Interviewing the SteemSTEM Curators - @mathowl

in #steemstem6 years ago

The Curators of SteemSTEM

What do they do? Well, their tasks include searching for new STEM authors, evaluating and reviewing STEM articles, conducting thorough searches for plagiarism and they are the people who will suggest whether or not a STEM article has to be upvoted and supported by @steemstem.

A community gets bigger and stronger as its members work together, get to know each other, learn from each other. Evolve. Flourish.

Introducing .. @mathowl!

Maybe you have seen his googlyeyes posts, perhaps you have been awarded a scientific owl in the past? Maybe you have even read his colorful math posts and have since then grown a deep desire and lust for math (!)

Whatever the case is, his humor has certainly been one the of the first thing one notices, right from the beginning.

@MathOwl would you still like him if he was called chin-chill math or MathBunny? has come to Steem to stir the waters!

In this post @mathowl is interviewed by @katerinaramm!

If you have any extra questions or thoughts, feel free to let someone from the PR team know!

Let's shed some light!


Q - Hi Mathowl, thank you for taking the time to reply to our questions! Let us know a few things about yourself: What is your real (first) name? What do you do, where are you from, how long have you been on Steem and what are your hobbies?

A - Hi Kat! Thanks for the opportunity. Currently, I am still a Mathematics PhD student but in about two months I can scrap the student part. My ethnicity is mixed; Dutch-Malaysian-Chinese, and my Dutch name is Thomas. I have been on Steem about a year. My hobbies are playing piano, juggling, programming, petting furry animals and dropping puns. Unfortunately, I don't have a good o-pun-ning pun.

Q - How long have you been a curator for SteemSTEM?

A - I guess for about 8 months

Q - How and when did it all start?

A - I started with some scientific curation of myself using my owl stickers, then I became an honor member and when there was a job-opening on the curation team I slipped in.

Q - How often do you curate?

A - The last month I haven't been so active since I am busy job hunting but I do check the curation channel everyday.

Q - What is the first thing that you take into consideration when curating?

A - Uniqueness and community impact. Sharing unique information which can be absorbed by the community is the pillar of any form of media. Within the framework of STEM this unique information does not necessarily have to be scientific facts but it can also be an explanation style, interpretation etc.

Q - Tell us something that really gives you a great first impression when you see a SteemSTEM post. (It could have to do with the chosen topic, images, structure etc)

A - When I click on a post I immediately check citations and copyright licenses. So if you get those right you get in the green with me.

Q - Do you have a favorite scientific topic that you have fun reading and reviewing over any others?

A - I do like to read posts about math on the frontiers. But the last few months there has not been much activity in this field.

Q - Tell us something that really makes you disappointed or angry when you see a SteemSTEM post. (It could have to do with the chosen topic, images, structure etc)

A - Plagiarism, copy/paste, tag-abuse; pretty much any type of abuse. For math posts I get unhappy if they apply empirical thinking to mathematics. Other than that there is not much that gets my blood pumping.

Q - What would be your advice to both the old and new authors who wish to join SteemSTEM but do not know where to start?

A - If you don't know what to write about, write about what you like then your audience is bounded from below by one.

Q - If you could interview anyone from SteemSTEM, who would it be and ask him/her one question now?

A - It would probably be you! And I would want to ask you how you find the time to do so much for SteemSTEM.

Q - What does Mathematics mean to you?

A - It is a form of art where the requirement is truth and goal is beauty.

Q - Would you like to share with us more info about your PhD?

A - My PhD concerns modelling single celled fungi growth. On first glance this might seem very biological but modelling this type of growth requires more math than biology. I constructed governing equations for specific fungi cell and then validated that these describe physical growth using rigorous numerics. This means that I created a program which performs mathematical proofs. The reason why these tools are necessary is that an ordinary program can make mistakes when solving equations. In my case if the computer even makes a small mistake then this might mean that the solution I get is very wrong. So a proof-based system is necessary to show the validity of the model.

Q - Is there a great Mathematician that you really admire? And Why?

A - In the class of living mathematicians it is John Milnor. In the olden days mathematicians obtained great results in different mathematical research areas. John Milnor is the last of this generation. Connecting different branches of mathematics used to be a very important goal in mathematics but somehow nowadays they are driven to work on very specialised topics which do not add much to the big picture.

Q - When you have children, how do you plan to make your kids love math?

A - Monty hall problem, but by replacing the car by candy and the goat by doing the dishes :D

Q - If you could have any job in the world, what would you choose?

A - Full-time mathematics researcher. Unfortunately, this job does not really exist since even at the top of academic food chain you are not spending most of your work hours on doing research. So I am really interested in a job where I can use interesting mathematics everyday.

