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Russian maths student receives DAAD Prize 2011

Munich, 12/13/2011

At a reception for DAAD Fellows held on 12 December, Mikhail Khotyakov was presented with the DAAD Prize 2011 by LMU Munich Vice-President Professor Ulrich Pohl. The Prize, worth 1,000 euros, is awarded to foreign students who have shown “exceptional academic ability and particular concern for social and intercultural issues.”

Born in Russia, Khotyakov has been studying mathematics at LMU for the past two years, with great success. In addition to his demanding study program, he has found ways to place his mathematical knowledge at the service of others. For instance, he organizes a “maths circle” for trainee teachers. This is a didactic model that has a long history in his homeland. The basic idea is to help children and students to develop their mathematical skills by confronting them with intriguing problems that they can work on after school and on their own. He has adapted the concept to serve as the basis for a regular undergraduate seminar, which he supervises together with Professor Rudolf Fritsch. He has studied the teaching methods practiced in Walldorf schools, and set up a maths circle for elementary-school children at Mir, the Russian Cultural Center in Munich. Mikhail Khotyakov also takes an interest in sociopolitical projects, and is actively involved in an effort to ensure the preservation of a wooded area that is threatened by plans for a new motorway between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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