Irem Portakal is a postdoctoral researcher at Otto-von-Guericke-University in Magdeburg. She was awarded her PhD at Freie Universität Berlin under the supervision of Klaus Altmann in 2018. Before that she was in Lyon to complete her masters in École Normale Supérieure.
Her research lies between algebraic geometry and combinatorics. Irem is very much interested in working on algebraic varieties with nice torus actions and understanding these beautiful objects with combinatorial tools such as graphs and polytopes. While she enjoys a technical and deep theory about a topic, it never feels complete without a nice set of examples. The interactions between mathematics and sciences like neuroscience and astronomy are also most exciting to her. She believes that more cooperation between scientific fields gives rise to amazing discoveries.
Besides mathematics, she is a licensed swimmer since 8 years old, and enjoys all underwater sports. She enjoys improvising on the piano and going to dance classes to clear her mind. She would be still insisting on following a career as a professional dancer if she wouldn't have had met mathematics on the way. Having studied and lived in different countries made her fascinated by languages. The next language she plans to learn is one with a non-Latin alphabet.
May 11, 2020