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Sample Letter of Reference for Math/CS

Letter of Recommendation for  MIPT Alumnus (01/2003)
The Math/CS Student admitted to NYU, UC Berkeley

Letter of Recommendation                                     Applicant: Ivan Ivanov

Ivan Ivanov has asked me to write a letter of recommendation to accompany his application for PhD program in Mathematics at XX. I am pleased to provide a reference for such a gifted student who is at the very top of his highly competitive and highly talented class. I would like to stress particularly  his thirst for knowledge which is intensified by Ivan's strong determination, and his deep interest in science. Ivan is an outstanding researcher and person.

I have known Ivan Ivanov for two years. Being a third-year student he attended my lectures and seminars on The Theory of XX and in the next academic year - lectures and seminars on XX. While he was studying my course I was surprised by his remarkable abilities of learning and grasping the essence of new ideas. Upon completing each course of lectures students pass an examination, which consists of completing complex homework and later an oral interview. Ivan showed deep understanding of the subject and was given an excellent mark for his performance. I would like to emphasize that he was allowed to pass these exams before the appointed date, although it is a rare practice and is only granted to excellent students. To be precise, there was only one other student of similar level in his class.

Ivan's brilliant teaching skills and his natural talent of getting along with people made him a top-ranked teacher at “Phystech-College”- an extracurricular  High School intended to help schoolchildren in studying the sciences at  levels beyond regular school program. Thus, I rate Ivan's potential as a teacher as rather high.

From our discussions concerning Ivan's plans I could conclude that Mr. Ivanov has strong motivation towards academic career in mathematics. He is very much  involved with ..., and yet he has the background to answer .... I think that it would not be overestimation to assert that Ivan belongs to the top 2% of MIPT students. I strongly recommend Ivan Ivanov for graduate studies toward Ph.D. degree at your University.


Prof. Petr P. Petrov


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