Igor Zaliznyak

Current classes

Math 9a

About me

I am a physicist studying microscopic magnetism at Brookhaven National Laboratory. My everyday professional activity heavily relies on various aspects of mathematical knowledge. And every day it keeps surprising me as to how the seemingly irrelevant material I was taught in high school becomes of use in a quest to understand how nature works.

Mathematical basics which we learn in school are the foundation for the diverse knowledge which we acquire throughout our life, no matter which profession we choose. In fact, I believe that understanding the elegant structure of mathematical concepts not only facilitates many everyday activities, but also expands one’s world view, hones ability to judge things, and even helps to better feel the beauty of art and enhance appreciation of music. Many of my school and college classmates moved on to doing many different things – they became successful scientists, engineers, businessmen, writers, priests, performing artists. But I believe that exceptional math education which they were given was instrumental for their successes.

I learnt high school level math in the Kiev school #145, which had enhanced curriculum in physics and mathematics. We had an excellent program and were taught by outstanding teachers – in my case, S. A. Kvitnitskaya. After our school, the first two semesters at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, to which six out of 24 students of our class were admitted, was a relatively easy ride. While I feel fortunate to have been though such an excellent math training program, I would also like to try and share some of the things I learnt there with our kids. This is why I am pleased to be teaching the ninth grade math at SchoolNova. I hope that I could help our kids understand and appreciate the beauty and the basic simplicity of mathematics, and that they will share my enjoyment and excitement with it.

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