The new Master’s program will give students an opportunity to be engaged in fields that are in the leading edge of research. One such promising research area is Blockchain technology, explains Andrey Rybin, the Head of the program, and also Head of the International Scientific Laboratory “Modern Communication technologies and their applications for Economics and Finance - Fin Q” at ITMO University. In the not too distant future, blockchain technology will affect all areas of communication in society starting from the business world. Banking payments and transactions, loans, notary transactions, real estate transactions, in general, all business activity today is unthinkable without a mediator and soon the middleman will disappear from the picture on the basis of this technology.

Blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a digital copy of data records. The technology is ideal for situations when network nodes are run anonymously, and have operators who are not trustworthy. Members of the network can use “smart contracts” which formalize the interactions between network users. The digital contracts are controlled automatically. Blockchain is used as the foundation for cryptocurrency, in particular bitcoin. Using the principles of this technology, further research will allow us to build platforms for entirely different purposes. If we take cryptocurrencies as an example, then blockchain allows us to replace the central element of the financial system - the bank. Thus, in the same way it can also replace the notary, realtor and any other middleman.

Using blockchain technologies, specialists from the Lab and the Chair are implementing a major international project supported by Horizon 2020. The project will be based on the Ethereum platform, created by a Russian Canadian programmer, Vitalik Buterin. The platform is supported in Russia by the “SKOLKOVO” fund. Sberbank has a number of projects it is implementing on this platform.

“Blockchain is a revolution that is happening here and now, it’s being implemented in businesses before our eyes. However, for students who are more interested in fundamental research rather than applied research, we can offer applications related to mathematical physics, for example, non-hermitian quantum theory, quantum computation and quantum walks. Or on the other hand, if a student is interested in business, we help him to start his own startup and get into the industry. There are many potential areas of research and we don’t plan to place unnecessary limits on the possibilities.” – says Andrey Rybin.

Those who work in the Chair, work on many research projects in many different areas, and Masters students can join existing, well-funded projects or implement their own ideas - the creators of the program are open to individualized curriculums and a personalized approach to teaching.

Those who will participate in the Master’s program will have the opportunity to interact with leading scientists from Brunel University (London, UK), Imperial College London (UK), University of California, Berkeley (USA) and other partner organization. In the future, creators of the Master’s program plan to strengthen academic collaboration with foreign colleagues and develop an international pHD program.

“This year we have five state-sponsored places for our Master’s course. We have a lot of experienced scholars, but not enough talented young people. So we are looking to support students with any interest, while giving high-quality education,” adds Andrey Rybin.


Applications are still open for the Mathematical Physics and Information Theory” Masters program. From late July to the middle of August entrance exams will take place. Detailed information about the program is available in Russian on the following site. You can ask additional questions by email directly with Andrey Rybin rybin@mail.ifmo.ru.

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