Science has no gender, but it is an undeniable issue that the gender of scientists can have an impact on the development of their scientific career. We find ourselves making assumptions about gender, based on the scientific domain, or the level of seniority. Can you tell the gender of this scientist based on their profession, or maybe based on their experiences? We present: A scientist in the field of mathematics.
What do you investigate?
“There are generalisations of the rational numbers which are called algebraic numbers. There is a rich theory for these mathematical objects, and much is still to be discovered. For example, many problems relate to open questions concerning the prime numbers. I have also investigated the so-called elliptic curves, which are geometrical objects (being curves) but also algebraic objects (because the curve is described by an algebraic equation). Here there is a nice interplay between algebra and geometry.”
Ultimate goal of your science?
“My research contributes to the fields “algebraic number theory” and “arithmetic geometry”, which are two pillars for cryptography. Cryptography determines how we secure our data in every-day life.”
Highlighted scientific discoveries
“I solved a conjecture which had been open for seven years, and in general I tend to see things that people have overlooked.”
If you have children, have you ever been in a situation where certain expectations from your peers changed after/because you have children, or felt excluded in any way?
“I have one child. No problems at all.”
Have you ever have you ever been treated differently because of your gender? or maybe found yourself being the only person of your gender in the room? if yes, how did you deal with this situation, or what did you think? did it discourage you or make you feel even more motivated to continue?
“It happened to me to (regularly) have twice as much teaching as a my colleague with the same position but of the opposite gender: the problem got solved when I changed university. I am so used of being the only person of my gender at the canteen’s table, in a meeting, in class that I do not notice this anymore. I take it as a matter of fact. Possibly I am clumsier with other scientists of my gender because I am not used to them.”