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Roman Stepanyan comments on a few early IYPTs, clarifies details

Roman Stepanyan, Ukrainian team member and team leader at several IYPTs since 1993, comes back with substantial feedback about the early IYPTs, new details, and important corrections for the IYPT Archive.

Roman Stepanyan earned a PhD from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and is currently a researcher at DSM Ahead in Geleen, Netherlands, focusing on the rheology of complex fluids.

R. S. Accidentally I found your blog about IYPT. In a number of interviews, you ask about the members of the Ukrainian team in 1993. Unfortunately, the information provided by Yaroslav Chinski is somewhat incomplete. The
members were (not sure about the Latin spelling of the names, except my own.)

  • Dimitri Galayko (school 117, Odessa)
  • Alexander Nikitin (school 117, Odessa)
  • Alexander Morozov (Richelieu Lyceum, Odessa)
  • Yaroslav Chinski (Richelieu Lyceum, Odessa)
  • and myself: Roman Stepanyan (school 117, Odessa)

In your list, Dimitry Galayko is absent, which is the main reason I am writing this e-mail: he was one of the key players and certainly deserves to be mentioned. If necessary, you can contact him personally.

Some more details:

The problem reported by us in the final (Ukrainian team) was “Recharge” where we were given a charged capacitor and had to transfer its charge (as much as possible) to another capacitor. It was reported by Dimitry Galayko with Georgian team as opponent.

We were opponents of the Hungarian team. I was representing the opposition. The Georgian team was reporting “Domino”, opposed by Georgians. Our team was represented by A. Morozov.

There were actually three Ukrainian teams:

  • the official one (ours, based on School 117 team who won the All-Ukrainian YPT that year, trained by Sergey Kolos; see above for the names),
  • Odessa (Richelieu Lyceum) and
  • Lugansk.

So, some statements about the teams in your paper are not quite right.

During the Tournament in Fryazino (a kind of Post-Soviet tournament) the same year, our team had all the same members except A.Morozov. Dmitri Neselovskiy was “playing” together with us that time. We won that
tournament but I do not recall the details.

I. M. Many thanks again for your kind and so helpful input. If possible, can I please check with you the names of the Ukrainian team members and leaders at the IYPTs that you attended either as a leader or as a member?

R. S. I’ve put the info I remember below. [...] I also asked Vladimir Kulinskii about the names, etc.

1992 : Alexander Morozov, Igor Zozulya, Valentin Topelkin; this is all available data about the team.

> Leader Igor Altman, Zozulya was the captain.

1993 (with your recent correction) : Ukraine-National — Roman Stepanyan (captain), Alexander Morozov, Dimitri Galayko, Alexander Nikitin, Yaroslav Chinskiy, Sergey Kolos (leader.)

> There was also “Ukraine-Odessa” (led by Kulinskii, the same team as in 1994)

1994 : I don’t have any data on the Ukrainian team, but Vladimir Kulinskii was probably the leader or one of the two leaders.

> The names of the 1994th Ukrainian team (also present at 1993th YPT as Ukraine-Odessa) as I’ve got them from Kulinskii: Sergey Koleboshin, Vladimir Tolpekin, Igor Orlovich, Dimitri Popov,  Andrey Lugunov. Leader: Vladimir Kulinskii.

1997 : Kirill Belokurov, Igor Vorokhaev, Grigoriy Zavorothny, Denis Murakhovskiy, Elisaveta Ovdeenko as team members; no direct data on the team leaders.

> Pavel Viktor was the leader. Vorokhaev was the captain, I guess.

I. M. Thank you. I will make all these corrections at archive.iypt.org and in my preprints. If you do not have objections, I will also bring your commentaries into a short news release, so that we have a public primary source for these essential updates and corrections.

R. S. I do not have any objections. [...] Your archive looks really impressive!

UPD R. S. I found some diplomas from Fryazino, Protvino and Vienna. It’s a pity I don’t have our team’s diplomas from Fryazino and Protvino, only the personal ones.

The discussion and fact checking held between December 7 and December 15, 2011. Updated with documents, corrected on August 27, 2012.

Martina Schäfer shares the proceedings book for the 11th IYPT (1998)

Martina Schäfer with a help from her mother, her brother, and co-editor Hendrik Hoeth, recovers the original pdf file for 11th IYPT: Remarks and selected reports (1998.) Coordinated distantly via Skype, this three-evening effort ended up with retrieving the file from a CD burnt under Linux 13 years ago.

