The extra questions with answers can be read below:

How did you end up in Groningen?

By 2009/10, I was an associate professor of mathematics with PhD promotion status. The criteria for that title are strict and fair: strong research, talent for supervision, and lots of lectures per period.

Note that degrees (PhD, Dr.Sc) and titles (Associate, Full Professor) are awarded in Russia by the federal ministry. This sets a barier against degradation: locally in strange places, strange authorities might award strange titles to strange candidates. Also, if bonuses are paid to a dean from the grant overheads of a candidate, isn't it a bribe as long as the dean has a say in the promotion?

The faculty here chose to employ me, already not ‘young’ to be eligible for easy grants, still with greater experience. The idea that I stop in Russia cost a lot, of course: as an associate professor at ISPU, I was receiving one PhD student every year. But the job offer was tenure-track assistant professorship. Your system “Beta's in Banen” is up-or-out; in 2016, I was neither promoted nor fired. In fact, the first after sixteen or eighteen “ex”'-colleague mathematicians in a row.

There are 24 hours in a day and every hour is 60 minutes. This is Sumer mathematics, 2500 BC. But if you take a clay credit card from Akkadian Empire, hardly would you buy a loaf of bread in a nearby food store. Fundamental mathematics is a longer run.

Do you often go back to Russia?

Yes, quite regularly. Not only for off-road driving, but also for collaborations.

Do you prefer a whiteboard or a blackboard?

The quality of whiteboards and markers is known to everyone. I prefer a blackboard. A grey blackboard with soft chalk. Examples can be found in Bernoulliborg rooms 253, 267, 293 and 289.

Do you prefer lecturing to 80 students or rather to a small group of 10 students?

If it is a course for 100 students, the attendance by 80 is much better than just ten of them. If 80 vs 10 is the actual choice of audience, then lecturer's dialogue with a small group of ten is much better. Note that at the ISPU, I was happy to teach advanced courses only; at that time, the ISPU programme in higher mathematics was ranked top-1 among energy-profile universities in Russia.