Manil Suri, Mathematics, in The New York Times and on Public Radio

Mathematics professor Manil Suri has made quite an impact with a fresh New York Times op-ed ed that re-introduces readers to mathematics through an approach based in the humanities. In “How to Fall in Love with Math” Suri writes, “Despite what most people suppose, many profound mathematical ideas don’t require advanced skills to appreciate.” One idea that he finds often intrigues people is the origin of numbers. He writes, “Think of it as a magic trick: harnessing emptiness to create the number zero, then demonstrating how from any whole number, one can create its successor. One from zero, two from … Continue reading Manil Suri, Mathematics, in The New York Times and on Public Radio

Manil Suri, Mathematics, on BBC’s “The Forum”

Manil Suri, professor of mathematics, was recently a guest on the BBC World Service program “The Forum” to discuss “Obsessions, new and old, in literature and technology.”  Joining Suri on the show, which was hosted by Bridget Kendall, were internet analyst and cyber-sceptic Evgeny Morozo and Spanish novelist and translator Javier Marias. Suri discussed his recent novel, “The City of Devi,” in which the main character is obsessed with bringing a pomegranate to her missing husband. “She feels that having this symbol almost will somehow lead her to her husband. And in a way it does tell her something about her marriage, but in … Continue reading Manil Suri, Mathematics, on BBC’s “The Forum”

Manil Suri, Mathematics, on the Marc Steiner Show

Manil Suri, professor of mathematics, was a guest on the Marc Steiner show on March 14 to discuss his new book “The City of Devi.” Steiner asked Suri how he reconciles his background in mathematics with the spiritual themes that run through his books, which feature Hindu deities. “There’s a lot of contrast. On the one hand, I’m very enamored by these ideas from spirituality and almost mysticism,” “But on the other hand, the logical part of me says, ‘hey, wait a minute, that’s not really what’s happening.’” The full segment can be heard here. Continue reading Manil Suri, Mathematics, on the Marc Steiner Show

Manil Suri, Mathematics, on “The Daily Beast”

Manil Suri was deep into writing his latest novel, “The City of Devi,” when he realized something alarming: the novel was impossible to finish. The mathematics professor even used a mathematical construct, a possibility tree, to arrive at his conclusion.  He described the process of creating this mathematical “proof” in an essay for “The Daily Beast.” Of course, Suri did eventually finish the novel, which was published earlier this year. Despite the fact that he disproved his own proof, Suri feels that his mathematical conclusion was a worthwhile endeavor, because it allowed him to reach the insights he needed about … Continue reading Manil Suri, Mathematics, on “The Daily Beast”

Manil Suri, Mathematics, in the News

Mathematics Professor Manil Suri has been in the news recently, as his latest novel, “The City of Devi,” hits bookstore shelves. On Wednesday, February 6, the Baltimore City Paper published a review of the book, saying that it “is “streamlined and cinematically purified… by narrowing his focus and heightening the emotional tenor of the city, he manages to give it a mythological quality.” Suri also spoke with the Baltimore Sun for a February 3 interview entitled “UMBC mathematician Manil Suri publishes his third novel.”  This novel completes a trilogy about hindu dieties that Suri began with his 2001 book, “The … Continue reading Manil Suri, Mathematics, in the News

“The City of Devi” Reviewed in the Washington Post

On January 29, the Washington Post praised “The City of Devi” by Manil Suri, professor of mathematics, in a review by Ron Charles. Proclaiming it “the best sex comedy of the year about nuclear war between India and Pakistan,” Charles commends the book for the fact that it “never dips toward cynicism, never loses its essential sweetness, no matter how cruel or kooky the action… the whole story manages to keep hurtling along toward a surprisingly tender ending.” “Even amid the wondrous variety of contemporary Indian fiction, Suri’s work stands apart, mingling comedy and death, eroticism and politics, godhood and … Continue reading “The City of Devi” Reviewed in the Washington Post

Manil Suri, Mathematics, in Baltimore Magazine

Baltimore magazine reviewed Manil Suri’s latest book, The City of Devi, in the February 2013 issue.  Calling the book “a preculiar love story that’s both tawdry and hopeful,” the magazine says that it is “super-charged by religion, sexuality, and the overarching political conflict.” The magazine also posted a Q and A with the mathematics and statistics professor on their website, where they asked Suri about teaching a math class for non-math majors.  “It taught me that without at least some basic motivation on the part of the learner, it’s simply impossible to engage people in mathematics, no matter how interesting or … Continue reading Manil Suri, Mathematics, in Baltimore Magazine

VCU’s Qin Wang Speaks at Stat Colloquium (10/26)

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics hosts Dr. Qin Wang of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for its Fall 2012 Statistics Colloquium this Friday, October 26, from 11am to 12pm in Room 401 of the Mathematic and Psychology (MP) building. Dr. Wang’s contribution for this week is entitled “A general SDR approach via Hellinger integral of order two.” It deals with the concept of sufficient dimension reduction (SDR), which according to the abstract is “a useful tool to study the dependence between a response and a multidimensional predictor.” The focus will be on a new approach to SDR called the Hellinger Integral of … Continue reading VCU’s Qin Wang Speaks at Stat Colloquium (10/26)

Two Professors Discuss Collaboration in The Chronicle of Higher Education

In fall 2011, Michele Osherow, associate professor of English, and Manil Suri, professor of mathematics, collaborated to jointly teach a freshman seminar, “Mathematics and What It Means to be Human,” in which they explored the connections between the two disciplines. They are discussing their collaboration, and its challenges, in a three-part series on The Chronicle of Higher Education. In the first part of the series, the two discuss what led them to teach the class, and their experiences in planning it. “Ever since the word problems my father forced on us at dinner, I’ve always been terrified of math,” Osherow … Continue reading Two Professors Discuss Collaboration in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Can You Solve President Hrabowski’s Favorite Math Problem?

The Imaging Research Center (IRC) recently filmed several faculty as they attempted to solve President Hrabowski’s favorite math problem. As told to Nagaraj Neerchal and Manil Suri, mathematics and statistics, and Anne Spence, mechanical engineering, the problem is as follows: 29 children are in a class. 20 have dogs. 15 have cats. How many have both a dog and a cat? Watch the video below to see the various methods and strategies used by the professors to answer the problem. UMBC Professors Solve F. Hrabowski’s Favorite Math Problem from ircumbc on Vimeo. Continue reading Can You Solve President Hrabowski’s Favorite Math Problem?