Hungary has a long tradition of excellence in mathematics education. However, because of the language barrier, students have not been able to take advantage of the skill and dedication of the mathematics faculties of Hungarian universities.
Initiated by Paul Erdos, László , and Vera T. Sós , the program Budapest Semesters in Mathematics provides a unique opportunity for North American undergraduates. Through this program, mathematics and computer science majors in their junior/senior years may spend one or two semesters in Budapest and study under the tutelage of eminent Hungarian scholar-teachers. The instructors of Budapest Semesters in Mathematics are members of Eötvös University and the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the two institutions known for having educated more than half of Hungary's highly acclaimed mathematicians. Most instructors have had teaching experience in North America and are familiar with the cultural differences.
All courses are taught in English.
Classes are small.
Credits are transferable to North American colleges and universities.
The school is near the center of historic Budapest.
Living costs are modest.
Semesters start in the first week of September and February. An optional intensive language course is offered about two weeks before regular classes begin. Early applications are encouraged. Qualified applicants will be accepted to participate in the program on a rolling basis once their applications are complete.
Budapest Semesters in Mathematics courses comprise 14 weeks of teaching plus one week of exams. Each course usually meets three to four times per week for a total of 42 contact hours per semester. Normally, one Budapest Semesters in Mathematics course transfers either as 3 or 4 semester hours depending on an evaluation of course material done by the home institution. Classes are taught in English by eminent Hungarian professors, most of whom have had teaching experience in North American universities. In keeping with Hungarian tradition, teachers closely monitor each individual student's progress. Considerable time is devoted to problem solving and encouraging student creativity. Emphasis is on depth of understanding rather than on the quantity of material.
The imprint of the Hungarian tradition is particularly prominent in some of the courses.
"Combinatorics" concentrates on combinatorial structures and algorithms, a stronghold of Hungarian mathematics. The courses, along with "Theory of Computing", are a valuable introduction to Theoretical Computer Science.
"Conjecture and Proof", even more than other courses, introduces the student to the excitement of mathematical discovery. Concepts, methods, ideas, and paradoxes that have startled or puzzled mathematicians for centuries will be reinvented and examined under the guidance of enthusiastic and experienced instructors. The topics covered range from ancient problems of geometry and arithmetic to 20th century measure theory and mathematical logic.