Mind and matter : a life in math and football.

by Urschel, John,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: On Order 8 copies
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Summary
John Urschel, mathematician and former offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens--with biographer Louisa Thomas--tells the story of a life balanced between two passions

For John Urschel, what began as an insatiable appetite for puzzles as a child quickly evolved into mastery of the elegant systems and rules of mathematics. By the time he was thirteen, Urschel was auditing college-level calculus courses. But when he joined his high school football team, a new interest began to eclipse the thrill he once felt in the classroom. Football challenged Urschel in an entirely different way, and he became addicted to the physical contact of the sport. Accepting a scholarship to play football at Penn State, Urschel refused to sacrifice one passion for another, and simultaneously pursued his bachelor's and then master's degrees in mathematics. Against the odds, Urschel found a way to manage his double life as a scholar and an athlete, and so when he was drafted to the Baltimore Ravens, he enrolled in his PhD at MIT.

Weaving together two separate yet bound narratives, Urschel relives for us the most pivotal moments of his bifurcated life. He explains why, after Penn State was sanctioned for the acts of former coach Jerry Sandusky, he turned his back on offers from Ivy League universities and refused to abandon his team, and contends with his mother's repeated request, at the end of every season, that he quit the sport and pursue a career in rocket science. Perhaps most personally, he opens up about the correlation between football and CTE, and the risks he took for the game he loves. Equally at home with both Bernard Riemann's notion of infinity and Bill Belichick's playbook, Urschel reveals how each challenge - whether on the field or in the classroom - has brought him closer to understanding the two different halves of his own life, and how reason and emotion, the mind and the body, are always working together. He asks why, "So often, people want to divide the world into two. Matter and energy. Wave and particle. Athlete and mathematician. Why can't something be both?"
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Urschel, a former guard for the Baltimore Ravens, shares his lifelong attempts to reconcile math and football in his captivating memoir. Urschel recalls his childhood attraction to puzzles; they gave him a glimpse of a more logical and orderly world than the one in which he lived as the child of divorced parents. By middle school in Buffalo, N.Y., Urschel, bigger than many of his classmates, wanted to play football in order to fit in. While his lawyer mother encouraged him to develop his considerable intellectual abilities, his father, a surgeon, urged him to develop his football skills. In alternating chapters he recounts his pursuits in both: he enrolled at Penn State in 2010, where he played football and studied math. After graduating, he was drafted in 2014 by the Baltimore Ravens, with whom he played for three seasons; in 2016, he enrolled as a PhD candidate at MIT. Math, Urschel writes, "gives me a way of making sense of the world. It helps me see past the confusion of everyday life and glimpse the underlying structures of the universe." Urschel's brilliant memoir explores the challenges of making difficult choices and the rewards of following one's passions in life. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects ordreq 01/10/19 xa
Publisher 20192019
Description p. cm.
ISBN 9780735224865
Other Classic View