Nikita Reymer is a member of the Mathematical Finance group. Nikita was born in Russia, but also lived in Ukraine. He came to Canada when he was in grade seven. Recently he obtained a specialist honours bachelors degree in actuarial science from the University of Toronto and is planning to go to graduate school.
Upon arrival to Toronto Nikita was amazed by the diversity of cultures that co-exist in the city. The impression was so strong that he still speaks of it with visible excitement. Nikita also noticed that school textbooks in Russia and Ukraine were very different from Canadian textbooks. “There are no games in Russian textbooks”, said Nikita. In Canadian textbooks there are more illustrations, examples, and applications. In contrast, Russian textbooks present information in a laconic way with fewer illustrations, but with more rigor.
When asked to describe his current project, Nikita exclaimed: “This is the best project I ever participated in!” Students were given an opportunity to explore real data to predict financial crises. Supervisors meet with the students twice a week. They use a hands-on approach to the material, which gives students the freedom to explore topics that interest them. Work was divided equally among team members. Each student presented their assigned articles.
Prior to the MITACS program Nikita held an NSERC USRA in the summer of 2009. He worked on Group Representation Theory with Professor Repka.
Nikita thinks that collaboration is essential for mathematicians. More people can solve a problem faster. There is a saying that a lot of Russian people use: “having one head is good, but having two is much better”, meaning that it is more effective to involve several people in problem solving.
Interview conducted by Mariya Boyko