Mastering Math - Inside the IMM experience at LUMS
The Department of Mathematics at SBASSE, LUMS, in collaboration with the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, is hosting the International Mathematics Masters (IMM). This two-year intensive program connects students and professors from all across the world right inside LUMS.
The mathematics program covers core areas of mathematic to help students gain a deeper insight in the subject before they decide on their specialization. In Fall 2023, the maths department welcomed their first batch. We were able to chat with Abderrahmane Labane and Radhwane Hassane Habra, hailing from Algeria, about their experiences with IMM and LUMS so far.
Each course within this program is delivered by a trio of faculty members: two well-renowned experts from outside Pakistan alongside one from LUMS, who collaboratively teach the course modules. This distinctive arrangement ensures that students are exposed to a variety of teaching styles, fostering a seamless understanding of the subject matter without any confusion. The international faculty members open doors to global research opportunities while their counterparts at LUMS lay a solid foundation, equipping students with the necessary skills to navigate the demanding teachings of the International Mathematics Masters program. The fusion of globally distinguished faculty with the esteemed LUMS faculty in this fully funded program distinguishes it as a truly unparalleled educational experience.
“The same topic is taught by different teachers so you get different teaching styles and ways of learning the same thing”, they emphasized. "What sets this program apart from others,” Radhwane adds, “is being in the department, which is open 24/7, and discussing mathematics with students”.
They further noted the immense passion for mathematics among the program's students, which fosters a healthy environment for discourse and learning. “It's surprising how mathematics can be learned from such diverse perspectives!”, they share.
Adding to the program, their experience on-campus and in Pakistan has been a pleasant one. Staying on a campus with multiple facilities, they are thoroughly enjoying their student life. The convenience of a nearby mosque to their hostel and the availability of numerous cuisines, in addition to well-equipped sports facilities and healthcare canters on campus, make their daily life rather easy. Abderrahmane says, 'In Ghana, my university experience was just about taking classes and going home, but here, with all facilities on campus, it's really good.' Additionally, the students mention the similarity between the culture of their home country and Pakistan, which fosters a sense of belonging.
Finding this sense of belonging away from home is a universal aspiration for students studying abroad. Abderrahmane, who was studying Quantum Field Theory and theoretical physics in Ghana, discovered this program through a professor after expressing his interest in the mathematical foundations of quantum physics.
Radhwane, in his second year of a Masters program in France, applied through the ICTP, which then assigned him to the IMM at LUMS. Through their diverse experiences within the program, students form a passionate community around mathematics. For them, the pleasant surprises of a familiar culture and a welcoming community significantly eased their adjustment. This could well be described as finding a home away from home on their academic journey.