Q - Would you like to tell us what other projects you support besides SteemSTEM?

A - I am a member of Steemflagrewards. It is a project which rewards Steemians for flagging abuse. If you want to get rewarded for pasting googly eyes on random objects you should join the Googlyeyes project by the high-googly priest Fraenk. Another great project by Fraenk is Dustbunny which upvotes comments below the dust-threshold to above the dust-threshold. It is great for low SP steemians. In actual fact, big fish at steemSTEM are supporting Dustbunny with generous delegations (JTM, Suesa)

Q - Could you describe in as few words as possible what science means to you?

A - Being able to predict

Q - What is your wish for SteemSTEM?

A - To become a form of media known to the general public.

Q - Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A - Doing cool mathematics :o)

Thank You MathOwl!

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@katerinaramm may I recommend you insert the quotes before the actual quote in the interview occurs? It seemed strange to me at first, but most articles now use this method, and now I think it's actually better, cos you read the quote first, and you wonder in which context it occurred, and then your curiosity is satisfied when you read it in context, whereas here you seem to be using the quotes for people who scan the text to see whether they're interested in reading it, rather than for the actual reader, who of course is not interested in reading the quote just after he's read it! If you move it upwards, it will serve both scanner and actual reader, although it might seem counter-intuitive at first.

Thank you Alex, to be honest I did try it but it seemed a bit strange to me.
My initial thinking was that someone would read the text and then, seconds after, they would re-read the selected quote and that would help in remembering it :)
I will try to use your suggestion next time and see how it goes
Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

wow... so cooool... I thank @steemstem so much for making interview for my sweet friend @mathowl, I met him on steemit and I thought I know about him a lot but I didn't know he can play piano!! 😆

It is a form of art where the requirement is truth and goal is beauty.

yeah... he created me super cool and beautiful logo regarding mathematics. this IS mathematics and art!

スクリーンショット 2018-09-15 13.37.48.png
Thank you very much for this post again... It is good to know for every steemians who is related on each community :-)

And he created this for me <3 :

ahh! I remember that cool logo he posted before... :D

Nice to meet you, @MathOwl. Logic and Mathematics are especial sciences. They're not experimental, but formal. The epistemological debate about the nature of this sciences is still open. For example, in your opinion, maths is discovered or invented? See you!

I guess it is a bit of a mix of both. Certain math is clearly a projection of how nature works around us while some other math seems to have no relation to anything in the real world.

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This is an interesting topic, and that statement of yours that you dislike empirical thinking in mathematics was the part of the interview that intrigued me the most.

Are you related to mathowl? Cos I see an owl spelled a bit funny in your username.

This is so owlsome.

Q - What does Mathematics mean to you?
A - It is a form of art where the requirement is truth and goal is beauty.

I just interpreted this literally... Maths is art? Would I be right to call it "the science of art"? 😂😂

I guess math is a different from other sciences since other sciences want to predict the physical world. Any equation describing the physical world does not have to be beautiful to gain recognition. In maths results which have no deep meaning have no real value. So in some sense the underlying questions in math have some relation to the underlying questions in art.

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It actually depends on how you interpret the concept of different sciences!
I remember when they told us in Faculty that "The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease"
So technically, yes! You could call it the "science of art" lol

Thanks for the introduction of @mathowl.
The PhD project sounds like some that have been done in the Biological Physics group in my former department.
I can confirm that there's almost no middle layer of experienced staff in physics either. PhDs can stay for max. 5 years (as far as I know) and that's that. As if their knowledge and experience has no value ...

That's a nice little chat you gave @mathowl. AN enjoyable read.

Within the framework of STEM this unique information does not necessarily have to be scientific facts but it can also be an explanation style, interpretation etc.

I so much love this part to be honest. An informative post that can generate great conversation in the comment section would probably contribute more to a hard science post which extremely few can relate. This is a blogging platform and some folks really need to understand this.

An informative post with over 70 comments would probably project steemstem more to the world (in term of search engine optimization) than a core science post with very little engagement.

Your research sounds quite interesting @mathowl! Could the proofing program be adapted to model the growth of other single-celled organisms?

It is proof-based method for a specific set of equations. So cannot be directly extended to other growth models since the governing equations are very different.

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Another wonderful interview for steemstem

It was really cool getting to know more about you @mathowl.

If you don't know what to write about, write about what you like then your audience is bounded from below by one.

The above is probably one of the best advice on steemstem in a long time

Thank you :)

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The man of the owl. I have always thought that mathematicians are brilliant. I mean, if I were to write an article, they wouldn't have any problem on understanding the concept that I would like to lay out, even if they don't totally understand, they can always google it and read some introduction to the topic. Math post, on the other hand, is freaking difficult to be understood especially for me.

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