The Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting: Two St Petersburg University projects have won mega-grants

St Petersburg University has opened the laboratory ‘Probabilistic Methods in Analysis’. The laboratory includes scientists from Russia, Sweden, and the USA. It is headed by Professor Håkan Hedenmalm, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. St Petersburg University won the eighth mega-grant competition of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.

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Photo: Håkan Hedenmalm

The newly-established laboratory concentrates on advancing science emphasising the bridges between mathematical analysis, probability, and statistical physics. The laboratory includes several research groups. Håkan Hedenmalm and Nikolai Makarov, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA, will lead the research in determinantal processes and their application in the theory of random matrixes, Coulomb gas, and hydrodynamics. Paul Wiegmann, the University of Chicago, USA, and Steve Zelditch, Northwestern University, USA, will focus on the inverse problems of potential theory, quantum hydrodynamics, and quantum gravity. Anton Baranov and Yurii Belov, St Petersburg University, Russia, will study how complex analysis can be applied in time-and-frequency analysis and operator theory. Additionally, the laboratory will focus on how complex analysis can be applied in hydrodynamics and theory of information transmission.

Our project concentrates on areas where mathematical analysis, probability, and mathematical physics are most relevant to each other. It also gives physicists access to the quantum world where our understanding of the world fails, and uncertainty can be modelled only by using probability methods.

Head of the Laboratory and Professor Håkan Hedenmalm

‘St Petersburg University is renowned for its school of mathematical analysis. This gives us every chance to develop areas for future research bridging physics and probability theory. This approach is expected to benefit our science in the long-term perspective. The members of the project are the world-renowned scientists. They will definitely contribute to how the laboratory will progress,’ said the Head of the Laboratory and Professor Håkan Hedenmalm.

The research group includes senior students and postgraduate students at St Petersburg University. They will be guided by renowned professors and contribute to advancing science emphasising the bridges between theory and practice. Additionally, the laboratory is open to students in mathematics and physics to engage with the research school, mini-courses, and seminars at the laboratory. The laboratory is expected to attract those who are engaged in the mathematical analysis and probability theory and offers new opportunities for collaboration in research.

The laboratory ‘Probabilistic Methods in Analysis’ is the third mathematical laboratory at the University that was opened with the support of the mega-grant programme of the Government of the Russian Federation. The first laboratory is the Chebyshev Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory that was opened in 2010. It was founded and is headed by Stanislav Smirnov who is Professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. In 2010, he was awarded the Fields Medal. Today, the laboratory includes over 60 researchers.

Founded in 2012, the ‘Home Towns’ Corporate Social Responsibility Programme is a programme of social investments of Gazprom Neft. The programme is directed at improving quality of life in those regions in which Gazprom Neft operates in Russia and abroad through local development initiatives and its own projects in culture, education, sports, and creative industries. The programme has a number of long-term ecological projects.
‘Mathematical progression’ is a programme that supports young people who are talented in mathematics. Since 2012, it has been implemented within collaboration between the ‘Home Towns’ programme and the Chebyshev Laboratory at St Petersburg University. The programme supported opening the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at St Petersburg University in 2019; master’s programme in Advanced Mathematics in 2019; and a doctoral programme in Advanced Mathematics in 2021. It offers scholarships, grants, and mobility programmes.

In 2017, St Petersburg University opened the laboratory ‘Modern Algebra and Applications’. It is headed by the world-renowned scientist in algebra Dipendra Prasad. In the end of the last year, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation extended the period of providing financial support to the laboratory for 2021 and 2022.

‘In 2013, we and Stanislav Smirnov, who is an ambassador of the ‘Home Towns’ programme, opened a programme to support mathematics and young people who are talented in mathematics in Russia. Our longstanding collaboration has resulted in opening the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at St Petersburg University. We are happy that today St Petersburg, a capital of science and mathematics, has a cluster to develop our intellectual capital through international collaboration and exchange of ideas. We are planning to collaborate in the longterm perspective to benefit our science and foresee new opportunities to develop innovations that are most relevant to business,’ said the Director of the ‘Home Towns’ programme Iarina Sugakova.