Information for visitors

It is IMPORTANT to make a hotel reservation early enough: this will increase the chance of getting a room in a hotel close to the department. All you have to do is e-mail the dates of your arrival/departure to Drinfeld. For reservation purposes you can first give him a lower bound on the time of arrival and an upper one on the time of departure; you can tell him the precise dates later. Indicating the time of your arrival/departure may also be helpful. Click here to learn about your hotel (this is especially important if a reservation for you has been made at Wooded Isle Suites).

IMPORTANT: if a reservation for you has been made at the Wooded Isle Suites then you possibly need a special appointment to get your key (more details).

Travel directions

The recommended way is to take a taxi (1 hour from/to O'Hare airport, 30 min from/to Midway airport). There are also other ways.

The address of the department is 5734 S. University Avenue (Eckhart Hall and a part of Ryerson Hall). E.g., Drinfeld's office (Ry 360 B) and Beilinson's office (Ry 360 C) are in Ryerson Hall, and the seminar meets in room E 206 (E=Eckhart).


Eckhart Hall and Ryerson Hall are in the Main Quadrangle of the campus; the campus is in the part of Chicago called Hyde Park.

Hotel information

Wooded Isle Suites (5750 S. Stony Island Avenue) is seven blocks east of the math department. Their check-in hours are 9:00-12:00 and 3:00 to 5:30 p.m Monday through Friday, and 9:00-12:00 on Saturday. If there is a chance that you arrive at some other time, then a special arrangement is necessary. You can make an appointment with them to be checked in and given your keys (their phone number is 773-288-5578 and their e-mail address is Another option is to ask Ms. Cozzi (a department secretary) or Drinfeld to get the keys for you.

The Quadrangle Club (1155 E. 57th Street, 773-702-2550) is one small block away from the department.

Ramada Inn (4900 S. Lake Shore Drive, 773-288-5800) is in about 30 minutes walk from the department, (to get to the department from there, walk south from 50th to 57th, and then west to University Ave.) So if you arrive early in the day, you may wish to go straight to the Math Dept from the airport, and check in at Ramada later. To the best of our knowledge, there is a shuttle bus service from the Ramada to the University several times a day (schedules are available at the front desk).

Information for non-US residents

Getting a social security number

First read the instructions (in particular, the list of documents you have to present and the list of  Social Security Administration offices).  Probably the best place to go is the SSA office on 77 W. Jackson Blvd (you can can take bus no.6 on Stony Island Ave, and on your way back you can take the same bus on Jackson Blvd and State street; you should have enough cash to pay the exact bus fare). You can download the form to fill or you can take it at the SSA office. The "mailing address" you have to indicate on the form is the address to which you want the Social Security card to be mailed. You can find out your Social Security number even before you get the card by calling 1-800-772-1213.

How to reduce your taxes and file a tax return.

Possibly you will have to pay taxes to the US. You can try to figure out whether you have to do it by studying the tax treaty with your country of residence. You can find it at the IRS web site.

There are borderline cases when you think that according to the tax treaty you do not have to pay taxes but the opinion of our financial people is opposite. In this case it is impossible to persuade them, but it is usually possible to get your money back when you file your tax return. (In theory, if you are not on a tourist visa you have to file your tax return even if neither you owe the US government nor the US government  owes you, and even if you don't get any salary).

If you have to pay taxes to the US you can reduce them by using two methods. First, tell the people in room E 207B that you would like to get a part of your money as reimbursement for the trip to and from US and for your buisiness-related expenses in the US rather than as salary (probably this is going to happen anyway). Second, fill the form "Annualized salary (part-year tax-withholding) request for non-resident aliens" (ask Dorothy Cook in room E 207B to give you the form; if you are unable to get it then contact Drinfeld). Filling this form does no harm, and usually it reduces your tax rate.

Filing a tax return

The tax return for 2003 should be filed in 2004 so that the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) receives your papers by April 15. You can download the necessary forms and instructions from the IRS web site. At this site there is a "search engine" which enables you to find them. If you file a tax return, say, for 2003 you will probably need

Possibly when filling Form 1040NR you will realize that you need other forms and instructions.


In a taxi, the meter registers your fare; you are expected to tip the driver (about 15%) in addition to your fare. If you take taxi from O'Hare to the University, you should expect to pay about $50 (including the 15% tips). Do not ask the driver about the cost in advance, and if the driver tries to fix it in advance, it is probably better to choose another cab.