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 September 5th  (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 September 8th (Monday) morning at 10 o'clock. The schedule of classes will be distributed later, via the Internet during the first week of September, and printed version on or just before the orientation session.

Fall 2008 Opening Program

September 5 (Fr), 2:30 PM Orientation session, Room 102, Bethlen Gábor tér 2.
September 5 (Fr), 4:00 PM Welcome Party, Room 224, Bethlen Gábor tér 2.
September 8 (Mo), 10:15 AM   classes begin, 2nd floor, Bethlen Gábor tér 2.

Academic Calendar

First day of classes September 8, (Mo)
Feedback session September 25, (Th) 4.pm
Registration deadline September 25, (Th)
Last day of classes December 12 (Fr)
Final exams December 15-17 (Mo-We)
Transcripts (drafts) handed out December 18 (Th)
Official holidays (no classes): October 23 (Th), November 27 (Thanksgiving)
Special Arrangements October 24 2 (Fr) will be off, October 18 (Sa) working day

Course Offerings

Due to the high number of students, this semester initially we offer 21 core math courses, (introductory number theory, introductory combinatorics, introductory topology and graph theory might be offered in two different versions, with slightly different syllabi, in case of high demand), 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 three other non-math courses, a science history course, a philosophy course, 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 (maybe 1 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.

Please note that there will be three additional (to the list published in the welcome letter) math courses in the offered initially, Algebraic Topology (ALT) and Combinatorial and computational aspects of bioinformatics (BIO) as possible further optional, reading courses, and Representation Theory of Finite Groups (RFG), a demanding, but earlier rather popular, high end course in algebra for those who have already had abstract algebra courses. Also, Differential Geometry will be initially considered as full course, as used to be and MAP will be offered as many times recently as Quantum Logic and Quantum Probability.

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 coordinator, Ms. Anna Fóti or Dezső 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 Holocaust and Memory, Hungarian Art and Culture, Historical Aspects of Mathematics, Old World and New World Political Philosophy, 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, DIG, RFM, and the planned ALT, BIO, D&B, LOG and MAP, and naturally RFG, the high end algebra course) are somewhat more challenging and may require some experience in the field. Recently we have introduced Elementary (mathematics) problem solving, an introductory, but not at all easy version of conjecture and proof. The course turned out to be exceptionally successful, apart of it's name, which most students did not like, referring to something "elementary". Again, the course is not elementary at all, only the mathematical armory you need to solve those problems are not advanced algebra or analysis. Therefore, the same course is offered again, with code EPS, but changing the name elementary to mathematical problem solving.
Please note that we've introduced a while ago a new interdisciplinary course, a computer science flavored course on Bioinformatics (Stochastic Models in Bioinformatics), which is offered again, due to the demand of some of you. The scope and the title of the course will be changed slightly based on the experience of the last couple of years (the new title is Combinatorial and computational aspects of 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). Please note that the course - as all others - will only be offered if there will be at least 3-4 students preregistering for it.

And finally a brand new venture from this year on: we offer a complimentary make up course in classical algebra during the first three weeks of the program. 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 (not listed, since it is assumed to be part of basic mathematical literacy). Many of the professors of the more advanced (and sometimes introductory) courses spend lots of time in revisiting these topics, independently of each other, and therefor 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 later should claim 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 it such a way that it will not be with conflict of any other courses.

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 4) 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 at or around 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, Combinatorics 1, Introductory Topology or Graph theory courses 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, the number of preregistering students will determine whether one or two (slightly different) versions of it 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, ALT, BIO, D&B, LOG, MAP will most probably 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 first week of September 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