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Table of Contents: Development of Education in Russia:

Mathematics education formally began in Russia in 1701 when Peter the Great founded the School of Mathematical and Navigational Sciences. Mathematics in this school was taught by L. F. Magnitsky, the first professional teacher of mathematics and the author of the first Russian course on mathematics.

The first gymnasiums were opened by decree of Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg at the Petersburg Academy of Sciences, in Moscow at the Moscow University and in Kazan. Later, by the edict of Alexander I, more gymnasiums were opened gradually in all the principal towns of the Russian provinces. However, the general understanding of the importance of education did not spread in Russian society until the 1960s when ordinary people began to enter gymnasiums, vocational schools and universities.

At the beginning of the 20th century the standard of mathematics teaching was sufficiently high. The textbooks of that time are the models for later generations. At about the same time, the system of extra-curricular mathematical education began to develop in Russia. The first mathematical study group was founded at the Moscow University. Students attended without having to pay less. The journal Mathematics Education appeared, edited by Professor B. K. Mlodzeevsky.

Next in the history of mathematics is the Soviet period. The development of the public school system took place till 1960. But the standard of teaching declined slightly, though it was still true to the old traditions established by the great teachers of the past. There were only a few centers of highest mathematical culture - Moscow, Leningrad and some regional centers. In the 1930s the new forms of extra-curricular activities appeared: mathematical study groups and Olympiads at universities and later at municipal Education Departments.

The second part of the Soviet period - from 1960 until recently - is characterized by the fact that high mathematical culture extended beyond urban centers and spread all over the country. The journal Quantum appeared. The Russian Mathematical Olympiad became an All-Union affair. Mathematics schools appeared everywhere.

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Tournament of the Towns is held in Toronto since 1996.
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