Tell me about yourself
Originally I am from Bulgaria. I moved to the US with my family in the late 90s, when I was still in high school. Then I went to college at CU Boulder and then to graduate school at UCLA. After getting my Ph.D. I was a postdoc at UC Irvine (in Orange County, CA) and then went to the University of Illinois at Chicago. I spent 10 years there, until this summer, when I moved to Rutgers. In addition to math, I love hiking, music, travelling.
How did you become interested in math?
I have always liked math. When I was little, my mom and I would have fun doing math puzzles. And later she was always an inspiration in my pursuing mathematics.
As a student, did you do undergraduate research?
Yes. In my third year I took a set theory course and I decided that this is one of the most interesting parts of math I have studied. Later, I did a senior honors thesis supervised by my professor for that class - Don Monk. He was very supportive and gave me a glimpse of what mathematical research is.
What are you researching? (in layman’s)
My research field is mathematical logic and set theory. In layman's terms (or if you ask my daughter), I "study infinity". Set theory started in the late 19th century when Cantor discovered that there are different levels of infinity. Most famously, the size of the real numbers is strictly bigger than the size of the natural number. I.e. the real numbers are uncountable. That gave rise to the study of combinatorial properties of infinite objects and this is my area.
What are you excited about in joining Rutgers University?
Rutgers has a great math department, and I am very excited to be joining it. I look forward to teaching both graduate and undergraduate students. My family and I also enjoy being on the east coast, where so many universities and cultural opportunities close by. My husband, Filippo Calderoni, also just got hired, and who knows, maybe one day our kids will go to Rutgers (we have three)!