Senior Wisdom: Maxim Pinkovskiy

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The latest in our continuing Senior Wisdom series: CC valedictorian Maxim Pinkovskiy

Name, School:

    Maxim Pinkovskiy, CC

Claim to fame:

    I was the 2004 M&M Peanut Minute Student of the Year in Xavier Sala-i-Martin’s Intermediate Macro class!

Post-grad plans:

    Ph.D. in economics at MIT, then – I hope – professor at Columbia University.

Preferred swim test stroke?

    Walk three lengths on the bottom of the swimming pool on my hands.

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1.    How to reconcile Thucydides’ interpretation of history as guided by characteristics of people as a whole – desire, hope, pride – with his deep interest in individual leaders.

2.    How to prove the Central Limit Theorem.

3.    “Everything has an economic intuition.” – Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Justify your existence in 30 words or less.

    Cogito ergo sum (1/10th of 30 words)   

What was your favorite controversy in your time at Columbia?

    Once, a Spectator editorial criticized the way economics is taught at Columbia…my friends and I had a fun time talking about how to respond.

What Columbia memory best exemplifies your college experience?

    Falling off my chair in Econ Forum while arguing about the New Deal.   

Which prof do you think would be the best kisser?

    Sophia Kovalevskaya (1850-1891)

What percentage of seniors do you think are virgins?

    That must be an imaginary number.

Would you rather permanently give up oral sex or cheese?

    In the dictionary, the word “turophile” has my picture next to it – I vacuum-clean all the cheese at formal events. I hope this answers it.

Days on Campus memory?

    I stayed up having a philosophical conversation with some people until midnight – this was the first time I had done this, and would prove not to be the last.


    Columbia has been a blessing to me all four years, and I am sorry that this phase of my life is coming to a close. I also regret that Professor Seidel moved to California before I could take more of his classes.


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  1. shut up haters!  

    this guy is absolutely adorable.

  2. Nerd, but  

    Nerd, but I give him props for not being afraid to show it.

  3. well  

    now we know at least one senior that's still a virgin...

  4. it makes me  

    so sad that people feel the need to be mean to this dude.
    Maxim, you're all right in my book.

  5. alexw  

    Fuck anybody who does not think this guy is awesome.

  6. this was  

    by far the best senior wisdom yet. well, maybe becky abrams is a close second. but this one was great.

    as per usual, lots of dbag bwog commentors

  7. soo

    forcing socialism into every answer makes david judd reprehensible, but forcing economics into every answer makes maxim adorable.

    • 3>3>  

      there's a difference

      judd the socialist is a whining douchebag

      maxim the econ nerd is like a cute puppy


      Judd: "There is no demonstration so innocuous that it will not be controversial at Columbia, nor is there any statement so shamelessly callous that some "liberal" Columbia student will not take proud ownership of it."


      Maxim: "Once, a Spectator editorial criticized the way economics is taught at Columbia...my friends and I had a fun time talking about how to respond."

      Maxim: "I stayed up having a philosophical conversation with some people until midnight — this was the first time I had done this"


  8. amazing and true  

    What percentage of seniors do you think are virgins?

    That must be an imaginary number.

  9. not bad  

    but get laura klienbaum to do one. that chicks is hilarious.

  10. the implications  

    of the percentage of virgin seniors being imaginary are profound! that means the square of the percentage of virgin seniors is negative...perhaps implying that no senior is a virgin and the overflow extends to a portion of the junior class?? someone help me with this

    • mathematician  

      Well, if each virgin senior coupled with each other virgin senior (and once with his or herself) there would actually be a negative amount of some being got... that's kind of a surprising corollary

  11. his

    choice of a women dead for over a century as best kisser wins me over. nothing wrong with having a crush on a dead person. perfectly normal.

  12. @his

    maybe i'm sounding sarcastic, but i'm actually serious.

    also, i have never heard the word turophile and had to look it up. he wins.

  13. Refreshing  

    While I can't say this Senior Wisdom leaves me wishing I got to know the guy, it was nice to read answers that were clearly genuine. Congrats, Maxim.

  14. i want to read

    your lithum essay, maxim! e-mail it to us

  15. yay  

    Maxim is awesome. And I love the answer to the Columbia memory question.

  16. ...  

    Aww... makes me wish that i could be this genuine(ly nerdy)

  17. love

    I have a crush on him

  18. fed up  

    can people please stop hating on David Judd? Is it really so threatening to all of you that someone might have political convictions that you do not share and that these convictions might be an important part of that person's life? And Maxim, you seem like a cool guy. Congratz on being Valedictorian. Honestly, I think all the haters on Bwog simply can't stand the idea that anyone could care passionately about anything besides being snarky on the internet.

  19. Maxim is adorkable  


    get George Olive to do Senior Wisdom!

  20. nothing would

    inflate david judd's ego more than to know that haters are hating on him on the valedictorian's bwog comments...

    that is if he had an ego, which he doesn't

    your hateraton simply proves how relevant judd is compared to all other mofos in the 2008 w/ exceptions of maybe christein tompkins, michelle diamond, chris kulawik, and jon siegel.

  21. agreement  

    His answers were great. I love someone not jaded and cynical, a rare breed at Columbia.

  22. Anonymous  

    Jason Bello for the Senior Wisdom! Go Bwog, go.

  23. haha  

    i have great respect for him because he didn't simply say "I'm the motherfuckin' valedictorian" for "Claim to Fame"...because that's what I would've done.

  24. adorable  

    So refreshing to hear some honesty!! Maxim, I love your unrelentless nerdiness and the fact that you admitted you'd rather give up oral sex than cheese (I'm totally with you). Best senior wisdom yet!!

  25. me too  

    i join the i love maxim bandwagon.

    cheese rules.

  26. Little Liverbird

    "Columbia has been a blessing to me all four years." Right on. Congratulations, Maxim! You're incredible.

  27. agreed  

    maxim is truly a remarkable and fascinating guy. Socially terrible, but in a way that makes him socially brilliant. I love talking to him and never tire of his slow, earnest, and overly polite answers to my questions.

    also agreed george olive and jason bello need to next in line for senior wisdom...

  28. random  

    This guy needs a girlfriend.

  29. random  

    I'll put my 1 in your 0.

  30. Hmm  

    I wonder... was he the guy whose nerdiness/dress style I just couldn't believe in my Probability class last semester?

    I do share his joy for the Central Limit Theorem. How amazing and elegant, that any sum of iid random variables with finite variance converges to a normal distribution. This shows up everywhere!

  31. I give it

    20 years max before he wins the Nobel prize. Mazel Tov, Maxim. I can think of no one more worthy of being valedictorian. Good luck at MIT.

  32. anon

    maxim is a nice guy down to the bottom of his heart. shame on anyone who takes pleasure in trying to denigrate him.

    if you spent 2 minutes talking to him and you'd regret ever saying a mean word.

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