Ali Nesin

Matematik Profesörü, Araştırmacı Yazar, Matematik Bilgini, Akademisyen

Paris Diderot University Department of Mathematics

           Mathematician. Born in Istanbul in 1956, Ali Nesin is the son of the humorist Aziz Nesin and story writer Meral Çelen. After the primary school, he had his secondary education at St. Joseph High School in Istanbul, his high school education in Lausanne, Switzerland. He studied Mathematics between the years of 1977-81 at Paris Diderot University. Then, he did his doctorate in the fields of mathematical logic and algebra at Yale University. He worked as an assistant professor at the Berkeley campus of the University of California between 1985 and 1986.

            When he came back to Turkey in order to do his short term military service, he was arrested in charge of “instigating the army for rebellion” and put on trial. Although he was cleared of blame at the end of the trial, as he was not given a passport, he could not go back to his work for one year. Besides, he could not get a job for a while in Turkey; after he got a passport, he went abroad again. Between the years of 1987-89, he worked as an assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame, then he worked as an associate professor at the Irvine campus of the University of California until 1995, and finally he worked as a professor there. In the academic year of 1993-94, he worked as a visiting academician at Bilkent University in Ankara, and then he went to the United States again. Upon the death of his father, Aziz Nesin, he returned to Turkey and undertook the management of the Nesin Foundation. He founded Nesin Publishing House in 2004 and took over it.

            Ali Nesin wrote a book, which tries to tell that mathematics is not as antipathetic as it is taught in schools, and it is fun, in fact. He wrote about many branches such as theory of games, geometry, algebra, and set theory in a style that everyone can understand. In this way, he tried to make the students and readers, who are afraid of mathematics, like mathematics. Apart from his popular math books, there are books written by him, such as the biography of his father Aziz Nesin, scientific and popular mathematics articles which were published in the various journals in Turkey and abroad and an academic book published in English. His fields of study in mathematics are algebra, logic, and especially “Groups of finite Morley rank.” At the same time, in 2003, he started to issue a journal titled “Matematik Dünyası” (The World of Mathematics) which is semi-popular and semi-academic. He is the editor-in-chief of that journal.

            He founded the Nesin Mathematics Village as a part of the Nesin Foundation, near the Şirince district of İzmir, in May 2007. This foundation, a research and training institution which carries out studies in the field of Mathematics, organizes workshops, lessons, seminars and camps related to mathematics or the sciences related to mathematics. Within the scope of the occasions of the Nesin Mathematics Village, from the training at the level of elementary school to the researches at the advanced level, all kinds of Mathematical activities are conducted. Moreover, the high school students are given Mathematics lessons. In the Nesin Mathematics Village, neither a certificate nor a diploma is given for the lessons.

            After his father’s death, Ali Nesin has added many new works to the complete works of Aziz Nesin by compiling his writings in old Turkish and incomplete works, and translating them. The books titled Mum Hala I, Mum Hala II, Okuduğum Kitaplar, Birlikte Yaşadıklarım Birlikte Öldüklerim, Gözünüz Aydın Efendim, Herkesin İşi Gücü Var, Türkiye Şarkısı Nâzım came out of such a study. In addition to his researches on Mathematics, his being a chair of the Mathematics Department, and a director, he also created oil paintings, drawings, nude and portrait paintings, and participated in the joint painting exhibitions and group painting exhibitions. He also published his father’s book “Aşk Şiirleri” including his own drawings.

            Professor Ali Nesin has not only books titled “Matematik ve Korku”, “Matematik ve Doğa”, Matematik ve Sonsuz”, Develerle Eşekler”, “Önermeler Mantığı” but also scientific articles published in various journals. Furthermore, he has lecture notes on the subject “set theory and analysis” which was accepted by TÜBA (The Turkish Academy of Sciences). His field of study is “Groups of finite Morley rank.” Besides, he is the chair of Mathematics Department at İstanbul Bilgi University. He was the member of the administrative committee of the Turkish Mathematical Society, and he has been the director of the corporation of the Turkish Mathematical Society since 2006. He is also the charter member of the Human Rights Institution of Turkey (TİHAK). He is the father of two children.


            MATHEMATICS: Groups of Finite Morley Rank (Oxford University Pres, 1989); Matematik ve Doğa (2001); Matematik ve Korku (2001); Matematik ve Oyun (2001); Matematik ve Sonsuz (2001); Develerle Eşekler (2002), Önermeler Mantığı (2001).

            BIOGRAPHY: Gömüyü Arayan Adam - Fotoğraflarla Aziz Nesin’nin Yaşamöyküsü (1998).

            LETTER: Canım Oğlum Sevgili Babacığım / Aziz Nesin Ali Nesin Mektuplaşmaları 1 (2002); Canım Oğlum Sevgili Babacığım / Aziz Nesin Ali Nesin Mektuplaşmaları 2 (2002).

REFERENCE: Haluk Oral / Ali Nesin: Matematiği Toplumla Paylaşan Bir Bilim Adamı - Tayfun Akgül / Matematik ve Korku ve Doğa ve Oyun ve Sonsuz, Osman Karakök / Popüler Matematik Kitapları Üzerine Notlar (Cumhuriyet Kitap, 8.11.2001), Canım Oğlum Sevgili Babacığım Aziz Nesin Ali Nesin Mektuplaşmaları 1966-1981 (2002), Erhan Üstündağ / Develerle Eşekler (Radikal Kitap, 29.11.2002), Ceyhan Usanmaz / Develerle Eşekler (Virgül, Aralık 2002); İhsan Işık / Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (c. 6, s. 2622-2623, 2006) – Ünlü Bilim Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 2, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013).   


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