John Urschel '09 has been appointed to the prestigious Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.
Urschel, a former offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens who completed his Ph.D in mathematics from MIT earlier this year, is one of 271 scholars at IAS this academic year.
IAS is one of the world's leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. The independent institute has served as the academic home of internationally preeminent scholars, including Albert Einstein, who was one of its first professors.
Urschel, who retired from the NFL in 2017, is an applied mathematician and theoretical computer scientist as well as the author of "Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football."
Urschel is a scholar at the School of Mathematics at IAS, which has three other schools, Historical Studies, Natural Sciences and Social Science. The institute's self-stated goal is "to push the boundaries of human knowledge through interdisciplinary collaboration and intellectual risk-taking."
According to IAS, scholars are selected by the institute's permanent faculty "in a highly competitive process for their bold ideas, innovative methods, and deep research questions."
In a wide-ranging Q&A conducted by IAS, Urschel said, "I’m happiest when I’m working on problems that are fundamentally interesting and exciting to me, independent of application or perceived prestige.”
Urschel also said he is relishing the chance to work with renowned mathematician Peter Sarnak.
"He's a brilliant mathematician, we have a lot of shared interests, and I’m looking forward to having lots of interesting mathematical conversations with him.