Noel Tovia Matoff

Country of birth: 
United States
Country of studies: 
Deutschland
Country of residence: 
Deutschland

Noel taking pictures of Alice Fialowski.

Noel Tovia Matoff, born in San Fransisco, USA. Went to School in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. Studied photography at the Art-school HfbK in Hamburg and moved to Berlin in 2001. Works as a freelancer photographer since 1989. Her webpage.

Noel is collaborating with Sylvie Paycha on the photography project to be exhibited at ECM Berlin 2016 documenting the lives, careers and work of thirteen female mathematicians.

EWM: What are your impressions from the protography project so far?

Noel: I’m really totally impressed that mathematicians, female and male probably, are so very happy with their work. I mean, not all the time, and often it is a long way to go, but in every photo session, at some point the women said, “Isn’t that nice!” or “Look at that!” or something similar. I didn’t know that before. Also, they all say that it is hard work and there are a lot of things you must do, ups and downs, but at some point there is a very positive result. That’s something I’ve never heard before so often.

Another thing I thought was very unusual and special was that all women that we talked to said that they never regretted chosing mathematics as a profession. Not a single one. Most of them knew already from the age of 6 or so that they wanted to do mathematics, from the very beginning. I think this is very amazing and very impressive.

EWM: Have you ever met a professional mathematician before this project?

Noel: Just Sylvie, for two years now, and I’ve been at only one conference before this one, in Potsdam, that Sylvie invited me to.