Interviews – Magie des Maths de Prépa


As mentioned in my previous posts, my summer was interestingly spent making a 2-hour video documentary on French undergrad maths. One particularly awesome part about the making of this video is that I got to interview some amazing people. In this post, let me mention three of them (even though all interviews were very, very enjoyable!).

Early on, I got to interview Ricardo Marino. Not only is he a PhD researcher at Paris-Sud in statistical physics, he’s also an amazing math and physics popularizer on his blog Todas As Configuracoes (which unfortunately for me is in Portuguese). After all, this is simply the first time I actually meet a fellow popularizer. And this was very, very cool. I’m impressed by the extent of his knowledge, the clarity of his explanation and, above all, his willingness to show people how awesome maths and physics are!

Ricardo Marino

Slightly after, I interviewed Laura Corman. She’s doing her PhD research at the very prestigious Collège de France (where latest Nobel prize winner Serge Haroche is!). And there are two perks in interviewing such a person. First, we did the interview on the roof top of the Collège de France, with a breathtaking panoramic view all over Paris! What a view (and what a place to have coffee breaks at work!!!)! Second, and definitely not least, after the interview, Laura showed me her experiment on cold atoms. Roughly, using laser and magnetic cooling, atoms are brought to near-absolute-zero temperatures, at which point a new state of matter called the Bose-Einstein condensate appears! I could see it with my naked eyes! This was especially exciting for me as I wrote a Science4All article on this topic a year ago.

Laura Corman

Last in this post, but not least, I interviewed Nicolas Tholozan, an old friend I hadn’t seen for over 5 years. Nicolas (nicknamed Doûûsch, the reason for that being a bit long to explain…) is finishing his PhD research in 3-dimensional geometry. I already knew that he was also very, very good at explaining stuffs (he already had to explain many things to me while we were in the same classroom back then), but the quality of his explanations of the Poincaré conjecture or the Riemann hypothesis still baffled me. Now, this was still not the most interesting aspect of the interview. What I loved the most is the poetry he put in describing what he does in his every day job: He’s an explorer of complex geometrical universes, which he hardly visualizes and yet can (or, at least, tries to) know lots of interesting stuffs about…

Nicolas Tholozan

In a nutshell, while doing this video documentary, I have discovered a new job (interviewing top scientists), which I have really really loved. This is one more reason why I really want to make it as a renowned math and science popularizer…