I have the privilege to use mathematics as a way to explore amazing corners of the world and meet wonderful people.
It was August 2014 when Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman to win the Fields Medal. I was in a cafe in Rome and I remember when the Italian radio announced it in the news. I was a maths PhD student in a male-dominated research area and I got very excited.
If there is such a thing as mathematical talent, then it clearly has to be found everywhere. At a first glance, this could seem a pretty obvious statement but things get a bit more complicated if you try to better define talent and, unfortunately, also everywhere.
The common narrative at the beginning of the pandemic last year, prompted by the global scale of the crisis, was that we were all on the same boat. Of course, we quickly realized that was not the case.
In the past few years, I have been involved in several projects concerning mathematical education in Africa.
I was advised that a good place to start, if I wanted to explore the African mathematical landscape, was AIMS. That’s the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, or the African Institute for Minimising Sleep, as the students I met liked to call it when they were overwhelmed by assignments.