TTT #34: "Breaking Maths Stereotypes" with Ivan Zelich

The Tomato Timer Sep 23, 2020

From not even liking geometry to having a research paper published on the same subject at the age of 16, Ivan Zelich’s journey of exploring mathematics resonates with so many of us: even for those of us who are known to dislike it.

When we think of mathematics, we are most likely to imagine a complex wordy formula or a sophisticated procedure to solve a particular problem. But amidst adapting to this form of “learning” in high school for acing tests, the creative dimension of math is often not touched upon. Ivan discusses this issue, mentioning how going into beyond what the curriculum requires can be discouraged in many schooling environments.

If you want to learn more, sometimes you are not given the opportunity and then you have to (kind of) find everything else on your own.

While further discussing some of the various technical aspects of the subject and its classifications, he also talks about what he expects from his maths degree in the future. He talks about how the degree, irrespective of the career options he sees, helps develop critical thinking and analytical skills and goes on to be applied in all relevant contexts. He chose to study math because he really liked the subject and that is what he suggests everyone else to do: stay true to your passion.

If you stay true to what you believe you are strong at and are passionate about, do that and see the opportunities arise as they come.

Maybe, contrary to what most of us believe, maths is not actually something to fear and run away from. Maybe all it requires is to be able to have the opportunities to look at it from diverse perspectives, delve into it deeper and explore!


Zubair Junjunia

Along with Ritika Singhal

Building ZNotes from age 16, outspoken promoter of UN SDG4 as One Young World & STEM ambassador, maths graduate from UCL. Staying sane by running, open-water swimming and figure & inline skating.