Back to top

The multi-title mathematics instructor--Russian, Cambridge University Alumnus, Chinese son-in-law

11/11/2016

DSC_3001.jpg

Originally from Russia, Sergey Bocharov is the mathematics instructor at the International Campus. He has been a Special Terms Associate Professor of Zhejiang University since 2013, and was also a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the University of Bath during 2015-2016. This profile introduces him and his story. 

Sergey Bocharov was born and raised in Russia, and completed his secondary education in Portugal, where he moved with his parents. He then enrolled at Cambridge University, and successfully achieved a BA (2:1) degree and MMath (Merit) degree. From 2008-2012, Bocharov furthered his research in mathematics at the University of Bath. After completing his PhD in Mathematics and Statistics, Bocharov decided to come to China and joined Zhejiang University in 2013.

DSC_3076.jpg

Bocharov is an Associate Professor in the Mathematics College, where he carries out research and teaching. Bocharov teaches his classes in English, and at the Zhejiang University main campus, he teaches primarily graduate students, in part because it can be challenging for some Chinese undergraduates to study in a completely English-speaking environment. However, the International Campus now provides him with many new teaching opportunities. To his surprise, the English-language ability of some undergraduate students there is even better than the graduates at the main campus; he says that he has not found any difficulties in communication, while also commenting that mathematics itself is a language. As a whole, Bocharov finds the students of the International Campus motivated and committed---they have endless questions after class. 

DSC_3151.jpg

During the past two years, Bocharov has spent most of his time on research, but now the curriculum of the International Campus is his main focus. He travels regularly between the main campus and Haining: such frequent commuting however does not bother him, and on the contrary, he says this creates some time to have a good rest. Bocharov is very satisfied with the job and environment of the International Campus. As this is the first year of this course, he devotes the majority of his effort to preparing teaching, since everything is new and he is excited about the opportunities the International Campus provides.

When asked about why he came to China directly after getting Ph.D. Degree, he answers bashfully, “Because of my wife, she is a Chinese.” Bocharov is happy to share his curious family story. 

DSC_3112.jpg

Bocharov and his wife met each other in Cambridge University, where they were classmates. After bachelor study, his wife returned to China, and they lost contact. Several years later, his wife visited the UK for a short period and contacted Bocharov by email. They met again, and this meeting was destined to make a difference in both of their lives. His wife returned again to China, but this time they remained in contact, and their love was not defeated by the long distance. When Bocharov got his Ph.D., he bought himself a one-way ticket to China. They now have a 6 month old son, and are happily settled in China with the support and encouragement of both of their families.

Having been living in China for 3 years, Bocharov is now quite familiar with Chinese habits and culture; he even has some idea about the Chinese “household (hukou)”, which is an issue for them to consider about their son. Up to now, Bocharov is enjoying his work at Zhejiang University and is excited to have the opportunity to devote more of his efforts to undergraduate teaching and curriculum development.