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Malabika Pramanik

“Mathematics, to me is . . .a way of appreciating order and patterns, a very precise and expressive language with which to model quantitative problems.”
Malabika's Biography

I grew up in a small town called Hooghly in West Bengal, India. I have bachelor’s and master’s degrees in statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute. The first time I left India was when I went to the University of California at Berkeley for my Ph.D in mathematics which I completed in 2001. After postdoctoral positions at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and California Institute of Technology, I joined the Mathematics department at UBC, Vancouver in 2006, where I am currently an associate professor. My area of research is Euclidean harmonic analysis. I am also interested in connections of harmonic analysis with probability, additive combinatorics, partial differential equations and several complex variables.

(a) Being exposed to new ideas, techniques and applications – I enjoy the fact that I never have to stop learning.

(b) The chance to teach mathematics and share the joy and excitement I feel when working on math problems with my students.

I certainly would not be here were it not for my mentors, those who have taught and advised in class and by example. It is due to them that I have learned the value of

– the proper balance of intuition and precision in doing math, the need for novel ideas to be showcased with complete rigor,

– good exposition and communication of nontrivial concepts with clarity. The successful survival and evolution of a field depends on effective transmission of ideas to a younger generation. Transparency is paramount here.

No. As an undergrad, I did not have a clear idea what mathematicians do on a daily basis. I had hoped that I would teach mathematics some day, but how I do it now is very different from what I had imagined it would be.

(a) Be prepared to leave the comfort zone of your existing knowledge if your study leads you elsewhere. Always be willing to learn and try out new ideas.

(b) Perseverance and determination. Don’t stop trying because you feel this is hard and others seem to be doing it effortlessly. It takes sustained effort for everyone, at every level.

(c) Professional demands can be stressful, but do not forget why you entered the field in the first place. Stay focused on the things that you enjoy and find worthy of pursuit.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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