Photo courtesy Penn State University via psu.edu
The Ravens signed this year math genius John Urschel — he taught Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry at Penn State — in the fifth round of the draft. Now local math tutor Jim Trexler of Mathnasium Roland Park has signed the offensive lineman to push math programs in Baltimore. Doubt this guy’s math cred? Read the Grantland interview below. You’ll see, he’s smarter than the average bear…and Bengal, and Brown, and Steeler, and the rest, too! – The Eds.
By Ed Feng
When people think of mathematicians, they often think of the stereotype: the awkward, hunched-over guy doing groundbreaking research at a bar. Russell Crowe’s John Nash in A Beautiful Mind.
John Urschel isn’t that kind of mathematician. He’s a 6-foot-3, 313-pound man who lines up across from defenders and hits them, hard. Urschel was a first-team All–Big Ten offensive lineman the last two seasons at Penn State, and he projects as a fourth- or fifth-round pick in this week’s NFL draft. He works hard at football, and when he’s finished, he goes home and does math.
Recently, Urschel sent me two of his published papers, one on celestial mechanics, the other on subgraphs, both of which could have earned him a doctorate in math. As the draft looms and his reputation as a mathematician grows, I spoke with Urschel about football, numbers, and the future. Read More →