Martina Schäfer earned a PhD in Earth Science and glaciology in 2007 from Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble (France), and is now a postdoctoral fellow at Arctic Centre, Rovaniemi (Finland.)

Download: 11th International Young Physicists’ Tournament. June 1–5, 1998. Donaueschingen, Germany. Remarks and selected reports (eds. Hendrik Hoeth, Martina Schäffer, Jan Theofel.) Stiftung für Bildung und Behindertenförderung (Stuttgart, 1998) [pdf]

May 18, 2011; 16h56-18h08 CET

I. M. [...] A year ago, I traced the printed book “11th IYPT: Remarks and selected reports” that you have co-edited, prepared and typeset in ca. 1998. Would it be kindly possible to ask you to share the original pdf of this book? The “Imprint” section says the book has been already available online at www.stiftung-sbb.de, but the file is no longer available. Thank you so much!

M. S. Funny to be asked about this book after such a long time! I think I still have some paper copies somewhere in a box on the attic :-) . What an effort to put already all this info together. How did you manage to scan the whole book of this/our IYPT book?

I. M. Hm, the scanning itself was a little painstaking effort, but much more tough and time-consuming was to (a) determine that the book existed as such, (b) find where to get a copy, and (c) to get this copy into the hands. [The copy was found at the] Württembergischen Landesbibliothek Stuttgart. [...]

We so badly missed the information about the early IYPTs, especially those held before 1998 as no websites existed, no publications were known, and no people could immediately suggest where to find a particular record or detail… Finding the accounts from the Soviet time was especially exciting, and now I will be slowly translating the key documents into English. :-)

M. S. Sure, I’ll search for the original files. I certainly have it somewhere, at least the tex-source files or a ps-file. But give me some time to dig it out (I have moved of course several times since then…) and manage to read the CD. Now when I think about it … it’s a long time ago that we did this: linux computers without any graphics, only terminals and then we had a ps file and some troubles to get a pdf out of it for printing … pdf was something “new” or “special” at that time :-) . Well, a lot of souvenirs :-) . Anyway, I’ll search and let you know.

If you have questions about the German participation/teams/tournaments, don’t hesitate to ask!

I. M. I will certainly not hesitate to contact you if I have questions about the 11th IYPT (but: given your outstanding work and efforts in 1998, most of the questions are simply answered in the book) :-) [From what I know, Rudolph Lehn] took part in an IYPT-related seminar in October 1994, and then brought a German team in 1995. However, the first West German participation was at the 2nd IYPT, when the West German (not DDR!) team ended up as gold winners in April 1989 :-)

May 18, 2011; 18h53 CET

M. S. The CD is located. It is at home in Germany at my parent’s place. But it’s formatted under linux, so they can’t read it (they have only windows). So I have first to get it here (or try to explain them how to read ext-filesystems under windows) and then I’ll be able to tell you, if the CD is still ok…

I. M. These are really great news!

May 20, 2011; 21h23-22h53 CET

M. S. Here are very good news: You can get a download link for the pdf [...].

Thanks to my mother for searching the CD, to my brother to copy/put online it for me with a live-linux cd under my skype-help and finally to Hendrik (the other author, which you had also contacted) for some linux help how to deal with this old CD! Anyway here it is! Hendrik had been searching but not found the CD, but he is happy now, too, to have the files again in his archives! With my brother we had nearly give up the CD as dammaged at least 3 or 4 times, but finally we were wrong and I’m happy about it :-) .

I. M. Many thanks to everybody in your family and to Hendrik! I am feeling really indebted for such rapid and motivated efforts! Thank you for arranging everything, involving so many people, and spending so much of your precious time!

[...] It would be such a huge disappointment if your long and dedicated efforts back in 1998 would be lost only because of a damaged CD :P !)

M. S. Yes, I’m happy also that we could recover all the sourcefiles, not only the pdf! It would have been a pity to know all that lost for ever.

How did it come that you have this email adress from me and not the one indicated in the book?

I. M. In such cases (when I look for people) I try to google for names, and it very often helps. For example, when I found the first-ever non-Soviet participants at the 1st IYPT (1988), it was a combination of attentive google search and coincidence. Although there was zero information about the teams or team members in 1988, I found a source giving the names of all participants in 1989. I was contacting different people, and the two Bulgarians happened to be on the team in both 1988 and 1989.

Just once or twice this method failed: I was contacting a Hungarian participant in 1989 and found someone with a same name, same age, a mathematician, and working at a university in Hungary. However, when this person replied, he occurred to be a different guy :-)

M. S. Sure, I’m doing that also when I try to find somebody. I was just surprised since my personal email is given in the book and it still works!

