Posted by Jason Polak on 28. October 2011 · Write a comment · Categories: life · Tags:

This interview is a start in what I hope to be a series of posts illustrating the human side of mathematics. Mathematicians as a group have distinctive cultural features. We have our own specialized humour and shared experiences that bring us together and make us laugh. A week ago, I read an interesting article by John Swallow entitled “Mathematical Community” in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, which reminded me of the unfortunate truth—very few people outside of the mathematical community really knows what being a mathematician is about.

I hope that this will change, and I feel that it is very important to inform the general public about the work of mathematicians. And by this I don’t mean the technical details, but the culture and the general ideas that we work with every day. As part of this initiative, I thought I would interview a few of my fellow graduate students at McGill. My first interview is with Benjamin Smith, who is a PhD student in geometry.
More »