I’ve always found great beauty in the way illustrations can convey a lot of information in a succinct, elegant, and beautiful way. I am a big fan of art especially when it intersects with math.
While on Twitter, I ran into a wonderful illustration of Field Medalist Maryam Mirzakhani on May 12 (see Figure 1). Her birthday was chosen as a day to celebrate women in mathematics (you can read more in:在数学中庆祝妇女的假期那May12.WomeninMath.org那随着这个优秀的概述科学项目中的性别差距).
This wonderful illustration was made by mathematical physicist and illustratorDr. Constanza Rojas-Molina（有时候也在她的插图的假名E. A. Casanova下面。
Originally from Chile, she is a Lecturer at the CY Cergy Paris University in France. She is also the author of the blogThe RAGE of the Blackboard那where she interviews female scientists and reflects on life in academia.
Rage the Blackboard is divided into four sections: the main part of the blog, Blackboard Whisperers, The Questionnaire, and Art&Science. Each section features different styles of interviews or graphic summaries. For example, one questionnaire features is that of Francisca Onaolapo Oladipo (see Figure 2) a Computer Scientist in Nigeria, and a participant of the 2017 edition of theHeidelberg Laureate Forum.“She developed educational software to help girls that couldn’t attend school (or weren’t allowed to) in some parts of her country”.
One of the first things that caught my attention on the blog was the name itself. As she describes on her blog,
Mathematically, one can describe how the movement of the particle evolves in time and space, using awave functionto represent the probability that the particle is somewhere at a given time (the quantum analog of its position in space), and using alinear operator(calledHamiltonian) to represent its energy, where the effect of the environment on the particle is encoded.
愤怒定理大致涉及波浪功能的时间演变spectrumof the operator. More specifically, with the光谱措施，一种对频谱性质进行编码的对象。这个定理是一个更具体的混凝土和“物理”，如粒子的动态（粒子停留或将会去的物理“，与线性操作员作用的光谱测量相关联在A.希尔伯特空间。”
I was so curious about the inspiration behind it, that I reached out to Dr. Rojas-Molina to get to know more about what motivated her to illustrate and start her blog.
VRQ: Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and your blog?
CRM：我是一个数学家。我来自智利,一个d I have moved a lot. I did my graduate studies in France, and after visiting for a while in Slovenia, I did my postdocs in Germany. I was a lecturer in Germany and now, in France. I work on random Schrödinger operators and Anderson localization, a topic in the field of mathematical-physics that combines analysis, probability, and physics.
I’m also an illustrator, whenever I’m not dealing with operators or writing grant proposals. I combine all of my interests in a blog called The RAGE of the Blackboard (RAGE as in the RAGE theorem), where I interview established female mathematicians and write about academia and maths. In this blog, I write and illustrate the articles myself, and I think of it also as a playground for experimenting in science communication. Lately, I’ve been using other social media platforms for my work, like Twitter and Instagram, but I still work on articles for my blog. Even if it looks like I’m not very active there, I have a pile of material waiting for my next holidays to get ready for the blog!
- Doing the blog has taught me a lot about processes, starting from an idea until reaching a finished outcome. I intended it as a playground to experiment and it’s exactly what I did. I learned about how to run an interview, recording, transcribing the audio, communicating with the interviewees, selecting the text, trying to make a coherent story.
VRQ: I am fascinated by your art, what motivated you to become an illustrator?
CRM：I’ve always been interested in drawing. Since I can remember, I was always drawing everything around me. We all start like that, but some people stop. I just kept doing it, and I always loved to hear and to read stories, so comics were my favorite medium. At some point during my Ph.D., I started drawing what I would see around me: academia, maths, and the lack of women in science.
CRM：I would suggest finding your community. Even if it’s you and one friend. Being a scientist and science communicator is still rare in the academic environment, so it can be a very lonely experience. Besides that, there isn’t something in place to help with the transition out of academia in case you want to do science communication full time. But actually, there are communities of science communicators out there and there are many events for people with similar interests, so go out and meet them! It’s great to have people to give you objective feedback and constructive criticism. And lastly, remember: “finished, not perfect” (a quote by illustrator Jake Parker).
Do you have suggestions of topics or blogs you would like us to consider covering in upcoming posts? Reach out to us in the comments below or let us know on Twitter (@MissVRiveraQ).