- What is your name? Where are you from? Give us a little background story.
E. Ozie. I am a Nigerian-American Mechanical Engineering student and author. I enjoy creating things whether it be a painting, writing a book, or creating a song. I became interested in engineering because I like designing things and know there is a big visual aspect to Mechanical Engineering so I chose that major. I say I am an engineering student making all forms of art because I truly don’t want to be limited to me writing my book or trying to understand Mechanics. I like being creative so I hope I can continue creating and diving into more areas of art.
- Out of all the subjects, why Math?
My father once told me there is math in everything so I started to see the world the same way. I also think I am really good at math so that’s a plus.
- What is your opinion about all the stigma against mathematics? Where do you think it starts and how does it affect today’s generation decision regarding a career in math?
I think younger people especially don’t consider Math fun and believe it is hard. I do think the school system does have its ways of making math tedious and not seem fun. I enjoy solving multiple problems and getting them right creates this competitive spirit in me. I now believe that math is beautiful and there is a poetic feel to it when you relate concepts and topics to the intangible things. I think making today’s generation realize that there’s beauty in math they would want to study and research more about it.
- Towards what part of mathematics do you feel more attracted to and why?
I think it might be Calculus but also Topology seems interesting too even though I’ve never taken a class. I am more attracted to Calculus because I understand it and it’s really the only one I’ve been exposed to fully. While writing this book I discovered more topics like hyperbolic geometry and connectivity that I use in my book. Someone told me about topology and the visual aspect of it is beautiful, I think I’ll take a class on it soon.
- Can you tell me amore about your book? How did you start writing it? What mathematical ideas it could contain?
Yes I can tell you about my book. The Beautiful Math of Coral is a luminous coming-of-age novel moving through the love, heartbreak, and humorous banter of finding one’s place in the world. It is told from my own experiences with insight into science, mathematics, engineering, and art. As Coral and Fernando stumble deeper into the newfound world of STEM they learn that STEM has always been with them through life’s intangibles, which is where I show the art aspect of STEM. I started writing it last year. I first went into the research phase where I research different aspects of chemistry, science, mathematics, etc, The research phase was short but after I left that phase I never really stopped researching. While I was writing the book I was always trying to find ways to make it better. From there I did character development and started writing scenes. I definitely think my scenes with Coral and Fernando are my best in my book. One mathematical idea I explore is space (Euclidian, Ellipitcal, and Hyperbolic) and how people play in this metaphorical “space” that we are all in. I explore limits and continuity as it relates to love and relationships. There is a bunch more in the book. Coral is a freshman in college in the book so I tried to only pull concepts and topics from what I was learning when I was a freshman in college to make the story easier to understand and read.
- How would you counteract the negative stigma math has in our younger generation?
I feel like I am counteracting it by writing a book and calling math beautiful in my novel. I think having more STEM novels and movies that show math as beautiful and relatable is needed and can change the way people view it.
- Why do you think STEM movies or novels are so important?
I think STEM movies or novels are important because they are able to make STEM look cool which then shows viewers and readers a new perspective of STEM they may have not known already. I feel like a lot of people who don’t study or work in the STEM fields have bad feelings for STEM. Being able to say “Hey look over here this thing is cool and you probably never saw this before” can gather people’s interests in so many ways and make them want to do cool things too. What I am trying to do for my book is bring those mathematical, engineering, and scientific concepts and weave them into a story so people can think of STEM as beautiful.
- Do you have any books or movies recommendations?
If they have to be STEM-related:
Movie Recommendations: Hidden Figures, Interstellar, Architecture 101, The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, Chasing Coral
Book Recommendations: Chemistry by Weike Wang, Clues To The Universe by Christina Li
Movies: Interstellar, Now You See Me
Books: In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, Calamities by Renee Gladman (I am currently reading this)
- What is your final destination career-wise?
Great question. I have no clear idea but right now I hope it will be wherever my creativity takes me.
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