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Aug. 15, 2012

Picture a Mathematician  

by Annette Heist

Click to enlarge images
Click on icon in upper right corner of slideshow to enlarge images.
For more than a decade, retired math professor and photographer Robert V. Moody* has been photographing his mathematician peers. Moody says he wanted to move beyond the formal portraits of mathematicians that we normally see, and show his colleagues "as they really are--jovial, intense, passionate about their subject." 
 
LABYRINTH: Mathematicians &emdash; Claus Ringel, 2011
Claus Ringel, 2011, by Robert V. Moody.
 
Moody says most of his photos are taken while the subjects are lecturing or talking about math. You can see a gallery of his mathematician images here. Or click on the slide show above for a sample.
 
Since we're talking to Danica McKellar this week about inspiring girls to become mathematicians, I thought we'd include some photos of female mathematicians too. Most of Moody's images are of men, but I am sure there must be a photographer out there who has captured some of the women in the field. Know of anyone? Let me know.
 
Meanwhile you can brush up on your knowledge of famous female mathematicians here and here
 
*Dr. Moody is also co-discoverer of Kac-Moody algebra and, he says, "still a (somewhat) functional mathematician."
 

 

About Annette Heist

Annette Heist is a former senior producer for Science Friday.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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