Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Jordana Cepelewicz - Mathematical Physicist

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Maths, Mathematics Education, History of Science

Ed Hessler

I enjoy interviews with scientists and mathematicians that are long enough to provide a good profile of the person. 

Here Jordana Cepelewicz, Quanta Magazine, interviews mathematician Sventlana Jitomirskaya, born in Karkiv, Ukraine in 1966. 

No math required - a person one is glad to know something about.

Cepelewicz does the all important job of providing a short biography. Interestingly "she would only start pursuing a career in mathematics as a result of politics and cirsumstance. In the Soviet Union, any humanities (as a child she considered studying Russian poetry) would inevitably be too enmeshed with Communist ideology, her move to the United States, and the mathematical area for which she is known professionally.

The interview includes questions about her childhood interest in literature, being steered away from maths by her family, particularly her mother, early signs of mathematical ability that she noticed about herself as a school girl, dealing with antisemitism in Russia, what she found different in her talents for physics and mathematics, the intersection of her work with physics (she is a mathematical physicist), use of free time, a short comment on her children, the proposed K- 12 California mathematics curriculum, the Ukraine, what she was like as a graduate student and how she started thinking differently about her successes - when she started being recognized for her work she thought it was because she was a woman. It wasn't.

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