Meet Sandra Nair

April 29, 2020

Meet the Physicist: Sandra Nair Billboard

Sandra Nair is an undergraduate student studying Physics and Mathematics. We are proud to showcase her in this month's Meet the Physicist Series.

We asked Sandra to share her answers for some of her thoughts with us and give insight into her self.


What made you want to pursue physics?

Honestly, the mathematical aspects of string theory was what drew me into physics, the universality of a transcendent Truth that brings together the whole world.
I am now a mathematician who maintains her physics roots.

Please tell us about the research you do.

I am currently working on a project that utilizes arithmetic algebraic geometry in the context of high energy physics.

Essentially, we are trying to show that a certain famous object in number theory and algebraic geometry, called a weight-2 Siegel form, is related to the attractor mechanism in a certain supergravity theory.

This relation was first observed for a special case of another such object (called a mock modular form) in a string theory setting. We are trying to generalize the bridge.

If you could solve one world problem with physics, what would it be?

Giving equitable opportunities to humans around the world, with the help of sustainable technological innovations implemented with an ecofeminist approach.

What is your favorite thing about humanity?

The fact that somehow, we survive. That there is always hope no matter how deep the despair.

What do you worry about and why?

I worry about the planet dying off by the end of this generation. What would be the point of all the human knowledge we have accumulated if there is no one left to share it with?

What book has influenced you the most?

The Bhagavad Gita.

I still take solace in its words when the going gets tough.

Who did you look up to as a child and why?

Maryam Mirzakhani. In her short life, despite all the barriers she faced as Middle Eastern woman of color, she managed to make profound contributions to mathematics that would impact generations to come. I hope to do her memory proud someday.

What were you like in high school?

I enjoyed debating and convincing people I was cool to hang out with :P

What's your favorite place you've ever visited and why?

The temple near my maternal grandparents' home. During evenings, while our grandparents prayed or read the scriptures, the neighborhood kids and I would run around barefoot in the lovely white sand and climb up the long roots of the banyan tree in the temple courtyard. I became very fond of climbing trees after that.

Fun fact! Please tell us three fun facts about yourself that people might be surprised to learn.

1) I am a published author. My third book (sci-fi drama) is going to be released in a couple months. Hit me up if you want to buy a copy!
2) I speak four languages, including Sanskrit.
3) I once almost lost the Chancellor's umbrella.

If I wrote an autobiography, it would be titled:

Loving the Goddess of Mathematics - the Do's and the Don'ts.

Is there anything else you want us to know about you?

I'm from Kerala, India.
I love dark shades of blue.
I still have to learn how to drive.