“I’m going to put a self-portrait on the cover,” said mathematician Dr Sonja Cox (EEMCS) to her friends when she was preparing her thesis. They protested she couldn’t do that, but she did so nonetheless. She drew a self-portrait by hand and asked her friend Fien Thoolen, an IDE graduate, to help her. “I’m kind of clumsy with computers,” she explains. The ladies scanned in the drawing, some sheets with Cox’s calculations and started toying around with colours. The result portrays not only Cox but also her mathematics and some personality quirks, like the messy papers and the teapot which is always near (here: on the back cover). Cox loves mathematics and can toy around with equations endlessly. She loves it when a problem gets solved with an elegant proof, and she even dreams about it. Her thesis is about stochastic differential equations that incorporate noise to allow for uncertainties in the real world. “Like a bacterial population in which organisms divide and die at arbitrary moments,” she helpfully explains.
Sonja Cox, ‘Stochastical Differential Equations in Banach Spaces’, 12 March 2012, PhD supervisor Prof. Jan van Neerven (EEMCS)