From Anonymous:

There is a male professor for whom numerous rumors over many years point toward a sexual predator who allegedly preys on the undergraduates in an aggressive/violent manner. Hypothetically, let’s say Professor “Bonaparte” is a faculty member at a premier mathematics department at a top public university in northern California. A couple of years ago, he was elected to the National Academy. My first reaction was “now, they will never do anything about him, even if someone complains.”

A male visitor to the department once told me he hated this professor. They had been graduate students together in the department where Professor Bonaparte was now employed. The visitor said he hated Professor Bonaparte based on the stories he used to tell about women, about “throwing them up against the wall” and so on. One of the male graduate students in the department also hated him, saying Professor Bonaparte had attacked his girlfriend after inviting her to his office late in the evening to discuss her exam. Professor Bonaparte’s own secretary told stories about him also, including him coming into her office to to say things like “I really have to stop dating these 19 year olds.”

I will never forget being a TA in Professor Bonaparte’s course. It was a large lecture, but he clearly had a favorite female student to whom he would ask questions and banter during the lecture. She was smart and cute and excited to be there. One day she sat looking crestfallen, and her demeanor remained this way for the rest of the semester. Their banter stopped. I have always wondered if he did something to her. I believe in my heart that he did. I regret that I did not approach her and ask if everything was ok.

I hope someone finally reports Professor Bonaparte. He is a sick bastard if even a fraction of the rumors about him are true.

12 comments

  1. Since I’m at Berkeley, I was wondering who you might possibly be talking about. The answer is: no one here, you made some part of this story up.

    Indeed, the list of mathematicians elected to the national academy in the last 7 years can be found here: http://www.nasonline.org/member-directory/?q=&site=nas_members&requiredfields=(member_section:Mathematics).(member_electionyear:2014|member_electionyear:2013|member_electionyear:2012|member_electionyear:2011|member_electionyear:2010|member_electionyear:2009|member_electionyear:2008) . The only faculty members elected from any university in northern california were elected this year, 2014.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vivek, excellent detective work. As she very clearly states, in writing, right there on the page, that particular detail of the story was hypothetical. So you’ve said all this just to prove that indeed, it was… Hypothetical? Sigh.

      It concerns me that your first reaction to this story was to dismiss and attempt to disprove it (you clearly did not even bother to carefully read it).

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You are incorrect. Something is wrong with your query the is limiting the results, which I will leave to you to figure out. Try doing google searches for “National Academy Berkeley 20XX”

      In any case your arrogance in assuming the story was made up just because you happen to be at the same department and cannot fathom such a person working there demonstrates part of the problem.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. These accusations are very serious. Now is the time to report this to Arthur Ogus or UC Berkeley’s Title IX Office — your voices will be heard.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Holy shit, Vivek. The confidence in your comment is a brilliant example of the knee-jerk dismissal and invalidation that underlies everyday sexism in STEM. Thank you sooooo much! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Readers,

    Thank you for your commitment to eliminating sexism in the STEM fields. The Mathematics Department at UC Berkeley strives to create an inclusive learning and working environment free from all forms of discrimination and harassment. As department chair, I am personally committed to this issue. I encourage anyone with information related to potentially discriminatory treatment within our department to contact me directly at: chair@math.berkeley.edu. More information is available at: https://math.berkeley.edu/resources/policies/resolving-problems-complaints. See also the department’s statement on collegiality and respect here: https://math.berkeley.edu/about.

    Additionally, reports of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other forms of discrimination may be directed to UC Berkeley’s Title IX Office, The Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). OPHD works in conjunction with our department to eliminate such behavior, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. The UC Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence contains information about OPHD’s response to reports of potential violations of the policy.

    Thank you for your partnership on these matters.

    Sincerely,

    Arthur Ogus
    Professor of Mathematics
    Chair, Department of Mathematics
    University of California, Berkeley
    ogus@math.berkeley.edu

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not surprised by this. There’s been some pretty BAD activity going around these “FRAT” type of colleges for far too long. I’ve heard rumors that there’s been perverted professors at TEXAS A&M too harassing male students with sexual advances for “leveling up”.

    Like

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