Where are they now?

16th February 2001 at 00:00
The celebrated maths prodigy who entered Oxford University at 12 is now quietly bringing up her own son in Jerusalem.

Her claim to fame?

She is the child prodigy who missed out on childhood by gaining her maths O-level (grade A) at age 9, passing the Oxford entrance exam at 10, and entering St Hugh's College, at 12, to study maths - believed to be the youngest student to pass through the hallowed portals. By 17, she had her Oxford doctorate in philosophy. Famously photographed flitting to tutorials on a tandem, shared with father Harry. He sacrificed career and marriage for Ruth, who never attended conventional school. The two shared a home until recently.

Where is she now?

Living a modest and anonymous existence in Jerusalem, teaching maths at the Hebrew University, and researching "knot theory". She insists on lecturing in Hebrew, although some students wish she would stick to English.

Where is her dad now?

Last heard of in Michigan where Ruth moved after graduating. Her mother, Sylvia, divorced Harry after he accompanied Ruth to Oxford and now lives in Zimbabwe.

What are the fruits of Ruth's studies?

Some 20 articles in scholarly journals, for example "Asymptotic expansions of Wittn-Reshetikhin-Turaev invariants for some simple 3-manifolds". You get the idea? No? Well, join the club.

What happened to the bike and flowing hair?

Before arriving in Israel, Ruth converted to Judaism - the faith into which her father was born. She married a Russian emigre mathematician, Arie Naimark, who is twice her age. As befits an orthodox, married woman, she now covers her head, and wears clothes to her ankles.

Any children and how will she raise them?

Ruth's son, Yehuda Bezalel, was born last March. Intensely private, she will only say that her son's upbringing will be different from her own. She would like more children.

Is she really so anonymous?

Not really. You can click onto her own web page: http: www.ma.huji.ac.ilruthel.


1971: born August 2 in Brighton

1980: A grade in O-level maths.

1981: A grade in A-level maths and passes Oxbridge entrance exam.

1983-85: studies maths to BA at St Hugh's College, Oxford

1989: obtains D.Phil

1989-93: research fellow at Harvard University

1993-97: assistant prof at University of Michigan 1995: converts to Judaism

1998: weds Arie Naimark 1999 - : associate prof at the Hebrew University

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