Dani Novak

Professor Emeritus, Mathematics
School: School of Humanities and Sciences

This is my Old Story....

I was Born in Israel in 1949. Being a child of Holocaust survivors, I sought the sanctuary of pure mathematics, whose beauty and order have preserved my sanity. Thanks God, now that this phase of my life is behind me I turned my time and energy to other project.

 One of my goals is to explore what happened to my family during WWII. The exploration started in 2005 and ended in 2019. I made a YouTube video about it: LINK

I am still passionate to share the beauty of Math with people. Math is hard wired into our brain.  It is a part and an expression of human consciousness that keeps unfolding forever like music, poetry and other forms of art. Recently I started graphic composting and collaborating with musicians to combine music and graphic composition. This is a link to one of my first creations done with John Webber who composed the music.

I also continue volunteering in nursing homes and exploring the beauty of life with our elders who have so much wisdom to share.

Some historical notes:

I completed my undergraduate and MA degrees at the Technion in Israel and immigrated with my wife and 3 years old daughter to the USA in 1977.  In 1981 I completed my PhD in Pure Mathematics at the University of Connecticut under the guidance of George Raney who became a dear friend and mentor. In 1981 I was accepted as an assistant professor at Ithaca College and retired after 33 years in 2014. In addition to the usual course taught, I designed two new courses:  Math Art with Computers and Math Fun with computers. These non traditional courses were designed to empower and inspire students who do not like math and to connect math with life.

Shortly after coming to Ithaca College I started directing Math summer camps and with the help of a colleague, Dr. David Rosenthal co-designed a computer language that was later used both in college classes and in the summer camps. I also conducted many Math days at Ithaca College and in school and inspired local schools to run Math Days.

After I retired I continued to explore life. and as I am writing this I am learning to Breathe.  Let me explain:  Since about age 13 until recently I suffered from frozen fears that manifested as states of sever depression. When I was about 49 years old, I was transported (in my mind) from a deep state of deep depression to my mother's womb.  The depression disappeared and I felt cozy and warm.  Then I saw a cave and in that cave I saw the scariest and ugliest monster.  The instant I saw the monster I was transported to heaven.  I sang songs of gratitude to God  (Hallelujahs) for 15 minutes.  The meaning of this experience clarified gradually.  My mother to whom I was connected with the umbilical cord, was in a state of frozen fear and depression and did not respond to my calls for love (as an embryo).  Lately I discovered the Presence Process (by Michael Brown) and it is helping me immensely.  Because of the frozen fears I experienced my breathing was very shallow and now I find that simple connected breathing with awareness helps me connect with Presence.