Paths to Math: John Urschel

Mathematics Member John Urschel works on linear algebra, specifically matrix analysis. In this video, he shares his journey from the NFL to a career in mathematics, having worked on his Ph.D. at MIT during the offseason while playing for the Baltimore Ravens. Now retired from the NFL, Urschel is able to focus completely on math.

However, he talks about the influence football has had on his work in academia, training him to have the resilience necessary to approach deep mathematical questions. Having accomplished his childhood dream of playing in the big leagues, now Urschel is happy to be at the Institute "living every mathematician's dream."

Paths to Math” chronicles the academic journeys of individual scholars and the moments that ignited their passion for math. With each unique story, this series celebrates the universality of mathematics and the inclusive community of practitioners at IAS, spanning a deep array of backgrounds, interests, geography, ethnicity, and gender.