Contact: Sarah Nicholas
STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Fulbright scholar and Mississippi State department head is spearheading international partnerships and realizing new scholastic opportunities with European institutions for the university’s students and faculty.
Mohsen Razzaghi, professor and head of MSU’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, has facilitated memoranda of understanding with the Romanian University Politehnica of Timisoara and University of Bucharest for joint Erasmus+ educational partnerships with Mississippi State.
Part of the European Union’s design to support education, Erasmus+ provides student and faculty opportunities to study, share knowledge and gain experience abroad through global higher education alliances. More than 5,000 institutions of higher learning in 37 countries currently participate in the program.
“Erasmus+ is an excellent source of student/faculty exchange,” Razzaghi said.
Last fall, Razzaghi visited UPT for 10 days through the Erasmus+ program, serving as plenary speaker at the 15th International Conference on Mathematics and its Applications. He also is selecting MSU students, studying mathematics and other disciplines, for European travel based on their academic achievements and demonstrated leadership potential.
Receiving his third Fulbright award, Razzaghi will spend six weeks at the University of Bucharest beginning later this month. Fulbright is the U.S. Department of State’s flagship international exchange program, designed to increase mutual understanding between Americans and the international community. He had two earlier Fulbright appointments to Romania in 2011-2012 and 2015-2016 and now is part of the Fulbright specialist program, which provides a three-year tenure including travel to various international institutions. Fulbright specialists are selected based on their “knowledge, skill sets and ability to make a significant contribution to projects overseas.”
Dean of MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences Rick Travis said Razzaghi has “blended wonderfully” his involvement with the Fulbright program and the Erasmus+ program. “He has drawn on contacts made during his Fulbright studies to make it possible for other math faculty and students to participate in these exchanges,” Travis said.
“Those in this program not only are expanding their knowledge in their focused areas of study, but they are burnishing their future career opportunities because participation in this program turns heads,” said Travis.
Belzoni native and MSU doctoral student Chartese D. Jones will join the Erasmus+ program in May, and will study at the University of Bucharest through August. Jones earned his MSU master’s degree after completing a 2013 bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Mississippi Valley State University. His Ph.D. program is in mathematics with a concentration in numerical partial differential equations.
“This opportunity not only means the world to me, but it can show many people from communities like mine that hard work, consistency, and human decency can take you around the world,” Jones said. “The things that are happening in my life are things I never thought would happen. Learning about another country is amazing and living among its citizens is even more impressive.”
Jones said he expects the mathematicians he will learn from in Romania are “some of the best in the world,” and the Erasmus+ program will help him “gain more experience and knowledge in understanding the path I should take after receiving my Ph.D.”
In addition to sending MSU students abroad, the university in turn is benefitting from the Erasmus+ program and students such as Victor Holotescu from the University Politehnica of Timisoara, who is at Mississippi State this spring working with research programs in mathematics. The doctoral student’s thesis focuses on mobile applications based on blockchain technology, a new topic he said has applications and benefits for fields such as finance, health, education and more.
“I picked MSU because it is a university in the United States well known for its research activities, and it seemed to be the most challenging scholarship I could have gotten,” Holotescu said.
“Through this experience I hope to advance with my studies and research, to meet and collaborate with members of the mathematics and computer science departments, and to learn more about the United States,” Holotescu said.
MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,300 students, 300 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs and 25 academic majors offered in 14 departments. Complete details about the College of Arts and Sciences or the Department of Mathematics and Statistics may be found at www.cas.msstate.edu or www.math.msstate.edu.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.