Why I Wish WOOT Existed When I Was a Student

June 26, 2019

I went to a great high school and had amazing teachers. But I still didn’t have the support I needed to move past the highest levels in academic competitions, like the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO).


Paying for College, with Mark Kantrowitz

April 25, 2019

This episode’s guest is Mark Kantrowitz, nationally-recognized expert on student financial aid, scholarships, and student loans. He has written several books and created a number of websites that have helped over 100 million people pay for college.


Revolutionizing Forestry Through Math, with Max Nova

April 10, 2019

This episode’s guest is Max Nova, founder of SilviaTerra: a company that uses technology and big data to improve forest management. Max describes how he wound up in this unexpected, but extremely rewarding, career and how his mathematical background prepared him for the challenges of devising new and innovative methods of gathering data about and quantitatively analyzing complex ecosystems. He also discusses the challenges of getting such a groundbreaking company off the ground.


Combating Bias in Big Data, with Cathy O’Neil

March 27, 2019

This episode’s guest is Cathy O’Neil: mathematician, data scientist, and author of such works as Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. Cathy talks with Richard about her past roles as a math professor, a quantitative analyst for a hedge fund, and a data scientist for a dot com startup. She explains how her experiences inform the writing that she’s doing now about the societal impact of technology and big data.


Running a Math Lover’s Dream School, with Sam Vandervelde

March 13, 2019

This episode’s guest is Sam Vandervelde, Head of School and Dean of Mathematical Sciences at Proof School: a private day school for kids who love math. Sam is also a former United States IMO team member, one of the co-founders – along with Richard Rusczyk and Sandor Lehoczky – of the Mandelbrot Competition, and a question writer for the USAMO. Sam discusses his experiences as a math contest superstar, earning his PhD at the University of Chicago, and what it’s like running a school that serves passionate math students.