Mind and Matter eBook ↠ Mind and eBook ´

Mind and Matter eBook ↠ Mind and eBook ´



10 thoughts on “Mind and Matter

  1. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    A fascinating memoir and a very different look at an NFL football player For people who have the mistaken belief that professional sports figures can also have an intellectual bent this book will show them different High concept mathematics auditing classes at college at the young she of thirteen A father and mother though no longer together that gave Urschel what he needed to excel in both interests in his life math and football Most of these mathematical explanations were way beyond my knowledge though I had at least heard of some of the theroems Football well there I'm comfortable Penn State football where Urschel played and the devastating fall out from the Sandusky case where unfortunately the students and athletes who punished were not even present during those years Urschels dedication to his team mates and school kept Urschel from transferring His dedication to his studies his motivation the way he balanced his life on and off the field was amazingHis thoughts as he tries to figure out which course he should pursue his time with the Ravens the NfL combine and so much A good book to give the young athletes in your life as it shows how love of sports can be combined with love of study and how to do both wellARC from Edelweiss


  2. Brina Brina says:

    From the time I realized that I needed another sport to watch to fill the months between baseball seasons I have watched NFL football with a flaming passion My son and I have a ritual where on Friday mornings he announces what games we get on our local stations so we can plan our Sunday afternoons accordingly Because my son wants to study higher level math he roots for chaos overtime games that end in a tie playoff races decided on the last week that come down to percentage point calculations As long as numbers are involved he is in his element An NFL player who is a top student is a rarity and one who is one of the top mathematicians in the world even so When I found about about former NFL player and current MIT math PhD candidate John Urschel’s memoir Mind and Matter I knew that it was a book that we both had to read and would not be disappointed by John Urschel grew up primarily in Buffalo New York His parents were divorced when he was young but both believed that he could conuer the world His mother bought him logic puzzles from the time he was a toddler and wanted him to go to Harvard MIT or Stanford to become a rocket scientist His father also named John was practical He saw that his son was big for his age and got him interested in football from the time he was in middle school He also got his son interested in calculus From the time John Urschel first studied calculus he realized that he was smarter than the average student at his school At Canisius Academy Urschel desired to be one of the guys and started on the varsity football team for three years His mother still wanted him to become a rocket scientist and urged him to give up the dangerous game Yet around this time Urschel learned to compartmentalize the two things he loved most math and football It was these dual interests that earned him a football scholarship to Penn St Urschel used his scholarship at Penn St University to finish a bachelors and masters of mathematics within his five year eligibility Starting out as in higher level courses as a first year student Urschel eventually taught sections of courses while still on the football team He was a dictionary definition of a student athlete and was named an Academic All American in his final year of eligibility It was during his time at Penn St that a scandal hit that threatened to unravel the entire football program at the time one of the best in the country Urschel became one of the spokespeople of the team and caught the notice of NFL scouts who saw him as a potential player who had abilities far beyond the game of football Even as a college player and potential NFL draft pick his mother urged him to uit football and focus on math Math might be his life but football at the time was his livelihood and as the NFL draft approached Urschel still compartmentalized the two Urschel includes many higher level math proofs and functions that are over my head but he presents them in a way to make them accessible to the average person I admit to stopping after calculus but I found Urschel’s explanation of chaos theory and celestial mechanics as well as other examples of math to be fascinating During football season Urschel would barricade himself in an empty classroom for days at a time to finish a difficult proof He would turn to chess games for relaxation and is still studying to become an American master Many NFL teams uestioned his commitment to football especially as the dangers of brain damage from concussion have come to light Yet Urschel admits to loving the game and wanted a chance in the NFL The Balti Ravens took a chance on him with a low level pick and Urschel trained hard to eventually make the team and start occasionally for a better part of three years John Urschel has appeared in Bose headphone commercials with JJ Watt He is the one who writes formulas on a chalk board explaining how the headphones work while Watt tunes him out Urschel only played in the league for three seasons as he realized that football took away from his studies to earn a PhD in math from MIT the school his mother desired that he attend from day one Today Urschel is devoted to math full time and is a husband and father He is truly a Renaissance man and an example to student athletes everywhere as one who used a scholarship to reach the upper echelons of his field While I am positive that the Ravens miss his presence in the locker room math has gained someone who will leave his mark on the field for years to come Here is an uplifting video of Urschel discussing how his love for math and football intersect stars


