We are very happy to say that Maria Chudnovsky, a mathematician at Columbia University, was chosen to be a 2012 MacArthur Fellow (aka the “MacArthur Genius Award”) for her work in graph theory.
The folks at the MacArthur foundation made a nice video interviewing Dr. Chudnovsky about her work:
In it, she gives the perfect description of doing research:
So what you try to do is ask a question which is hard enough that you would need a new idea, but it’s not so hard that you just don’t see anything. You try and ask the right question and try and get a new idea that would push you further. And that’s really what a mathematician does.
— Dr. Chudnovsky