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What does 'phystech' or 'fizteh' mean? Tell me more about Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). What is your preferred WWW domain name? Phystech's Educational Approach. Founding Fathers. Distance Learning School. What makes MIPT's Distance Learning School different? Academicians, Hierarchy and Titles in Russian Science.


What does 'phystech' or 'fizteh' mean? The word 'phystech' or 'fizteh' (pronounced [fiz'tekh]) was derived from the name of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. It has become a part of the Russian language and is used in reference to our Institute as well as to any of its graduates. A graduate of MIPT may call himself 'phystech'. This word, of cause, may have more than one spelling in English, and 'fizteh' is one of the possibilities. 'Phystech' is spelled with the first capital letter, if referred to the Institute. Tell me more about Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). Leading Soviet scientists and Government created MIPT in 1946 as an advanced educational and research Institution with the primary concentration in Physics. MIPT quickly assumed a leading position in this field and became known internationally.It is difficult to overestimate the significance of MIPT for Soviet Physics and Science in general. Institute's graduates became academicians (see below about them and Russian hierarchy in Science), leading specialists in nuclear research and rocket science, oceanology, biophysics, radiophysics and other numerous branches of Science. MIPT's Faculty is the highest authority in Russia in the area of Physical Education at the University and advanced high school level (see below). Having said that, we want to be just with respect to the other Russian educational institutions such as Moscow and Novosibirsk State Universities and some others. They also have very good specialists in Physics and talented educators, but the MIPT's Faculty is the biggest and its collective talent is unique as unique its educational approach and experience. This is seen from the numerous educational programs the Institute runs for decades.MIPT has eight Departments . Total number of currently enrolled students is 3600. The number of first year students enrolled for 1999-2000 academic year is 681. Historical female to male ratio is approximately 1 to 10.The admission is based on the performance of the prospective students on the in-class Admission Exams offered by MIPT in July of each year in Dolgoprudnij. It means, of cause, that in July the candidates have to travel to Moscow from all Russia's 11 time zones and then take a train to Dolgoprudnij (another half an hour trip). The format of the exams changes slightly from time to time. But the classic schedule includes four exams: written and oral exam in Physics and Mathematics. A candidate gets a chance to defend his/her written work on the oral exam. The Admission Exams are graded to absolute scale. Those, who don't get the full score on these four exams, do not get a waiver for the fifth exam, which is in-class essay writing. What is your preferred WWW domain name? Please bookmark the address www.phystech.edu . In the process of putting this project together, we registered the following addresses (listed by the increasing amount of bureaucracy involved in the process of registration):Abbreviation '.ru' stands for 'Russia'. Your should get to our home page no matter which of these addresses you use. Phystech's Educational Approach. Phystech's unique educational approach was built into Russian educational system by its founding fathers. The main objective was to provide the future specialists with the broad and deep fundamental education during two or three years and then assign them to the leading research institutions of Moscow to work on the Diploma projects. Such Institutes were named 'base Institutes'. Hence the name for this educational system: 'System of Bases'. The list of Phystech's base Institutes is very long and includes among the others Institute of Space Research, Institute of Problems of Medicine and Biology, Computer Science Center of Academy of Science, Institute of High-Energy Physics and the Center for Nuclear Research in Dubna. Each of them becomes a home for a few student groups of 5 to 15 people each. Some of the students join the research teams at the base Institutes after their graduation. The standard six-year program of study includes the four-year Bachelor of Science program and then two-year Master of Science program. The students must complete the full six-year cycle of study to qualify for the State Diploma of Engineer in Applied Physics and Mathematics with their respective specialties.We do not measure the number of credit hours in our practice. However, the coursework at MIPT matches or exceeds that at the world's leading institutions of the same scientific orientation. During the first three years the students attend the required classes full-time from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or even 7:00 p.m. with one 105-minute break, five days a week. Later, the students begin to participate in the research projects, which take from 20 percent of their time on the fourth year to up to 100 percent of the time on the sixth year. The research counts towards both the course work and the full