  3. Robert Robert says:

    An easy read save for the few technical math terms and concepts that can be for the most part glossed over as techno babble without derailing the narrative and wisely alternating short chapters to keep the entire story moving along The only really off note was the introduction in the waning pages of a till then un hinted at fiance and child who would have been better off left out entirely rather than given such short shrift


  4. Skip Skip says:

    An amazing and uniue story John Urshel grew up with two passions in life football which he discovered in high school and math which he discovered very young His dedication and determination are detailed in every chapter of this book in which he alternately discusses his two careers a football moving from a small Catholic high school in Buffalo to a scholarship at Penn State when it got sanctioned by the NCAA in 2011 for the Jerry Sandusky scandal to being drafted by the Balti Ravens and making it to a starting offensive line position in the NFL and b math where his intellectual curiosity motivated him to take courses well above his academic ualifications His learning and collaborative efforts on the field and in research are very impressive and his attempts to explain his math research to laymen is commendable Finally Urshel's decision to retire from football at age 26 to become a mathematician is easily understandable given the rigors and violence of the sport Recommended


  5. Allen Adams Allen Adams says:

    I were to tell you that someone was a mathematician you’d have some pretty specific ideas about who that person was If were to tell you that someone was a football player you’d have some pretty specific ideas about who that person was as well And you probably wouldn’t think that there would be a lot of overlap in that particular Venn diagramBut then you encounter someone like John Urschel and you’re forced to reconsider your preconceived notions because he has achieved great heights in both arenasHis new book “Mind and Matter A Life in Math and Football” explores the seeming disparity between Urschel’s passions Along with his co author and partner Louisa Thomas Urschel walks readers along the parallel paths through which he pursued two dreams that were seemingly at odds Few athletes ever approach the pinnacle of their sport Few academics ever approach the pinnacle of their field John Urschel – still a month away from his 28th birthday as of this writing – has done bothJohn Urschel’s tremendous gifts were apparent from a young age While his intellectual precocity began with a love of puzzles it wasn’t long before his surgeon father was steering him toward the challenges of advanced mathematics At just 13 he was auditing a college level calculus course and than holding his own It seemed as though his would be a life of the mindBut football was also part of the picture It was there that John discovered the camaraderie of team sports as well as the discipline that time on the gridiron could instill An imposing physical presence Urschel worked his way into becoming a top tier player at his Buffalo high school an offensive lineman who flashed the potential to play at the next levelUrschel would find a home for his paired passions at Penn State He was a scholarship player on the football team but he was far from the lip service “student athlete” one often finds at the Division I level Instead he was constantly challenging himself in the classroom as well as on the gridiron taking advantage of a redshirt year and some supportive mentors to wind up with not just a bachelor’s but a master’s degree in mathematics even as he worked his way up to becoming an All Big 10 selection as an offensive guardBut it didn’t stop thereA solid performance at the NFL Combine led to Urschel’s being drafted by the Balti Ravens in the fifth round of the NFL Draft He signed with Balti and made the team but also chose to continue his mathematical studies landing in a PhD program at MITAnd so just like he’d been doing since high school he simply did both The people in either orbit tended to find Urschel’s “other” interest a bit odd but his seeming eccentricities were never held against him – his professors and collaborators supported his playing career while his coaches and teammates supported his academic pursuitsUrschel retired from the NFL after three seasons choosing to finally devote himself fully to his dream of becoming a mathematician“Mind and Matter” is a fascinating read We don’t often come across Renaissance men like this any people who can reach the highest levels in fields both physical and intellectual NFL lineman math PhD candidate – either of those achievements would put someone in rarefied air But to manage both? It’s almost inconceivableAnd yet even with all that he has accomplished there’s a real sense of humility to John Urschel One gets the impression that he takes none of this for granted and has worked tremendously hard at every stop along the way His is a journey that is uniue a powerful paean to possibilityA memoir such as this could easily come off as self congratulatory but there’s a healthy sense of perspective here And Urschel’s voice feels genuine and authentic – one assumes that much of that is thanks to his co author; Thomas brings to the table not only her own considerable writerly gifts but also a depth of understanding regarding Urschel’s history and characterThe dual narrative threads make for an engaging storytelling device By separating the two paths – math and football – we’re given a compelling look at their similarities as well as their differences However there’s also enough overlap to get a sense of one passion’s influence on the other allowing us a wonderful sense of how they connectOh and rest assured – Urschel goes DEEP on the math He delves into the specifics talking about particular areas of interest and dishing out a little math history to boot It’s unapologetic in its wonkiness and delightfully dense – and that’s with Urschel undoubtedly dialing it back for the benefit of those of us who aren’t pursuing our PhDs at MIT“Mind and Matter” is the tale of one man’s willingness to do whatever it took to maintain his paired passions – a remarkable feat that combined immense intellect incredible strength and endless reserves of determination and raw willpower Sports books like this one don’t come along every day Then again individuals like John Urschel don’t come along every day either Read this book and you’ll understand just how rare they are


