Friday, July 17, 2015

CELEBRITY FRIDAY: John Urschel, Football Player *AND* Mathematician

John Urschel is a 24-year-old, 6-foot-3, 308-pound football player who is an offensive guard for the Baltimore Ravens and a contributor to the Journal of Computational Mathematics. According to the Huffington Post, he describes himself as "pro football player, mathematician, professional mathlete."
That’s true, particularly in Urschel’s favorite area of mathematical study: applied mathematics, which focuses on the real-world applications of math. That need leads to good money too. Applied mathematics ranked fourth among college majors by pay in a recent survey published in USA Today and 16th when it came to how quickly a major pays itself back, according to a separate survey by PayScale, a salary research firm. 
"The way that our world is moving, the way it’s becoming data-driven, the way that it’s becoming more and more modernized -- mathematicians are going to be central to this,” he said. "We’re in a world where we have so much data. It’s abundant, and it’s too abundant. We have all these resources and we don’t know what to do with them.” 
That's why, in Urschel's view, "the 21st century is really going to be the century of the mathematician.” But Urschel says math shouldn't only be thought of as a means to a solid job and comfortable life. Fully utilized, knowledge of the subject becomes a way of solving problems both math-related and not.
Great to see another African-American applied mathematician (and athlete). Keep on, keeping on, Mr. Herschel!

Hat/tip to Huffington Post

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