Nets Katz

Nets Katz was born in Arlington, Texas on August 19, 1972. His father was a theoretical physicist who left academia to become an aerospace engineer and entrepreneur, before eventually returning to academia as the Cudsworth Professor of Aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama. His mother opted to be a stay-at-home mother. He has one older sister.

He skipped three grades and attended Rice University at the age of 15. At age 20, he completed his PhD in pure math at the University of Pennsylvania, successfully passing his thesis defense in May 1993.

He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012. In 2015, he was awarded the Clay Research Award with Larry Guth. He currently is IBM Professor of Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology, where he has been since 2013.

He has a new book Calculus for Cranks, published by Yale University Press, coming out in January 2021.

(The following interview was conducted via video chat on December 14, 2020.)

Tell me about when your parents first noticed something unusual about you.

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Tuomas Lukka

Tuomas Lukka was born in Turku, Finland in December, 1974 to an academic family; his father is a retired university president, and his mother is a professor. He has one younger sister.

He skipped one year of secondary school and attended the University of Helsinki at age 17. At age 20, he completed his PhD in physical chemistry, successfully passing his thesis defence in June 1995.

Afterward, he spent three years as a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows, before returning to Finland to work at Jyväskylä University. He later worked at Hybrid Graphics, a software startup. He is currently the chief scientist of ZenRobotics, a company that specializes in robotics for the recycling industry.

(The following interview was conducted via webchat on September 15, 2011.)

Tell me about when your parents first noticed something unusual about you.

Hmm… I don’t know whether they did. I was pretty interested in mathy things when young.

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