About a Faculty of Physics

    The second semester is coming to an end, and, therefore, it is already possible to draw some objective conclusions about studying at the physics department of HSE. In this article I would like to talk about my faculty, in particular, about laboratory work.

    An approach

    It seems to me that the “bad” students are a minority. There are many teachers who are not able to interest students in their subject. Many universities have failed to find the right approach to the learning process. I was lucky to get to the faculty, which brings together wonderful teachers who are current scientists. They can immerse the audience in the atmosphere of the field of their work, and it is very exciting. In addition to teachers, I really like the system of education at the faculty. More precisely, it suits me. There is much debate about the effectiveness of the Bologna system of education and four sessions a year, I think that it is necessary to determine what is right for you. I want to talk about one big (for me) advantage of my faculty specifically. This is a laboratory.

    Firstly, an entire school day is allocated for the workshop. From 10.30 to 16.30. Although most students stay up until 6-7 pm, but someone, on the contrary, can leave early. In this regard, there is no rigor, it is more convenient for someone to complete the entire practical part, and to do analysis at home, someone seeks to finish work as soon as possible. The teacher is tolerant of any student decision.

    Secondly, a report is produced for each laboratory work. In the first module (module == semester at school), students are taught to design scientific papers. We were shown how to work with LibreOffice, with LaTeX, with GNUPlot and with Labview. They also talked about the requirements for the design of the article. The choice is what the student is up to, no one will scold for Word with Excel. Personally, I prefer to process data in Python (sometimes I sin Origin if there is not enough time) and Tech. The report can be submitted in paper form, can be sent in PDF format to the teacher’s mail.

    Thirdly, in addition to reports, each student is required to make a report once per semester. The report provides an oral defense of the presentation. Here, in fact, creativity can be shown. You can tell a little more about the theory and application of some equipment, you can go into the details of the workshop. The teacher and students listening to ask questions. It turns out a mini-conference.


    In the cabinets for laboratory work you can find all kinds of fasteners, threads, microcontrollers and sensors (for those wishing to work with LabView), measuring instruments. Here a full flight of fancy is allowed. Personally, I really like this atmosphere, I do not like the framework. The basic equipment is also impressive. Most of all I remember working with pneumatic guns, thermal imagers (Testo 865) and vacuum machines. At the end of the review I give a few photos.

    On the pros and cons of the faculty

    In addition to laboratory works, the teaching staff (many also teach at the Moscow State University or at the PhysTech) can be noted from advantages, a completely original course of subjects (retreat into the mechanics of continuous media, the method of passes on approximate analytical methods, for example), the responsiveness of employees. A group of students, however, the opinion of one student is not a priority can always ask for leadership for something, and in most situations, leadership helps. For example, we organized a student room with ottomans, a sofa, tables, blackboards and wardrobes so that we could study and relax at the university. Our course has twice attended the institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IKI and IFP). Teachers are ready to make changes to the program if some topic is too complicated or, conversely, light.
    Of course, there are also disadvantages. As you know, the problems for all nonresident HSE students is the long road to the hostel (the faculty is located on Kursk, and the hostel is in Dubki or Odintsovo). Also, the faculty is only three years old, it is definitely worth adjusting the program. For example, the introduction to the mechanics of continuous media at the end of the first semester was taken by storm, while on mathematical methods we only learned to work with matrices (we could deal with the solution of differential equations). At the same time, as I mentioned above, teachers are ready to adapt to the wishes of students, and it seems to me that soon the problems with the uncorrelated program will be exhausted. Many more people believe that in a university called the Higher School of Economics, technical directions cannot be developed. Although FCN and Matfak have been refuting this stereotype for many years in a row. True, these are trifles.

    Here is such a review from a freshman student. Ask questions, I will be happy to answer all the relevant ones.

    Photo from the lab

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    Would it be interesting to review the execution and processing of data from a specific laboratory?

    • 65.1% Yes 56
    • 34.8% No 30

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