055: Eugenia Cheng – Math in Unexpected Places

Eugenia ChengEugenia Cheng is a mathematician and concert pianist. Showcasing Math in Unexpected places is one of her passions as she believes that Math should be a fun project and NOT a problem.

Transitioning from a “standard academic professor career path” to a “DIY portfolio career” Eugenia is proud of building a freelance career for herself that has no blueprint.

She is a Scientist In Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and won tenure at the University of Sheffield, UK having previously taught at the universities of Cambridge, Chicago and Nice.

Eugenia holds a PhD in pure mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Her first popular maths book “How to Bake Pi” was featured on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and “Beyond Infinity” was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2017.

Read Full Shownotes Here

[2:35]What Exactly is a DIY portfolio career?  I am proud of building a freelance career for myself that has no blueprint

[5:25]What got you into Math?  I always liked Math. My mother is Mathematical and she showed me the most fun and exciting aspects of Math.

[6:34] I was never satisfied with answers until they became Mathematical answers.

[8:02] One of the reasons that the  fear of Math is perpetuated is because so many adults are afraid of Math and they pass it on to their children.

[8:12]I decided to become a surrogate family member to those people who do not have members in their family to show them Math.

[11:25] In school, Math is about numbers, equations, rules, formulae, memorizing things, and trying to get the right answers. For me and in research, Math is about exploring what makes things work and it is a way of thinking so that you can make connections between different situations  & see what they have in common

[14:37] I use food a lot in my books  like ” How To Bake Pie ”  because it is something that we can relate to because one of the problems of Math is that it can seem dry

[16:17] You were featured on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert Prime television is not a place  where people expect to have Math. 

[16:34] Having Math in unexpected places to an audience that isn’t specifically there for Math is amazing

[25:45] Contact Eugenia online – Her Website

[25:45] Connect with her on Twitter

Eugenia Cheng’s Books

” How to Bake Pie “

“Beyond Infinity “