# Paths to Math

Paths to Math is a video series that surfaces the universality of mathematics and celebrates the inclusive community of practitioners at IAS. Each three-minute episode shares the inspiring origin story of an exceptional scholar, including pivotal moments in their academic pursuits that ignited a passion for math.

## Paths to Math: Karen Uhlenbeck

The “Paths to Math” series comes to a close with this special edition video, featuring one of our most beloved veteran mathematicians: Distinguished Visiting Professor Karen Uhlenbeck. Watch to see Karen describe the introduction to calculus course that awakened her love for math and her spirited female colleagues in Chicago, who helped to dispel any lingering doubts about being a woman mathematician.

## Paths to Math: Paul Minter

This installment of the “Paths to Math” series features Paul Minter, Veblen Research Instructor (2022–23) and Veblen Fellow (2023–27) in the Institute’s School of Mathematics. Watch to see Paul describe how, despite being discouraged from applying to an elite school, his passion for mathematics brought him from a small U.K. seaside town, to Cambridge University, and then to IAS.

## Paths to Math: Kalyani Kansal

This installment of our “Paths to Math” video series features Kalyani Kansal, Member (2023–24) in the Institute’s School of Mathematics. Watch to hear Kalyani describe her fascination with the “patterns” of the Langlands Program, outline the interesting commonalities between mathematics and detective stories, and discuss the importance of diversity and representation in the field.

## Paths to Math: Julian Chaidez

This installment of our "Paths to Math" video series features Julian Chaidez, Visitor (2021–23) in the Institute’s School of Mathematics. Watch to learn how a formative teacher at Julian’s high school fostered his enthusiasm for math, and how he has himself helped to support a new generation of diverse mathematicians through mentoring undergraduates at a summer research program.

## Paths to Math: Shira Tanny

Shira’s work explores symplectic geometry, combining the study of geometry and Hamiltonian dynamics. Watch to learn how her interest in math was fostered by reading books by Paul Hoffman and Donal O’Shea, and how the creativity required to solve mathematical problems inspires her to this day.

## Paths to Math: Patrick Shafto

This installment of our "Paths to Math" video series features Patrick Shafto, Member in the Institute’s School of Mathematics and Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Rutgers University. Learn how Patrick’s unexpected start studying physical therapy at Northeastern eventually led to his current research, which explores the intersections of human and machine learning.

## 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.

## Paths to Math: Svitlana Mayboroda

Ukrainian mathematician Svitlana Mayboroda was initially undecided on her career path. She had every intention of going into business until an opportunity presented itself to attend a mathematics graduate program in the United States.

## Paths to Math: Agustin Moreno

Agustin Moreno, Member in the School of Mathematics, is exploring a restricted case of the three-body problem—a concept that considers the complex motion of three masses under the influence of a force such as gravity.

## Paths to Math: Jinyoung Park

Jinyoung Park is a first-generation college graduate, and after seven years as a secondary school teacher in South Korea, she went on to earn a mathematics Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Jinyoung’s story demonstrates the importance of role models at all levels of one’s education and the fact that it is never too late to begin anew.

## Paths to Math: Sergey Cherkis

Sergey Cherkis, a Member in the School of Mathematics (2020–21), is currently trying to understand instantons. Unlike particles in classical mechanics, quantum particles can tunnel through barriers by traveling in imaginary time. By combining his knowledge of mathematics and physics, Sergey is working to understand this peculiar behavior. Learn more about Sergey’s path, which begins with an early interest in mathematics and physics, and hear how mathematics itself became a tool for overcoming challenges on his academic journey.

## Paths to Math: Terrence Blackman

Terrence Blackman, Visitor in the School of Mathematics (2020–21), is a number theorist, who considers the question: “can one hear the shape of a drum?” Using the tools of spectral geometry, Terrence considers such questions as part of his research, which traces its roots back to Queen’s College in Guyana. Learn more about Terrence’s path, from his early interest in writing to a realization of the aesthetic and cultural significance of mathematics.