We are happy to welcome you to the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics. On this following 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 February 2nd  (Friday) 2:30 PM

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

welcome party
at 4:00 PM, Room 224

Please note that
your participation on the orientation session is very important!

During the orientation session we'll cover briefly all basic information regarding your everyday and academic life during the next semester, while on 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 in the last minute, please look for the signs inside the Bethlen tér building

Courses will start in the same building on February 5th (Monday) morning at 10 o'clock. The schedule of classes will be distributed later, via the Internet during the last week of January, and printed version on or just before the orientation session.

Opening Program

February 2 (Fr), 2:30 PM Orientation session, Room 102, Bethlen Gábor tér 2.
February 2 (Fr), 4:00 PM Welcome Party, Room 224, Bethlen Gábor tér 2.
February 5 (Mo), 10:15 AM   classes begin, 2nd floor, Bethlen Gábor tér 2.

Academic Calendar

First day of classes February 5 (Mo)
Feedback session February 22 (Th) 4.pm.
Registration deadline February 23 (Fr)
Last day of classes May 18 (Fr)
Final exams May 21-23 (Mo-We)
Transcripts (drafts) handed out May 24 (Th)
Official holidays (no classes): March 15 (Th), May 1 (Tue)
Spring break (no classes): April 2-9 (Mo-Mo), Including Easter Monday, April 9th
Please note that the classes of March 16th (Friday) and April 30th (Monday) will be held on March 10th (Saturday) and April 21st (Saturday), respectively, allowing two long (4-days) weekends during the semester

Course Offerings

Due to the high number of students, this semester initially we offer 20 core math courses, (introductory number theory in two different versions, with slightly different syllabi, and possibly two versions of introductory combinatorics and two versions of graph theory, in case of high interest), 5 further optional math courses (some offered as reading course, some only if there will be enough interested pre-registering students), a history course, Hungarian language courses (elementary, intermediate), a course on Hungarian culture, and four other non-math courses, a science history course, a philosophy course, a course on qualitative research methods, and a course on film analysis. At this moment, there will be several intermediate Hungarian language courses in the offer (with different emphasis) but most probably – depending on the number of students – there will be 2 or 3 finally given. Please consult the syllabi to choose the right one for yourself, and we'll discuss the details on the orientation session. Also, in case of low interest in the elementary level, we might simply cancel the elementary Hungarian language and will dedicate one of the intermediate ones for those who missed the Babilon course.

We also mention here that there are available courses given by the Budapest branch of the 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 coordinators or Dezsõ Miklós, the Hungarian director 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 might not be able to take some of these courses due to the limit on the number of students (since McDaniel college naturally will admit first their own students).

The courses Making of Modern Central Europe, Hungarian Art and Culture, Historical Aspects of Mathematics, Old World and New World Political Philosophy, Qualitative Research Methods  and Film Analysis are cross-listed with McDaniel College and therefore they have pre-decided meeting time for the semester, 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 count as regular BSM courses, no need for special arrangements to sign up for them and will be shown on your BSM transcript as regular BSM course).

Most of the math courses are of introductory character with prerequisites not going beyond calculus or linear algebra, but some of them (ALG2, COM2, FUN, GRT, GEO, RFM, and the planned DIG, D&B, LOG, BIO and MAP) are somewhat more challenging and may require some experience in the field.

This semester we introduce two brand new courses, Elementary (mathematical, of course) Problem Solving and Mathematics of Fractals. The first one, EPS, can be considered as an introductory math course based on the finest heritage of Hungarian Mathematics - just look at the reference book of that: Hungarian Problem Book, published in English by MAA - but will be challenging as well, taught by the head coach of the Hungarian Olympiad Team and a fellow teacher of him from the world famous Hungarian secondary school Fazekas (but both having higher education teaching experience as well). One of reasons we introduce this course is the high interest of BSM students in Conjecture and Proof, while not too many of them finish the course finally. If you are looking for a course which introduces you to the concept of proofs and conjectures, and the original conjecture and proof is too hard for you or simply you don't have the sufficient background, try this one, you'll enjoy it.
The other new course, Mathematics of Fractals might not need such a lengthy introduction, the title is quite straightforward. Be sure, you study the syllabus of it and have the prerequisites.

Please note that we've introduced a while ago a new interdisciplinary course, a computer science flavored course on Bioinformatics (Stochastic Models in Bioinformatics). Naturally, this is aimed for an audience with good mathematical background (i.e., you), therefore do not be afraid to take it, it will be challenging enough in mathematics (see the syllabus). On the other hand, since a couple of times it was prematurely cancelled, this course will only be offered if there will be at least 4-5 students preregistering for it.

The courses will be scheduled later 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 (maybe 5) optional courses 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 4.p.m.

Please note

Any of the courses ANT, CLX, EPS, SET, C&P, PRO will be cancelled after the trial period, if the number of registered students in the corresponding class fall below 6. Also, if the two versions of the Number theory 1 will have their total student number below 15 we might just simply join them. (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. In case of Introductory combinatorics and Graph Theory, the number of preregistering students will determine whether one or two (slightly different) versions of them will be offered.

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. Also, D&B, DIG, LOG, BIO, MAP will start as reading (if they start at all) and will be changed to regular course only if their audience will exceed 6 permanently.

Other optional elective courses – other than the standard ones above – can also be inserted in the program depending on students' demand and the availability of a suitable instructor. These additional courses may operate on ordinary or on reading basis as well (but most probably on reading basis).

As said above, the schedule of classes will be distributed later, via the Internet the last week of January and the printed version on or just before the orientation session. Still you should know that we would have most of the time 2 or 3 classes 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 must you register for the courses you really want to study. In effect from the Fall 2004 semester we introduce an extra tuition fee (payable at the Budapest office) for the 6th and further math courses you would take (that is your tuition paid in the US covers 5 math courses and any number of non-math courses). 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).

I'd also like to draw your attention to the fact that in case anybody would like to drop a course later (that is, after the final registration), it can only be done by submitting a written request (form will be provided) signed by the instructor of the course to the Budapest BSM office. Failure of doing it will result a "U" (unsatisfactory) grade for the course.

List of courses and instructors, syllabi