We are happy to welcome you to the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program. On this page you find a lot of useful information, including the schedule of the coming days. Please study this material carefully.


You are cordially invited to our

orientation session

held in our school building,

on January 31st   (Friday) 3:00 PM

street address: Bethlen Gábor tér 2, Room 102 (LOOK FOR THE SIGNS), and to the

welcome party at 5:00 PM,
in Room 224 (may change)

Please note that your participation in the orientation session is absolutely necessary!

During the orientation session we'll briefly cover all basic information regarding your everyday and academic life during the next semester, while at the welcome party you will have a chance to meet your professors for the first time and discuss details of the forthcoming classes, or simply ask questions.
As the room may change the last minute, please look for the signs inside the Bethlen tér building

Courses will start in the same building on February 3rd (Monday) morning at 10 o'clock.

Academic Calendar

First day of classes February 3 (Mo)
Feedback session February 20 (Thu) 4 pm
Registration deadline February 20 (Thu) Noon
Last day of classes May 16 (Fr)
Final exams May 19-21 (Mo-We)
Transcripts (drafts) handed out May 22 (Th)
Spring break April 12 (Sa) - April 21 (Mo)
Local math competition: April 26 (Sa)
Official holidays (no classes): April 21 (Mo), May 1st (Th)
No classes: 5/2 (Fri) — but Friday classes held May 10th (Saturday) instead
Long weekend May 1 (Th) - May 4 (Su)

Comment: There will be classes on Saturday, May 10. (Friday schedule!)

Course Offerings

Here you find a few introductory words about the courses offered this semester. For further details see the the full list of the courses with syllabi as well as the Student Handbook — both posted by January 16th.

We have the recently usual high number of students this semester (about 65 students are expected), so we will offer all the usual courses, with the popular ones, such as introductory combinatorics in parallel versions and several further optional math courses as a reading course. The usual history course, Hungarian language courses (elementary, and intermediate), a course on Hungarian culture, and three other non-math courses, a course in History (Holocaust and Memory), and a course on film analysis will also be offered.

As new opportunity two classes will be cross-listed with Eötvös University. You can take Lie algebras and/or Cryptography on their campus. Details to follow.

We also mention here that there are courses given by the Budapest branch of McDaniel College (earlier known as Western Maryland College), which you may wish to attend (without credit). These courses are held in the same building where we have the BSM classes but we can not take care of the scheduling conflicts; you will be able to audit these courses only if you do not have a BSM course at the same time. Again, these courses do not come with a BSM credit, unless special arrangements are made. In case you wish to attend any of them (even without credits), please contact the student coordinator, Ms. Anna Fóti or Dezső Miklós or Ágnes Szilárd, the Hungarian directors of the program. If you need a credit for those courses, you need (and will get) the permission of the local McDaniel office, but you should also check with your home institution if they accept them.
Please note that you may not be able to take some of these courses due to the limit on the number of students in a class (since McDaniel college naturally will admit their own students first).

The courses "Holocaust and Memory", "Hungarian Art and Culture" and "Film Analysis" are cross-listed with McDaniel College and therefore they have pre-set meeting times for the semester, and thus we will not be able to change them even if they conflict with some of the other courses you would like to take. Also, in these courses you will find fellow classmates outside of BSM. (However, these five courses count as regular BSM courses, and there is no need for special arrangements to sign up for them and these will be shown on your BSM transcript as a regular BSM course).

Many of the math courses are of introductory character with prerequisites not going beyond calculus or linear algebra, but some of them are more challenging and may require some experience in the field.

An introductory, but not at all easy version of the popular "Conjecture and Proof" course is called "Mathematical Problem Solving". This course is usually exceptionally successful - the problems given in the course are challenging but the mathematical armory one needs to solve those problems do not include advanced algebra or analysis. The course by now is a standard BSM course, is offered every semester, with code MPS.

