By Felicity Bosk
Dr. Serguei Bezroukov is a professor of mathematics and computer science at UW-Superior and has been for 17 years. He is an international professor, born in St. Petersburg, Russia. He graduated from Moscow State University. Since then he has been published in scholarly journals close to 100 times.
“What I am teaching now wasn’t even a subject when I was a student. Education never stops, especially in computer science,” he said.
He and his wife met when they were college students studying mathematics. They moved to Germany after school and lived in many different areas in Germany and Europe before moving to Superior. “I really like the area geographically. The weather is similar, the people are friendly.”
He said that the Cold War didn’t have a huge impact on his life. “When the Curtain was first open for westerners to visit Russia, many people had view Russia was very cold. The Olympic games were in June, many people came in fur coats.”
This summer he worked with students on a project revolving around isoprimetric problems and graphs. Dr. Bezroukov said the results they got were interesting and they are working on putting together a paper for peer review. The process takes about three years—first it will be reviewed and sent back to them for corrections or thrown out entirely. The research will go through this for several times before it is even considered by a journal for publication. Dr. Bezroukov said this is exciting for his students who may be published for the first time, but “it’s regular life for me.”
For fun and for his CSCI 327 class, he makes microcontrollers, which are “small devises that achieve goals.” Some student microcontrollers include an alarm clock, Bluetooth coffee maker, cat feeder, noise meter, and metronome.
Another project he worked with students on was to help the chemistry department. Chemists need to count how many drops of a solution go into a beaker, and each beaker needs to be the same. This process can be very time consuming. What Dr. Bezroukov and his student built was a rotating microcontroller and a microcontroller that dropped the solution into the beaker’s one at a time. He showed the story that had been done on the local news. Laughing he said “that was a cool project.”
Dr. Bezroukov is not a professor students easily forget. “I had him for computer science 201 in fall of 2012,” said mathematics major Will Bengtson. “He was certainly memorable.”
He got into teaching when he moved to Germany. In Russia he worked for the Academy of Science, where there were no students. “Turns out that Academy of Science doesn’t exist in every county. Most country’s research is done by people working for a university. In Germany I worked at a research university and my primary job was research but everyone has to teach, so that’s how I got into teaching.”
He still returns to Europe every few years, but more frequently visits Germany than Russia. Regarding politics he said “the Cold War was between governments and not people.”