I am gay and I am a mathematician.//
I was born and grew up in Moscow, Russia. It was an amazing place for an aspiring mathematician, and a troubling place for a young gay man, so I focused on my professional development. Of course, that was not a sustainable life decision: one needs a balance between growing personally and professionally. During my PhD studies, I spent some time abroad, and after my graduation I moved for good. As a postdoc, I spent four years working in Ireland, then moved to Luxembourg, and after a year there returned to Ireland for a permanent university position. I was there when Irish people voted for marriage equality in a referendum, and I participated in that referendum as a new Irish citizen! After six years there and one year in Mexico on a research leave, I decided to move again; I am now a full professor in Strasbourg, France. My research blends very abstract mathematical fields like category theory with very concrete methods like Gröbner bases; the intrinsic beauty of mathematics motivates me much more than any possible applications. I believe that pure mathematicians are artists of science, and I do all I can to contribute to that art form.