The Zelevinsky family and research instructors with Professor Alexander Suciu. Photo courtesy of James Poulos.

By Sage Wesenberg, Biology and Journalism 2019 

The College of Science welcomed this year’s group of Zelevinsky Research Instructors at a luncheon this October. This instructorship was created to honor the legacy of Professor Andrei Zelevinsky, who passed away in 2013 after a 22-year career as a University Distinguished Professor at Northeastern.  

This year, the instructorship will provide three new researchers with a promising post-doctoral experience in mathematics at Northeastern. Emily Barnard, Laure Flapan, and Daniel Glasscock will join the six current instructors; Pablo Soberon Bravo, Robin Walters, Xiaolei Zhao, Yernat Assylbekov, Sean Clark, and Ivan Martino.  

They all joined Professor Zelevinsky’s wife, Galina Narkounskaia, his daughter, Katya Zelevinsky, and Chair of the Department of Mathematics Professor Alexander Suciu for lunch. Additionally met by the Associate Dean for Development James Poulos and Development Officer Amanda Gilstein, and welcomed by Dean Ken Henderson, the luncheon was an excellent start to another year honoring the prestigious mathematic achievements of Professor Zelevinsky.  

Known as one of the greatest mathematicians of his generation, beginning his world-famous career after winning the silver medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad at age 16, Professor Zelevinsky published some groundbreaking research including the Bernstein-Zelevinsky classification of p-adic group representations, and the discovery of cluster algebras. His enthusiasm for teaching led to a busy time at Northeastern – teaching undergraduates, graduate seminars, and weekend classes for high school students. He also was a crucial part of organizing the Math Circle, a program bringing K-12 students who enjoyed challenging math topics and research-level mathematicians together. 

With a total of nine instructorships since the program started, these researchers are on their way to making the next big advancements in the world of mathematics. Professor Suciu enjoyed being a part of this event, along with the research instructors.

“I was proud of how the Zelevinsky Research Instructors eloquently described their research and collaboration efforts at Northeastern, and I was touched by the way Professor Zelevinsky’s ideas and initiatives live on through the work of these promising scholars,” Suciu said. “I thought the lunch was a great opportunity to get together with the Zelevinsky family and our instructors to cherish the memory of a great mathematician, colleague, and family man.”