Interview with PIMS Postdoctoral Fellow: Sergii Myroshnychenko
Written by: Brittney Durston, PIMS Communications Coordinator
PIMS’ prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship program attracts researchers from around the world. This month, in the Emergent Research: The PIMS Postdoctoral Fellow Seminar, Sergii Myroshnychenko, originally from Ukraine and now a PIMS PDF at the University of Alberta, will give a lecture on: Shape recognition of convex bodies on November 4, via Zoom.
We had the opportunity to connect with Sergii and hear more about how he became interested in convex geometry.
Tell me about your area of research.
My main scientific interests lie in Convex & Discrete geometry. Since it is such a diverse science, I also study related topics of Probability theory, Harmonic analysis, and their possible applications. Even though this is a very old topic that could be traced at least to Archimedes, the simple notion of convexity provides a rich structure that often leads to surprisingly beautiful results.
How did you initially become drawn to convex geometry as a program of research?
Through my master’s program I studied differential geometry, and through my PhD I was introduced to the area of convex geometry. Both the simplicity and elegance intrigued me initially. The problems can be easy to state, but challenging to solve.
Shape recognition, is strongly related to computer vision and tasks of image and video recognition. Typically, convex geometry is related to questions in statistics and data science. It also has applications in x-rays, 3D printing, scanning, with convex geometry contributing to the development of these areas.
What are some problems that your research could be applied to?
Identifying cancerous tumours uses geometric tomography. I wonder if we could extract data based on different projections and create machines based in tumour identification. For now, this is a dream but a possible application I wonder about. Through data science, there may be opportunities to collaborate from an interdisciplinary perspective, to solve these types of problems. When you are unable to reach something, whether it be medical or archaeological, scanning it through geometric tomography is a way to gain access while increasing your understanding.
Do you see any possibilities for interdisciplinary collaborations with your research?
Pure math gets its inspiration from the world around us. I would love to collaborate with those in the medical field, to ask them about problems they are solving, and see if my knowledge as a mathematician could be useful in helping them obtain a solution. Mathematics is a very universal and practical area that can help solve problems in different disciplines.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a PIMS postdoctoral fellow?
I feel incredibly grateful to be associated with PIMS through the postdoctoral fellowship program. The ability to continue my research while being connected to experts across the PIMS network has been extremely valuable. It also provides me with the opportunity to teach, which is not only a love of mine, but also helps with my program of research. Teaching allows me to be actively engaged while thinking of problems in new ways, which also helps to move research forward in a robust way.