I was born and raised in Athens, Greece in the 1950s. Both my parents, however, came from
an island of unparalleled physical beauty and contrasts in the Ionian Sea.
I have spent many summers of my formative years in the island, and proudly consider myself a Cephalonian.
I earned a Diploma in Mathematics at the University of Athens in 1973 and a Ph.D. in Mathematics at UCLA in 1978.
Here is my
entry in the Mathematics Genealogy Project.
I returned to Greece in the summer of 1978 to serve a compulsory (and
undistinguished) military service in the Greek Navy.
I have been writing with fountain pens since I went to elementary school. I have come across ballpoint pens, rollerball
and other such postmodern instruments, but have rarely written with them.
Over the years, I built a modest collection of about two hundred fountain pens, mainly
user-grade vintage pens that I enjoy putting in rotation and writing with. The most
precious pen in my collection is my father's Parker '51' with a rare broad nib.
I enjoy listening to classical music, especially baroque music. Modern Greek poetry has left a mark on me.
My favorite Greek poet is George Seferis, winner of the
1963 Nobel Prize for Literature.
at the Nobel Banquet encapsulates my own feelings about the Greek language, poetry, and the human condition.
Phokion G. Kolaitis
Computer Science and Engineering Department
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
kolaitis at ucsc.edu