Neural Networks,
Quantum Physics and
Water Polo Champion.
Alexander Berezutskii, MSc graduate / Photonics & Quantum Materials

Meet Aleksandr Berezutskii, graduate of the Photonics and Quantum Materials Master's program. During his two years at Skoltech, Aleksandr took the most from what Skoltech has to offer: conducted his own research in Machine Learning at Skoltech's Deep Quantum Labs, participated in an international exchange program in Hungary and even interned at Huawei.
about me
I received my Bachelor's degree at MIPT, the department of Problems of Physics and Energetics, the sub-department of Nanooptics and Spectroscopy. At end of my final year at MIPT, I learned about Skoltech and became interested because of the opportunity to build my own unique educational track, the English-speaking environment and the ability to be financially independent thanks to Skoltech's sponsorship program.
The admissions process at Skoltech is slightly different from that at other universities. It involves an online application, a subject test and an-in person interview. I took TOEFL at Skoltech and also a physics/math written exam which was rather challenging for me. Besides that, there was a team game, where candidates were to solve some real-life problems in an innovative manner and briefly present their solutions. In the end everyone had an interview with the professors from the Center for Photonics and Quantum Materials to introduce themselves from the academic point: usually the participants were talking about their graduation work or any other relevant achievements.
studies at Skoltech
Right now I'm finished with all the courses and concentrated on the thesis mostly. Typically, I reach the new campus by 11am and spent the whole day there writing and working on my dissertation.

In my research, I focus on Machine Learning. Nowadays various methods inspired by machine learning are regularly being applied in condensed matter and quantum many-body physics. In my MSc project I consider a new machine learning method to detect quantum phase transitions in many-body spin chains using feed-forward artificial neural networks in their simplest versions – without hidden layers. Indeed, the signature of a phase transition appears clearly despite the architecture's simplicity. This demonstrates the power of neural-network approach to quantum physics.

Overall, I really appreciated the flexibility of the educational and research process at Skoltech, as one can take any classes he or she prefers and work with supervisors from different centers. Concerning the classes, I really enjoyed Nonlinear Optics by Prof. Shipulin and Experimental Data Processing by Prof. Podladchikova.

After graduation, I plan to pursue a PhD in computational quantum physics, preferably with a flavor of machine learning, which is a very timely mixture nowadays. However, right now, I would like to take a gap year. In this gap year I will have a year-long internship at 1QBit in Waterloo, Canada

Photonics & Quantum Materials
Photonics and quantum materials are among the most important areas of modern science and technology. Skoltech's MSc program provides world class education and research in photonics, bio-photonics and nanoelectronics – our students will be prepared to apply fundamental science and engineering approaches to higher-level research and industrial tasks.

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study abroad & internships
I also participated in the academic mobility program in the last year of my studies at Skoltech. It was a very nice experience in the sense that I could unplug myself from everyday problems and responsibilities I face in in my home city, Moscow, and fully devote my time to the graduate project. I would highly recommend to take such an opportunity if possible. Thanks to my co-advisor in Budapest, my visit there was my best experience of these two years in my Master program.

Besides that, I had an industry immersion experience in the Huawei R&D office in Moscow. It was also a pleasure to work on an interesting and hot topic, quantum computing, with intelligent people, the majority of which graduated from my alma mater, MIPT, and therefore we had many touchpoints with each other.

free time
Back in high school I used to play waterpolo professionally, in a sport school, and even was a member of Russia U20 National Team, which took part in the European Championship in 2013 in Malta. Nowadays I play in an amateur team (check out our instagram!). I really appreciate the opportunity to do sports, because it helps not only physical health, but also mental, which might be even more important for students doing science.

I also have some places in Moscow I like to hang out from time to time. Usually I drop by the Bauman Garden or, say, the Clean Ponds, which are full of cozy bars.
advice to applicants & new students
First and foremost, carefully choose your research advisor: be very attentive in his background and research interests. This is very important, because here is what your future really depends on, not the courses covered and grades received, albeit this is also important. Additionally, Skoltech's curriculum assumes that the students are responsible adults who can make conscious decisions, fight for their interests and do not require babysitting by the professors.

Besides, during the selection process you should assume that everybody in the committee or any other evaluating organization is here to stress you out, that's why you should try not to pay attention to the unconstructive critics, which you will hear a lot and get used to. Try to remember that research is a subjective thing and you will be just fine.

The last but not the least – try to squeeze the chance to boost your English, which is the primary language of instruction at Skoltech.
now about Skoltech
Skoltech is an international graduate research-focused university that was founded by world-renowned scientists in 2011. Skoltech's curriculum focuses on technology and innovation, offering Master's programs in 10 technological disciplines. Students receive rigorous theoretical and practical training, design their own research projects, participate in internships and gain entrepreneurial skills in English. The faculty is comprised of current researchers with international accreditation and achievements.