  6. Laura Laura says:

    I like his introduction to calculus which begins with imagining a cannonball zooming by you at close range in what looks like a straight horizontal line Back away far enough and you see that line is really a curveYu it is not enough just to pass the exams you have to choose the right problems and find the right people to work with his diff e teacher a PhD student who switched from Roe to a different advisor when he worked and worked but still didn’t understand Roe AlgebraEach solution becomes the basis for new problems graduate schoolChalkboards lined the walls of the hallways And people stop to use them MitSomeone I know I’d like to have dinner with Very interesting


  7. Dolly Dolly says:

    I was thrilled to get an advance copy of this book and thought I might read a chapter or two on a cross country flight in between a nap and in flight movie To my surprise I never put it down I read the book cover to cover Urschel has led a fascinating life and the story reads almost like a movie I appreciated the clear explanations of both math and football neither of which is a particularly strong interest of mine Both were made interesting and accessible Moreover the book is beautifully written by Urschel and Thomas The writing flowsFinally I am an academic myself so this peek into the world of PhD programs research publishing and academia was refreshingly accurateHighly recommend


  8. Raymond Xu Raymond Xu says:

    Talented in both math and football Urschel tells us about his two worlds in this autobiography But there isn't enough reflection on CTE why it's difficult to have a different career after football and the focus on football over academics and ethics I was frustrated with this book because there were so many topics related to football which I know that Urschel knows extensively about that are practically unaddressed Instead we get a very detailed explanation of how to do linear algebra and Urschel's interest in the 3 body problem We get an explanation of how he loved his Penn State football teammates how long and grueling practices were and how he loved playing in front of the fans Urschel gets a concussion but only briefly touches on how football causes brain trauma and then goes right back into his preferred topics Urschel talks about how his teammates make fun of him for liking math and his studies so much but doesn't go into why there exists an anti nerd culture in football or the balance between football and academics at the high school or university level When Urschel chooses to go to Penn State instead of Stanford for an example it's just because he loves football but the societal and peer pressures on him are never analyzed its just simplified to I love football which for me is not going to cut it Even a brief rundown of his friends on the team and their valuation of academics vs football is avoided When Jerry Sandusky is outed as a child molester Urschel again talks about how much he loves his team and would support the program saying that they are not their troubling past True Penn State is not their past and sanctioning the current players for something that happened many years ago by coaches that already left seems ridiculous but I think there was a lot to think about the administration valuing winning at football ahead of outing Sandusky earlier by filing a report I picked up this book because I was interested in society overvaluing football over important areas of life like academics brain health and ethics Urschel clearly personally feels that he values brain health and academics over the NFL since he retired in 2016 to pursue his PhD Analysis at a deeper level than just stating that he loves both football and math and was gifted at both was basically avoided


  9. Danielle Danielle says:

    This is John Urschel's love story to both math and football As I share one of these loves it was refreshing to hear from someone so enthusiastic about math His love started from exactly the same place as mine puzzles Overall I really enjoyed reading the book even with little interest in football I will recommend it to my students because John makes math seem fun beautiful and accessible with hard work and curiosityThe Pyr Review


