schools and conferences, and more than 150 visits from leading international scientists and academics. The centre has also published more than 53 scientific works, and two monographs.

The “Mathematical Progression” initiative is a joint educational initiative from Gazprom Neft together with St Petersburg State University, implemented through the Gazprom Neft “Home Towns” corporate social responsibility (CSR) project. The key aim of this comprehensive project is to engage mathematically talented children from the regions in studying at the country’s leading higher educational establishments, as well as supporting young academics and their research in applied and theoretical mathematics. Scholarship recipients are identified annually through a committee comprising members of the Chebyshev Laboratory and associate members of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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.