Me i Vektorprogrammet inviterar til populærvitenskaplige føredrag omlag ein gong i semesteret, der me initerar både kjende og mindre kjende føredragshaldarar til å underhalde og utdanne oss i Vektor. Arrangementa er sjølvsagt opne for alle som er Vektorassistentar. Dette semesteret får me besøk av den omlag like kjende matematikkpersonligheten på YouTube, Matt Parker.
Dersom du er interessert i å treffe Matt, pluss ein haug andre kule nerdar, søk Vektorprogrammet!
Her pratar James Grime litt om livet sitt, og kvifor nerdar er dødskule.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is James Grime; I am a mathematician and some sort of YouTube persona. Now I travel the world and give public talks to show why I love maths, and hopefully to inspire other people to see maths the way I do.
How did you come to love maths the way you do?
Growing up, maths was something I was slightly good at, and you always like the things you are good at better than the things you are not so good at. So that helped a bit, but I never knew that this world that I now am a part of, this academic world, was something that existed. What got me interested at first was actually TV. In Britain we had science shows for kids, and I always used to watch those. From then on I had two things I wanted to do. I wanted to become a doctor of maths, and I wanted to become a TV presenter.
How did you stay motivated?
Becoming a doctor of maths is hard work, but it was what I wanted to do, so that kept me motivated. I never told anyone what my goal was, I kept it a secret and just quietly worked towards it, because I was not sure if I would be able to make it or not. I went to a low achieving school, in a low achieving area, but I had a supportive family, and they helped me from quite a young age to work against my environment and get good grades. I got A’s at school, which I am proud of because I had to work hard for them. Talent alone was never enough to get me a good grade.
And now you have your dream job?
Yes! I am very lucky that I get to combine my two childhood ambitions, and do everything that I wanted to do. I am able to satisfy the introverted part of me when studying really cool maths, and other times the extroverted part of me comes out and I do public talks or make videos. It is true though that I do not do any research at the moment, and the public speaking is my full time job. It is like I have put the hard work in while studying and getting my doctorate, and now I get to have fun! I get to reap the benefits of my hard work. But I do consider myself a mathematician first and foremost. I am a trained mathematician, and it is what I am good at. But I myself was inspired by the science shows on TV when I was young, and so I want to possibly inspire someone else out there. I love speaking to all audiences, but their age and their level of knowledge limit how deep into the maths I am able to go. Of course this is not a problem, as my aim is to inspire, not to teach. I am not replacing teachers in any way.
What do you think about when you are not thinking about numbers?
Still, TV and films is a big interest of mine. I love cinema and I love films. Actually, I would say that I am more of a nerd when it comes to film than when it comes to maths. However, I am not an expert in films; I am more of an enthusiastic amateur. And I do other stuff as well. I juggle, and I used to go dancing. Being enthusiastic about something is what being a nerd is about, really. And I am enthusiastic about all of my hobbies. What I try to do in my talks is to show that it is possible to be enthusiastic about maths as well! How can I expect people to be interested in maths if I’m not? So I want to lead by example, and to show that maths is not a dry subject, and that it is something worth being enthusiastic about.
Are you afraid that people might think you are nerdy?
I think there is a trend, and that trend is changing. I think that because our world is far more technological now, everyone has to be a nerd anyway. We all carry around small computers in our pockets, all connected to the internet, and we use these devices every day. And I think people can appreciate that these things are not possible without the scientists and mathematicians that make it happen. I think more people appreciate that today, and I think people understand that these inventions are not a result of scientists and mathematicians performing one task after another, or mindlessly solving a number of equations like robots. I think people appreciate that these inventions are the results of people being creative and solving problems in new ways that have never been done before, using the tools they learned in schools and universities to do amazing stuff that no one thought possible just twenty years ago. So I am not afraid to be a nerd, because nerds are really, really cool.
Me gjorde også eit anna intervju med James, der me prata om utdanning og matematikkundervisning. Dette kjem i neste veke.
Kunne du tenkje deg å bli med på slike interju, og spise pizza saman med internettheltane dine? Bli teammedlem i tillegg til assistentstillinga då, vel! Gi beskjed på assistentintervjuet at du er interessert i å bli med, så får du meir informasjon av oss. Me treng akkurat deg!