May 2, 2012
For Immediate Release
For additional information:
Barbara Kerr, APR
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
A hotbed of education in a very cold place
Mathematics professor Dr. Marina Frost will share her surprising journey to her hometown
in the final presentation in Clark’s 2011-2012 Faculty Speaker Series
VANCOUVER, Wash. – The name Siberia evokes an image of snow, ice and cold. But in Russia, the Siberian city of Akademgorodok is known as a hotbed of education.
On Friday, May 18, Clark College mathematics professor Dr. Marina Frost will describe growing up and being educated in Akademgorodok, perhaps the world’s first city designed specifically for scientific achievement. It will be the final presentation of the year in the college’s renowned Faculty Speaker Series.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 2:00-3:30 p.m. in room 258B in the Penguin Union Building on Clark’s main campus. Clark College is located at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. Driving directions and parking maps are available at www.clark.edu/maps.
According to Frost, “Russians value education very highly. They believe that the earlier students are exposed to math and science the less fear they will bring to the effort. They feel that young minds are open and not afraid of new concepts and ideas. Nobody has told them that algebra is difficult, for example. Russians therefore achieve at a high level in mathematics and science.”
When Frost left Russia more than two decades ago, the country “was falling apart. Crime and violence were destroying people’s morale and strangling the newborn democracy in its cradle. Despite having fewer resources, dedicated educators were continuing the long and valued tradition of education in Russia.”
Returning to Akademgorodok for sabbatical research 20 years after she had left, Frost discovered surprising changes in that "Siberian city of science."
About Dr. Marina Frost
Dr. Marina Frost was born in Akademgorodok, Novosibirsk, Russia. After graduating from Novosibirsk State University, she returned to the university to earn a master’s degree and Ph.D. with a dissertation on differential equations.
In Novosibirsk, Frost worked as a researcher at the Institute of Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Geophysics and at the Institute of Mathematics in the Department of Inverse Problems for Differential Equations.
Frost joined Clark in 1992 as an adjunct faculty member before becoming a tenured professor in 1996. She has also taught at the University of Washington and Skagit Valley College. Both of her parents are math professors, as well as her grandfather, great grandfather and three aunts. She has said, “It appears I had no choice but to continue the family tradition. I believe I was genetically programmed to be a math teacher, which I love.”
Frost is currently teaching and developing online classes and has been selected as a Moodle mentor for Clark faculty. She is the advisor to the Clark College Math Club and has been involved in Vancouver’s Chkalov Russian-American Cultural Exchange Committee.
She has won awards in physical fitness training and likes to read history and literature. She enjoys opera and says cooking, both Russian and American style, is “a serious passion.”