Primes Logo PRIMES: Testimonials

RSI students of Professor Etingof

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Noah Arbesfeld

My mentor, David Jordan, was able to strike a perfect balance between providing guidance and allowing me to learn about the mathematics behind our problem independently. Much of our progress was made through discussions, which helped me to achieve a greater understanding of our problem. Beyond that, David taught me how to write and present mathematics effectively.

Noah Arbesfeld, the 6th place in the 2009 Intel STS finals for a project in abstract algebra done at the RSI under the supervision of Pavel Etingof and David Jordan. Read Noah's story

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Anirudha Balasubramanian

I must point to the superb quality of mentorship I received. Martina Balagovic, both in her inexhaustible dedication and lucidity of explanation - I have not met anyone better at explaining complicated mathematical ideas - helped me grapple with topics I couldn't have imagined vaguely understanding. Even after my project, she continued as a caring mentor and role model to me, as someone I could always write to if I had math questions. Professor Etingof's prescience in picking a tractable but dynamic problem - at the intersection of many mathematical fields - was certainly key to my mathematical enrichment and deepening appreciation for mathematics. Moreover, his commitment to his students is truly special

Anirudha Balasubramanian, a semifinalist in the Siemens competition and in the Intel STS, also ranked 2nd in math in ISEF. Read Anirudha's story

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Eric Larson

At RSI, I worked with Pavel Etingof and David Jordan on a project about tensor categories. My mentors were able to guide me through understanding the problem, while still allowing me to work on the mathematics independently. But more importantly, they showed me that seemingly abstract mathematics is often in fact very accessible and extremely enjoyable.

Eric Larson, the top prizes in the Intel STS and at ISEF and the 2nd prize in the Siemens Competition.

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Akhil Mathew

Working on research projects was by far the most intellectually stimulating part of my high school days. I learned both about the process of how mathematics is done and the culture of mathematics. I additionally became aware of how much more there was to mathematics than I had previously been exposed to, and how much fun it could be. I recommend it!

Akhil Mathew, the 3rd prize in the Intel STS and 3rd in mathematics at ISEF. Read Akhil's story

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Travis Schedler

I firmly believe that any high schooler who likes mathematics and is curious about its true nature, or is interested in exploring what life is like on its frontiers, could scarcely do better than to attend the PRIMES program. It is certain to be very exciting and eye-opening, and one is certain to gain lasting and valuable friendships and mentors along the way. Above all, it is great fun! And, of course, it can provide valuable life experience, whether a head start on a career in mathematical or scientific research, or simply valuable analytical and personal skills applicable in any future endeavors.

Travis Schedler, the 5th place in the 1997 Westinghouse competition for a project done at the RSI under the guidance of Pavel Etingof and Alexander Soloviev. Read Travis's story

Photo of Dmitry Vaintrob

Dmitry Vaintrob

While in high school, I did two research projects: one with Sergei Tabachnikov, one with Pavel Etingof. My mentors showed me that surprisingly, despite the fact that I knew very little (and felt like I knew nothing at all) it was possible to work and make progress on real open problems. My mentors helped me do math that I would never have thought I was prepared for, and flesh out my ideas in rigorous proofs. It was kind of exhilarating.

Dmitry Vaintrob, the top prize in the 2006 Siemens competition and in the 2007 ISEF and the 3d place in the 2007 Intel STS. Read Dmitry's story


With questions, contact PRIMES Program Director Slava Gerovitch at