A ceremony has been recently held to hand out awards to the winners of Mathematical Progression. It is a joint project of St Petersburg University and the gas and oil company Gazprom Neft to support talented mathematicians.  All told, 99 students and young researchers received scholarships and prizes in recognition of their achievements. 

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This year’s laureates include winners of the International Mathematical Olympiad, along with finalists and medal winners of Google Hash Code, VK Cup and other prestigious programming competitions.  The award winners are determined every year by scholars from St Petersburg University and the Russian Academy of Sciences.  The chairman of the Expert Commission is Stanislav Smirnov, Head of the Chebyshev Mathematical Laboratory, Academic Supervisor at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at St Petersburg University and a Fields medallist.

Since the inception of Mathematical Progression, 700 scholarships have been awarded. More than 30 postgraduate students and post-doctoral researchers have received special funding for research and nearly 100 young scholars have undergone internships.  This year, one of the award winners, master’s student Nikita Karogodin, took second place in the undergraduates nomination of the prestigious August Möbius Contest.

Mathematical Progression is part of the Home Towns corporate social responsibility programme that Gazprom Neft has been developing in St Petersburg since 2013.  The company invests in the development of the mathematical sciences and education, not only supporting basic mathematics, but also solving applied technological problems.

The Home Towns project is a social responsibility programme that Gazprom Neft has been carrying out since 2012.  It is aimed at improving the quality of life within the company’s footprint in Russia and abroad by supporting local community initiatives and its own projects in the fields of culture, education, sport and the development of creative industries. The programme is engaged in a number of long-term environmental projects.

‘We are very grateful to Gazprom Neft and Home Towns for their support.  It has helped us raise the level of education in mathematics at St Petersburg University and to attract many good students from all over the country,’ noted Stanislav Smirnov, Head of the Chebyshev Laboratory and Academic Supervisor of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Sciences at St Petersburg University, Professor at the University of Geneva and Ambassador of the Home Towns programme.  ‘It is symbolic that we have gathered together at the end of 2021, which has been celebrated in Russia as the Year of Science and Technology, and on the eve of 2022, proclaimed by the UN as the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development. In 2022, the International Congress of Mathematicians – one of the oldest and most important scientific congresses – will be held in St Petersburg.  Never before has science, and especially mathematics, been as significant as it is today.’

‘Mathematical Progression has become our most successful project in support of science and education. On the one hand, we give high school students from all over Russia the opportunity to continue their education in mathematics. The best students are provided with scholarships, young researchers with grants to continue their research, and research teams with the resources they need,’ Alexander Dybal, a member of the Gazprom Neft Management Board.   ‘On the other hand, mathematicians from the University work alongside engineers from Gazprom Neft to create digital models and use artificial intelligence in their analyses.  We employ mathematical models to automate production, to manage marine logistics in the Arctic, and to analyse data from geological exploration.’