time work on the Diploma project on the sixth year. Every student takes at least 10 courses each year during the first three years of study. Phystech runs a number of important programs for advanced high school students. These include numerous Olympiads in Physics and Mathematics and Distance Learning School , which exists for 30 years. Founding Fathers. In 1946 a group of leading Soviet scientists wrote a letter to Joseph Stalin, explaining the need for the education Institute of a new type, which would merge the strong theoretical education with the hands-on training in the frontier areas of technology. Stalin signed an order and MIPT was born in Dolgoprudnij (Long Lakes), a small town near Moscow. This town was once a home to Alfred Nobel when he was helping to build. The group of scientists included among the others Nobel Prize laureates Kapitsa , Landau and Semenov. Distance Learning School. Distance Learning School at MIPT exists for 30 years. It was started by a group of MIPT's professors with the purpose to bring advanced education in Physics and Mathematics to the learners in high schools across former USSR. This is the map of Russian Federation with the dots representing the number of students of our Distance Learning in all 11 time zones of Russia. The biggest dots correspond to 1000 students, the smallest dots correspond to 50-100 students. Total number of students enrolled by the School each year is 16,000. Study materials arrive in the mail. In about a month a student sends the assigned problems back and gets them checked at MIPT. Then MIPT sends a feedback to the student with full solution to the assigned problems and the student's work checked and commented on. Normally a student gets 6 study guides and problem sets during the academic year.To enroll for the next academic year, the prospective students have to solve the assigned problems. These problems are published in January-February of each year in Kvant, Science magazine for advanced high school students. A student is eligible for enrollment in any year for any or all of the last three grades of the high School. If a student is enrolled once, the enrollment for the next year is automatic providing a sufficient degree of academic excellence at Distance Learning School.The Distance Learning School is a free educational service provided by MIPT to the eligible residents of Russian Federation. The eligibility criteria are successful solving of the assigned problems in the admission test and age (three last grades of the high school are eligible). What makes MIPT's Distance Learning School different? You can buy many interesting and useful self-study guides on College and High School Physics and Mathematics in the USA. They are good indeed, but they are more on the side of the a reference manual and definitely not intended for those who makes this or that particular subject his or her life choice. For one, an average study guide will not teach you, how to derive more complex formulae on the basis of the simpler ones. For another, the level of difficulty of the problems that are considered in a mass-market study guide is mediocre. By the 'level of difficulty' we do not mean anything like three-pages of formulae needed to get to the point. No, and no again! It is the physical intricacies what make the problem in General Physics difficult, interesting and instructive (General Physics is what you do in high School and first year of college). The ability to solve such a problem hinges on the operational ability of your imagination applied to the physical world and deep understanding of simple physical concepts introduced at high school. It is intensive brainwork, not extensive. By 'instructive' we mean something in the problem, which creates steady and useful paths in your approach to thinking about Physics while you attempt to solve this problem. These paths must be more or less generic and applicable to a greater variety of tasks, not necessary similar-looking. Academicians, Hierarchy and Titles in Russian Science. Russian Scientific hierarchy is a bit different from Western. A student becomes certified specialist with State-issued Diploma after 5 years of study. In case of MIPT it takes 6 years. This Diploma certificate far exceeds the American B.Sc. Degree standards, and, in some cases, roughly corresponds to an American Master in Science. The first scientific degree in Russia is so-called Candidate of Sciences. Almost everybody gets it after spending 3 to 5 years in the graduate School, which is open to the people, who already have Diplomas. The standards for getting the Russian Candidate Degree are considered to be a bit lower than the standards for getting an American Ph.D. The second scientific degree in Russia is Doctor of Science. This Degree is quite exclusive: only one out of about 30 holders of Candidate Degree makes Doctor. This Degree is bestowed on those, who made a new and substantial contribution to the body of Science. It is considered a lot more of a distinction than an American Ph.D. Academicians are on the top of the pyramid. This title is reserved for the scientists, who made unique and important contributions and is capable of effective leading of scientific teams and Institutes. This is the title for people, who define the science of tomorrow.
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