Roundtable: Successful women

On Monday, 17th April 2023, we were delighted to listen to successful scientists and their inspiring stories. 

The host of the roundtable discussion, Maja Ratej, a radio journalist, brought together a mathematician working at University of Ljubljana, prof. dr. Nežka Mramor Kosta, a Fields Medalist of 2022 Prof. Maryna Viazovska, the leader of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Jozef Stefan Institute, prof. dr. Dunja Mladenić, and an aircraft mechanic at Adria Tehnika, Rosana Kolar.

Ms. Viazovska was the first to present her experience at EGMO 2023. She said that she considers herself a silent and moral support for her team. During the conversation, she comments on her work on the sphere packing problem in 8 and 24 dimensions for which she received the Fields Medal, the equivalent to the Nobel Prize in the world of mathematics.

Prof. dr. Nežka Mramor Kosta emphasized that it is important to find free time, time to relax, make new friends, new acquaintances, and that the contestants at EGMO should use this great opportunity to hang out with girls with whom they share similar interests. Mathematics fascinates her because of its universality and is also attracted by the simplicity of mathematics.

Prof. dr. Dunja Mladenić also pointed out, that it is important to socialize and to see that you’re not an outsider. She explained how easily math can become a world in which one can lose some touch with reality and that it is important to stay grounded, “rooted to the world”, and that situations in real life can’t always be solved with logic. To everything said, the host concluded “Math is hard but it is not as complex as life,” to which prof. Mladenić quickly responded: “Math is just a part of life.” In one of the answers she gives a thorough explanation of AI and the role it can play in our life.

With great interest the audience listened to Ms. Rosana Kolar, a mechanical engineer, who spoke about the importance of mathematics and physics, and how one can find it almost everywhere in our day-to-day lives. She spoke about her work with great enthusiasm. She also emphasized how important it is to be a people’s person and ready for teamwork.

Many more interesting topics were being addressed during the talk. The roundtable concluded with a few questions by our contestants and wise answers from the guests.

Have one thing that’s only yours and one person with whom you can be who you truly are. One person is enough.

The complete audio recording of the roundtable is available here (start at 9:15):

If you would like to see more photos of the roundtable, visit our gallery.