Iva Halacheva writing on white board.

Knots in the fourth dimension, and other brain-twisters from 10 years of Northeastern’s postdoctoral math program.

In 1969, three teenage boys named Andrei triple tied for silver in the International Mathematical Olympiad competition in the Soviet Union. Andrei Prasolov now teaches math at a Norwegian university, Andrei Hodulev has left no trace on Google, and the final runner-up, Andrei Zelevinksy, went on to become a university distinguished professor of mathematics at Northeastern, where he taught for 22 years until his death in 2013.

Today, the Zelevinsky Postdoctoral Fellow program is named in his honor. “Zelevinsky was an eminent mathematician, and one of the foremost professors at Northeastern,” says Egon Schulte, chair of the mathematics department. “The program has become the jewel of our department.”

Each year, the program accepts two or three fellows for the three-year position from a competitive pool of about 500 applicants. Currently, the program has seven fellows who split their time between research, advising, and teaching.

“When you look at the top graduate programs for mathematics in the country, they all have strong postdoctoral programs. We recognized that 10 years ago, when we started the program, and it’s been growing ever since,” says Schulte. “Now, the program is internationally known, and we’re competitive with other top-ranking universities.”

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