About Me - Bio

I thought I might provide you with some information about myself, seeing as how you went through all the trouble of locating my website. However, it felt narcissistic to write about myself. I asked the department to hire a ghost writer to pen this biographical section, only to find out we apparently do not have a grant for that. On the verge of giving up, I struck upon a rather amusing idea - why not have you do the writing?

If there is anything you would like to know about me, fire me an e-mail at shnullagnik@mi.fnullu-berlin.de, and your question (with a response) may be added to the Frequently Asked Questions list below.

So far, a frequency of one is sufficient.


Why do you have an American accent?

I don't believe I do. My accent has perhaps best been described as a "hodge-podge non-accent". The reason for this accentual ambiguity may lie behind my having moved from New Delhi to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne to Hong Kong as a child. I have since decided to throw in some British, American, Swiss, and German into the mix, just to confuse the matter further.

Of the different cities you have lived in, which do you like best?

In the poset of past residences, these cities are incomparable.

Come on, you're just avoiding the question!


Why did you decide to become a mathematician?

When I was in high school deciding what to do with my life, the movie "A Beautiful Mind" was released. Being rather impressionable, I was inspired by Russell Crowe's character, and decided to emulate him. Unfortunately, Jennifer Connelly was taken, so I settled for the next best thing and chose to study mathematics.

In all seriousness, though, I owe a great deal to my parents and my teachers who nurtured and supported my passion for the subject throughout my education. Maths has always been my favourite subject, and I have been fortunate enough to be able to pursue it further.

May I be your Ph.D. student?

I am afraid I do not currently have the capacity to take on students of my own, but thank you very much for your interest! If you are looking to do a combinatorial Ph.D. in Berlin, then I recommend you consider applying to Prof. Tibor Szabó or the Berlin Mathematics School.

Do you have a favourite culinary dish?

If you insist that I pick just one, then at this very moment in time I would choose a paper masala dosa, for two reasons:

  • They are absolutely indescribably delicious, and
  • I have not had one in far too long a time.
  • How many goats are you worth?

    According to the Internet, I am worth eight goats. If someone tries to sell me to you for many more, you're being ripped off.

    Who do you think will win the Champions' League this season?

    It's hard to look past Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid. While the heart is rooting for Madrid, the brain supposes it is Bayern's turn.

    Who is your favourite academic sibling*, and why?

    It has been quite some time since I last maintained an active ranking of the people in my life, so it is difficult at this point to give an accurate/meaningful answer to this question. Instead, I shall name the person who I think will be happiest to be named here: Pedro.

    *This question has been slightly rephrased from the original submission.

    Cristiano Ronaldo, Peter Frankl and Jennifer Lawrence - you get to spend a day with one of them. Whom do you choose?

    Even if I had not already seen Cristiano Ronaldo play football and possibly had dinner with Jennifer Lawrence, the answer would still have been Peter Frankl. One of the first maths papers I read was a Frankl-Füredi paper, and ever since I have relished reading his work. Furthermore, he encompasses what the other two are famous for - with his TV show he is probably more famous than Lawrence in Japan, and he is an accomplished juggler, with ball skills no doubt surpassing those of Ronaldo.
    So, when do I get to spend a day with him?

    I would like to make the images on my webpage more interactive. Do you have any suggestions?

    Personally, I use the services of Christoph Spiegel. His attention to detail is impressive, and he takes such pride in his work that he refuses to accept payment for it. What more could you ask for?