BUDAPEST SEMESTERS IN MATHEMATICS
FALL & SPRING SEMESTER OPTIONS
Study Mathematics in Hungary
Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM) is an academic program held in Budapest, Hungary for American and Canadian undergraduates. All courses are taught in English.
From modest beginnings in 1985, BSM has come to be viewed as one of the most prestigious and essential study-abroad programs for undergraduate students of Mathematics.
Through this program, mathematics and computer science majors in their junior/senior years may spend fall, spring or summer semester in Budapest and study under the tutelage of eminent Hungarian scholar-teachers. The instructors of BSM are members of Eötvös University, the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Budapest University of Technology and Economics, the three institutions known for having educated more than half of Hungary's highly acclaimed mathematicians. Most instructors have had teaching experience in North America and are familiar with the cultural differences.
All courses are taught in English.
Classes are small.
Credits are transferable to North American colleges and universities.
The school is near the center of historic Budapest.
Budapest Semesters in Mathematics courses comprise 14 weeks of teaching plus one week of exams. Each course usually meets three to four times per week for a total of 56 contact hours per semester. The summer program is six weeks long, meets two hours per day, four days a week with the expectation that students will take two full-credit courses. Normally, one Budapest Semesters in Mathematics course transfers either as 3 or 4 semester hours depending on an evaluation of course material done by the home institution. Classes are taught in English by eminent Hungarian professors, most of whom have had teaching experience in North American universities. In keeping with Hungarian tradition, teachers closely monitor each individual student's progress. Considerable time is devoted to problem solving and encouraging student creativity. Emphasis is on depth of understanding rather than on the quantity of material. Courses may be taken Audit or Graded.
The imprint of the Hungarian tradition is particularly prominent in some of the courses.
"Combinatorics" concentrates on combinatorial structures and algorithms, a stronghold of Hungarian mathematics. The courses, along with "Theory of Computing", are a valuable introduction to Theoretical Computer Science.
"Conjecture and Proof", even more than other courses, introduces the student to the excitement of mathematical discovery. Concepts, methods, ideas, and paradoxes that have startled or puzzled mathematicians for centuries will be reinvented and examined under the guidance of enthusiastic and experienced instructors. The topics covered range from ancient problems of geometry and arithmetic to 20th century measure theory and mathematical logic.
The "normal" course load is four classes for fall or spring semester or two classes for the summer program, but courses are available according to the Hungarian standard. That is, once a student is accepted to a university program of study, final course load responsibility and authority resides with the student. Many students have taken a considerably heavier load, with seemingly no ill effects.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS & APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Students must have completed at least one semester of Abstract Algebra or Advanced Calculus (A First Course in Analysis) prior to attending the Budapest Semester.
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
Furman students will submit both a study away application to Furman and a separate application for the Budapest program. Students may work on both applications simultaneously; however, Budapest will not accept a Furman student until the student has been approve through the Furman application process. The Budapest deadline is later than the Furman deadline, and students are responsible for applying by the appropriate application deadline.
Once accepted into Budapest, students must submit a Transfer Course Authorization Form to the Registrar at Furman to seek pre-approval to receive credits for classes taken through the Semester in Mathematics in Budapest. Please contact the Registrar with questions concerning the form.
Students will be asked to indicate their preference among the two housing options:
renting a furnished apartment and sharing it with other Budapest Semesters participants, or
living with a Hungarian family as a member of the family.
Opting for an apartment offers most of the comfort to which students are accustomed. Living with a family provides substantially less privacy; however, it could be the most rewarding choice by enhancing the cross-cultural experience. Please note: "family" is loosely defined and could consist of the traditional mother, father, and children; elderly couples, newly married couples, or a pensioner.
All homes will be within easy reach of the university using the frequent and inexpensive public transportation. Program administrators in Budapest will help students with housing and any problems that arise.
Please refer to the Budapest Semester in Mathematics website
Furman students will be billed by Furman for the cost of the Budapest Semester in Mathematics program. Students are not responsible for paying published costs for Furman tuition, room, or board during their semester away and will only be responsible for the billed amount of their Budapest semester plus a $500 Furman study away administrative fee.
Students are eligible to apply Federal and State financial aid towards the cost of the Budapest Semester in Math program. Must complete a Consortium Agreement
prior to departure in order to have their aid applied to the semester cost. Furman institutional aid and scholarships will not be applied to the program cost.
FURMAN BUDAPEST SEMESTER IN MATHEMATICS FACULTY ADVISOR
Bob Fray, Mathematics