Anika Vashisht


I have a vague memory as an 8-year-old arguing with my math teacher that left a distaste in academia for life. The subject of the argument was the methodology I used in solving a math problem: long division vs short division. I had the right answer but I lost the argument.

Math was my favorite subject. But that incident changed my feelings toward the subject. Nobody likes being told they are wrong. I was never bad at math but since that day I had developed ‘Mathemaphobia’ - fear of mathematics. I used to become anxious

before my Math tests. I would go to great lengths to avoid them. In retrospect, I realize that I feared the evaluation process more than Math itself.

I do believe all manner of mathematics is intrinsic to life, especially to the sciences, that I have come to love and value. If math is taught in an application-based manner it would significantly bring down the Math Anxiety that so many students suffer from. Nobody should ever have the question, “Will it be of any use when I grow up?”.

I have come to embrace STEAM rather than STEM. In fact, the great thinkers of the Renaissance era weren’t constrained by labels “artist” or “scientist.” The fusion of the sciences and arts is in the very nature of humans. That is the very reason that I have been drawn to StemChef which is reflective of the same philosophy. Cooking can be called an art, but it incorporates plentiful scientific methods.