Sylvia
Serfaty is a prominent French mathematician working on quantum vortexes and
Ginzburg-Landau theory. She won the EMS Prize in 2004 and Henri Poincare Prize
in 2014. In this video she “

*explains why you don’t have to be a genius to become a mathematician.*”
The Wired Magazine
has a more extensive interview with Dr. Serfaty.

Terence Tao,
a recipient of Fields Medal and Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, offers
similar insights in his essay “Does one have to be a genius
to do maths?” Dr. Tao writes:

Does one have to be a genius to do mathematics? The answer is an emphatic NO. In order to make good and useful contributions to mathematics, one does need to work hard, learn one’s field well, learn other fields and tools, ask questions, talk to other mathematicians, and think about the “big picture.” And yes, a reasonable amount of intelligence, patience, and maturity is also required. But one does not need some sort of magic “genius gene” that spontaneously generates ex nihilo deep insights, unexpected solutions to problems, or other supernatural abilities.

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