Ilya Fradkin, a second-year MSc student at the Skoltech Center for Photonics and Quantum Materials (CPQM), where he is pursuing a joint Skoltech and MIPT program, and a winner and prize-holder in several categories of the student Olympiad, “I am a Professional”, shares his impressions on studying at Skoltech and gives some advice to the applicants.
‒ Can you tell us about your background and first steps in physics?
‒ I started focusing on physics while still at school, simply because I loved it and was good at it. My school teachers and Gifted Education program tutors were always there to help. In the 8th and 9th grades, I began participating in [physics] Olympiads, and step by step I reached the advanced Olympiad level. In the 11th grade, I took part in the International Physics Olympiad, where I won the gold medal as a member of the Russian national team. After finishing school, I enrolled in the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), which offers vast opportunities for fulfilling oneself as a scientist.
‒ Why did you choose Skoltech for your scientific career?
‒ Having completed my undergraduate studies at MIPT, I enrolled in the Skoltech and MIPT joint Master’s program, so now I am studying simultaneously at CPQM at Skoltech and at the sub-department of Quantum Nano Structures, Materials and Devices within the Department of General and Applied Physics at MIPT. Skoltech offers an exciting opportunity to meet and work with world-renowned scientists and to follow a broad variety of courses on the physical fundamentals of photonics, advanced quantum mechanics, the biomedical application of photonics and other disciplines. My supervisor at Skoltech, Professor Nikolay Gippius, is Head of the CPQM Theoretical Nano Photonics Group and is excellent to work with. At the end of my studies, I will receive two diplomas ‒ one from Skoltech and one from MIPT.
‒ What does Skoltech mean to you and what do you like most about it?
‒ At Skoltech, you can fully immerse yourself in science, working side by side with world-class professionals in a very friendly environment where everyone is ready to join efforts in search of trailblazing ideas and solutions. Research teams are eager to collaborate with one another on topics of common interest.
‒ If you were to portray Skoltech as a human, what image would come to your mind?
‒ I would imagine an ambitious young person who is fascinated by the latest science and technology trends, has a passion for innovation and is always eager to learn.
‒ What advice would you give to those who plan to enroll in Skoltech?
‒ Before you decide to apply, check out the research areas and choose the research group you wish to join. The earlier you meet your fellow researchers and see what they do, the easier it will be for you to make an informed choice.
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