Tara and Me

Ariel and Me                                                                        Tara and Me

Here is a (very) short autobiography

My full name is Nathanael Leedom Ackerman. I am the oldest son of Joanne and Peter Ackerman. I have one brother, Elliot (two years younger), and two cats (named Ariel and Tara). My mom is a writer, and has published two books - No Marble Angles, and Dark Path to the River. My dad is a private investor, and has written one book - Strategic Nonviolent Conflict: The Dynamics of People Power in the Twentieth Century. This book has been turned into a documentary film called A Force More Powerful which was nominated for an Emmy for the best documentary in 2001 and which has two a sequel called Bringing Down a Dictator and The Orange Revolution.

I was born on March 4, 1978 in New York. I moved to California before I turned 1 year old where I lived in Westwood, a suburb of Los Angles. I went to Montessori of West L.A. through the 4th grade. I then went to U.E.S. (an elementary school run by U.C.L.A.) until half way through 6 th grade when my family moved from LA (January 1990). We moved to London, England where we remained until I graduated High School at the American School in London in 1995. While there I wrestled for 5 years and was salutatorian of my graduating class. 

I then went to Harvard University where I graduated Magna Cum Laude in Mathematics in June 2000 and wrestled for another 5 years. While at Harvard I also volunteered with the Committee on Deaf Awareness for 4 years and ran the program my senior year. My senior year I also started the Harvard Committee on the Blind which I was a director of for 3 years (and which I helped out with for several years afterwards). In addition for my last 7 years in Boston I volunteered at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter (UniLu).

In September 2000 I became a doctoral student in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the guidance of my thesis advisor, professor Gerald Sacks (who also was my senior thesis advisor at Harvard). In June 2006 I graduated from MIT with a doctorate in mathematics.  I received my doctorate in June 2006. My thesis has two parts. The first part constructs theories with small quantifier ranks whose quantifier rank spectrum is unbounded in an arbitrary ordinal (this is done by modifying Robin Knight's recent counter example to Vaught's conjecture). The second part of my dissertation proves a generalization of the Suslin-Kleene separation in the context of sheaves on a site.

In 1998 I became a dual British and American citizen and began wrestling for Great Britain. I have wrestled in 5 world championships, 6 European Championships, the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England (where I competed for England) and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. My best result so far has been 16th in the 1999 world championships in Ankra, Turkey and a 9th place in the European Championships in 2005 (also in Ankra, Turkey).

From September 2006 through June 2009 I was the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as a post-doctoral lecturer. Also, while at UPenn I was the volunteer assistant coach for the wrestling team during the 2008-2009 season. From September 2009 through December 2010I became a visiting scholar/assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

In January 2011 I moved back to Cambridge, MA at which point I became a visiting scholar/lecturer in the math department at Harvard (where I still am today). After I moved back I also competed in the 2011 world championships and 2012 European championships for Great Britain, after which I retired from senior level international competition.

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This page was last modified on December 1, 2013