  10. Pete Wung Pete Wung says:

    I read the bulk of this book two hundred pages in one sitting It was so engrossing partly because of how well written this book is the co author Louisa Thomas is a well known writer; and partly because the book addresses two worlds that are dear to my heart mathematics and sports I didn’t engage either one of the worlds in the depth that the author does I am an engineer and a youth coach but the juxtapositions of the two worlds was held deep attraction for me For most of the general audience the two worlds are seemingly diametrically opposed but the authors manage to portray the deep love that the two world engenders in John Urschel Indeed the authors did a magnificent job coupling the two seemingly disparate threads together into a cogent whole At first I feared that I was going to dislike the structure of the book they chose to alternated math and football chapters but the book was so well written that my perceived distraction evaporated as I dove into the book John Urschel’s story is widely reported in the popular press He straddled the football and math worlds as an undergraduate a graduate student and a post grad while playing at Penn State and in the NFL He was good enough to be drafted by the Balti Ravens and having a productive three years while also studying for his PhD in mathematics at MIT This book roughly described his journey The book tells a great story in an unselfconscious and natural way John Urschel came through the account as a genuine and honest person even as he addressed a few issues that could have been controversial the fall out from the Sandusky affair at Penn State and the effect of repeated concussions on his potential as a mathematician he honestly told his story focused on his own perceptions and thoughts while assiduously avoided inflaming any nerves He told the story through his eyes without extrapolating the facts to come to any indefensible conclusions which is all we can ask forThe other part of the book that could have been difficult is the mathematics I have had the background and training to get through most of the mathematics most of the concepts were on an advanced undergraduate to graduate level John Urschel’s teaching ability was evident and shone through in his explanations of some of the advanced mathematics topics I moved away from any thoughts of majoring in mathematics after my initial experience with real analysis so I was cognizant but not an expert in many of the areas; but I was able to understand his explanations of his work in Graph Theory algorithm development uncertainty and spectral bisection His explanations assume some background in math but he was able communicate to the readers in an exceptionally clear fashion just in terms of concepts and intuition and without employing any mathematical language In fact intuition was his guiding light as he powered through his way through his mathematical explorations and he was able to explain the role that intuition played in his mathematical thoughtsThe football portions of the story were told somewhat matter of factly I would imagine that this was intentional as the authors may have assumed that the general public who would read this book are thoroughly engaged in the intensity and passions of football in America Two parts of the football story engaged me his freshman year workouts with his strength and condition coach at Penn State and the Raven’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and loss to the New England Patriots in the NFL playoffs Those stories captured and conveyed the passion that John Urschel had of the game of football as well as the mindset he employed to become successful in footballIn possibly one of the great acts in self awareness and honesty comes in the last chapter when he describes why he walked away from football and is devoting his considerable intellect to mathematics Unlike most great athletes he recognized his shortcomings and he was able to explain his logic and reasoning for walking away with aplomb and honestyI was a nice easy read but the book talks about the mathematics that he is doing as well as taking the reader though his life so far I think that our culture’s preoccupation with specialization drives our internal narrative We are expected to focus and be great at one thing that one thing should give us all a good life while contributing to the orderly conduct of our life in society but we all know that human beings are complex and our intellect can be multi faceted What John Urschel’s story illustrates is that by exceeding societal expectations in terms of what his role is in life he is staking his claim as a polymathThis was a very enjoyable and entertaining read


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Mind and Matter ➶ [Read] ➲ Mind and Matter By John Urschel ➾ – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk John Urschel mathematician and former offensive lineman for the Balti Ravens with biographer Louisa Thomas tells the story of a life balanced between two passions For John Urschel what began as an ins John Urschel mathematician and former offensive lineman for the Balti 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 uickly evolved into mastery of the elegant systems and rules of mathematics By the time he Mind and eBook ´ 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 Balti Ravens he enrolled in his PhD at MITWeaving 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 reuest at the end of every season that he uit 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 Eually 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.