Headshot of Manami Roy, assistant professor of mathematics at Lafayette CollegeWhat I study and why: My research is in the intersection of number theory and arithmetic geometry. In simple terms, I study numbers and arithmetic functions and their connection to geometry. For example, consider the problem of finding rational solutions to the sum of two squares equals one; this is a number-theoretic problem. But geometry comes into the picture when one thinks of the same equation as representing the unit circle. 

In number theory, some questions are easy to state, but you need sophisticated tools to answer the questions. For example, can any number that is a power greater than the second be written as the sum of two like powers? The answer is ‘no.’ This question, renowned as Fermat’s Last Theorem, was solved after 358 years of effort by many mathematicians. The proof relies on understanding a deep connection between number theory and geometry. The beauty of naive problems leading to a web of relationships between different areas of mathematics fascinates me.

This fall, I’m teaching: Calculus I

What students can expect from me: I like to nurture an interactive and supportive classroom environment. There will be group work and interaction between the lecture in the classroom, and active student participation is required. There will be weekly reading and assignments; students are expected to spend significant time studying outside class. There will be fair assessment criteria and many opportunities to provide feedback.

I’m excited to be here because: I am excited to join Lafayette, where undergraduate teaching and research are valued. I am looking forward to working with students directly and contributing to the Lafayette community, which has been very supportive and welcoming.

Getting to know me: I love hiking, exploring new places, and photography.

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