"It is amazing how enthusiastic and serious about mathematics my students are"

In September 2014, new international professors and postdocs joined the Faculty of Mathematics. In our January 2015 issue of The HSE Look we are pleased to welcome aboard Assistant Professor Satoshi Kondo!

What are your interests in mathematics?

The mathematics I am interested in is called arithmetic geometry; it is a part of number theory.  I use the tools of algebraic geometry to think about problems in arithmetic.

Have you taught any courses yet? How do you like the students?

I haven’t taught any courses yet, but I am conducting seminars with another colleague where students take turns giving lectures on various aspects of one fixed topic. It is amazing how enthusiastic and serious about mathematics the students are.  It is also good to know that they can do things on their own. I do help them at times and show them the general picture of the topic, but they can find the rest of the way themselves.

What are you currently working on and what are your long-term plans?

In the short term I plan to finish a paper that I have been working on for many years. Now that I am in Moscow and not in Japan, I hope to attend conferences in Europe more often. This type of experience would not have been possible if I had stayed in Japan.

Has it been easy for you to connect with your new colleagues? Is it true that mathematicians are very introverted people?

I thought that mathematicians were introverted because I am one.  But I now work with two collaborators who are not introverted at all.  And I hope I will learn to do math and not be introverted at the same time. It has been already four months since I came to Moscow, but I am still trying to fully settle. The mathematicians speak English so I have no problem communicating with my colleagues one-on-one. But still I feel that I need to be able to understand the Russian language and culture to fully connect with them. It was good that one of my colleagues invited me to give a talk at a conference in Moscow in early December.  I got a chance to meet more local people and that helped a lot.

 Satoshi Kondo received a PhD in Mathematical Sciences at the University of Tokyo in 2003. Upon graduation he worked as a research fellow at Kyoto University (2003 - 2008) and after that held a position of an Assistant Professor at Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo (2008 - 2014). Since September 2014 Kondo has been working as an Assistant Professor at the HSE Faculty of Mathematics.

The full text of the issue can be found in The HSE LooK 1 (18), Jan. 2015. If you are not on our regular mailing list yet, please subscribe and get fresh issues of our bulletin every month!