We have been offering a complimentary make up course in "Classical algebra" during the first three weeks of the program for the last couple of semesters. The reason is that we - the professors at BSM - have experienced earlier serious lack of knowledge in this basic topic, which is a prerequisite for almost all of our courses. Many of the professors of the more advanced (and sometimes the introductory) courses spent lots of time reviewing these topics, independently of each other, and therefore loosing precious time. Therefore, we have decided to offer this additional make up course, not for credit and not to be counted against your BSM course allowance (in fact, you need not even have to register for it, since it will be over by the registration deadline). Still we urge all of you to attend this classical algebra course for your own benefit (even if you believe you thoroughly know it): nobody should claim later at BSM about the material presented here that they are unfamiliar with it or they have never learnt it. We will do our best to schedule this class in such a way that it will not conflict with any other courses. Those successfully completing the course will have that mentioned in their transcript as a NC (non-credit) course. Please note, that though the course is essentially required for all of your BSM studies, it is especially important for those who wish to take Introductory Number Theory, Galois Theory, Introductory (or Advanced, of course) Abstract Algebra and Complex Functions. Nobody should claim in those courses the lack of knowledge of some topic covered by the Classical Algebra course. In the CLA syllabus you will find suggestions how to decide if you should take this course, or have enough knowledge of the topic to skip it.

Due to the increasing demand for high level courses, we offer two advanced abstract algebra courses: beyond the "traditional," general advanced abstract algebra we will have the a Galois theory course as well. A(n almost) brand new advanced combinatorics course has been introduced (Extremal combinatorics) a couple of semesters ago - and continues - and another brand new Combinatorial Optimization course will be offered fifth time now. The usual advanced analysis courses: Functional Analysis, Real Functions and Measures are offered as well. There will be an advanced number theory course on the schedule: Additive Combinatorics.

Our relatively new and new courses:
The Elective Undergraduate Research course is designded for very advanced students - gives them the opportunity to try their hands on research within a small group setting (or individually) under the guidance of a professor. Problems that they can work on are listed at the end of the syllabus. Important: those interested in doing EUR will meet with their professors at the Welcome party, where they should arrange for the weekly meeting times. Please, beware that - just like with other courses - your EUR course may not be offered afterall! And - just like with other courses, it may be cancelled after the 3rd week. (See the course description for more details.)

And even newer courses, just starting this semester, an Introduction to Algebraic Geometry and a Non-Euclidean Geometries course!

Another set of courses are designed around teaching mathematics for gifted highschool students that Hungary has a great tradition of. These are Discovery learning for gifted students and Classroom Observations in Mathematics. If you are planning to take one of these courses enquire in advance with your home college about credit transfers: if this course will be accepted as a mathematics or education course. Note the unique opportunity to learn first hand how Hungarians became so good in mathematics!

All courses are scheduled - at least partly - based upon your preregistrations. If you wish to take any further math courses/topics, let us know that on the preregistration form and we will try to do our best to help you. Due to time constraints, we will be able to schedule only the core math courses initially. For the remaining optional course(s) you (that is, the interested students and the professor of the course) will negotiate the schedule for them either on the welcome party or during the first week of classes.

We plan a series of Colloquium Lectures on various branches of mathematics held by outstanding Hungarian mathematicians and some other related activities. Watch for announcements. These events are (almost) always scheduled Thursdays at or around 4.p.m.

Please note

Any of the courses AL1, ANT, CO1, CLX, MPS, NU1, SET, C&P, PRO, TOP will be cancelled after the trial period, if the number of registered students in the corresponding class falls below 6. Please, realize your responsibility: dropping a class of 6 at a later time would cause serious difficulties for the remaining five students. On the other hand, in case of huge classes some may be split after the final registration, or even start in two versions.

The other courses may continue to work with 2-5 students in the form of a READING CLASS, where instructors meet students for 1-2 hours per week, and the major part of the material must be studied on an individual basis. Still, in courses the same amount of material should be covered and therefore in the transcript there is no difference between reading and regular courses. D&B, LOG, and MAP will start as reading and will be changed to regular course only if their audience will exceed 6 permanently and other circumstances allow.

As said above, the schedule of classes will be distributed later, via the Internet the first week of September, while the printed version only on or just before the orientation session. Still you should know that we would have most of the time 3 or 4 classes scheduled parallel to each other, and no matter how hard we try to avoid conflicts, most of you will face the situation of having two or more of your preferred courses scheduled parallel.

The semester starts with a trial period of three weeks, when you can sit in as many classes as you wish. Only after this you must register for the courses you really want to study. In effect since the Fall 2004 semester we introduce an extra tuition fee (payable at the Budapest office) for the 6th and further you would take (that is your tuition paid in the US covers 5 math courses and any number of non-math courses). Culture, language, non credit and the math education (DLG, OBM) courses do NOT count toward the 5 or more math courses, i.e., you are free to take any of them without any restriction or liability. For any further math course(s) a non-refundable tuition of 350USD/course should be paid by the registration time (i.e., by the end of the third week). No registration for 6 or more math courses will be accepted without the presenting the receipt of the extra tuition.