Btw, my mother told me (I had forgotten about this) that apparently my father was filming during that IYPT, probably during the finals. [...] Before I ask my father if he can dig out the film, I’d like to ask you if you are also interested in that kind of material or if you would like to limit you to the more “descriptive” data about teams, rankings, solution of the problems, etc?

I. M. Certainly, we are very interested in the video recordings!

(They give a look-and-feel of the competitions, that has changed quite significantly from those days! — I was a participant myself at the 14th IYPT when the teams still used printed transparencies etc.) We now have a video taken by the Ukrainian team in 1998 (avi 1, avi 2.)

The earliest (currently available) video is from 1996 (from a selective Ukrainian competition), and the earliest video from IYPT as such is from the 10th IYPT (avi 1, avi 2.)

Meantime, the French delegation reported in 1991 that there was the Soviet television filming at the 4th IYPT, and I am now (yet unsuccessfully) attempting to find a way to get this video from the Russian state archives for television and radio… :-)

[...] Overall, it would be such an amazing contribution if you succeed one day to digitize your video!

I have been receiving so much warm feedback for collecting not only “descriptive” details, but also the photos and videos, as they show everything: starting from people themselves, to the atmosphere and environment at a competition, how the stages looked like etc.. :-) Thank you so much again for this information! We would be so happy to have this recording!

M. S. On the CD was nothing beside the book, just some original documents that we used to extract info from (ranking of the teams or team members lists and that kind of things). And there is folder “unknown country”, so we seam to have had some documents that we could not connect to any team :-) .

I. M. Great details! I would frankly say that it would be so nice to include these additional documents to the IYPT Archive! (also: because it is quite probable that one day we can identify these “unknown” people! if everyone is identified at the 2nd IYPT hosted in the Soviet Union, then the 11th IYPT wouldn’t be much more difficult.)

M. S. I can send the stuff later to you, but I’m not quite sure if it’s really useful. Looks also a bit like fragments of solutions only and we had spent quite some detective work on it at the time of making the book.

I. M. If you have the ranking tables as scanned documents, they would also perfectly fit to the Archive, because this would be a “genuine”, authentic primary source :-)

M. S. No, it’s all some working-word documents, so no “historical” value, sorry.

May 21, 2011; before 17h34 CET

M. S. My father is quite busy currently [...]. Then I can ask him for the video :-) .

I have also paper pictures at home, I could search and scan them next time I’m home, probably at Christmas. But Alex [Urban] and Rudolf [Lehn] must have quite some pictures from this IYPT – they gave me at least paper copies of them afterwards. Naturally I don’t have many own pictures since I participated…

I should have pictures also from the IYPT in Vienna (the year after or before, I think after, Donaueschingen). Some of us Germans were there to assist in the organisation [...] I think I’ll never forget this Vienna IYPT [...]

I. M. Am I right that you were receiving the solutions by post? Did you start this work after the IYPT, or you have had planned everything in advance and were asking people for submissions just in Donaueschingen?

M. S. In my memory the idea came up during/at the end of the tournament and we collected everything as papercopy or on disks with a big effort in a big hurry when everybody was getting ready to leave. So it was not planed beforehand, more like a sudden “inspiration”. I don’t beleave that we got much afterwards by email or mail; but I may be wrong. I’m just sure that most of the material was collected on the spot and that no plan has existed in advance.

I. M. Do you remember, by chance, any announcement that Gunnar Tibell and Andrzej Nadolny were established as President and Secretary? If was just at the 11th IYPT when these two positions were formally introduced, and we were wondering if this happened after the event, or before the event?

M. S. Alexander Urban or Rudolf [Lehn] could know that; if it’s not written somewhere in the book (now you should be able to make search in the pdf) than I don’t know. The name Nadolny sounds familiar to me.

I. M. Could you recall any books or articles related to the IYPT that you saw, or wrote, or heard of? Any detail would help: either the name of the author, or the name of the journal etc. (slowly, but persistently, I will try to find everything :-)

M. S. I know only “my” book and some stuff from Rudolf Lehn. Nothing quite official, but the German-internal documents to make the tournament known. Somehow – at least at that time and for Germany – the competition was not very international, in the sens that every team/country lived it’s own thing and not a lot of contacts were established after the tournament. I remember having kept 2 email adresses for a while (don’t ask me for them now :-) ), but after writing once or twice it was over.

I. M. Thank you so much.

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