Winter 2016

John UrschelBaltimore Raven John Urschel is more than a punishing guard: He’s a mathematician whose work has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Urschel came to campus last spring to deliver a lecture to 150 faculty members and students, sponsored by the Hopkins Undergraduate Society for Applied Mathematics, on his most recent paper, “A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fiedler Vector of Graph Laplacians.” Ed Scheinerman, vice dean for education and professor of applied mathematics and statistics, introduced the 305-pound offensive lineman as #64, or “four cubed.”

Urschel, who graduated with an MA and a BS in applied mathematics from Pennsylvania State University, is as agile on the football field as he is with numerical analysis and linear algebra. “I’m here because I wanted to be with all of you,” he told the students, none of whom wore Ravens jerseys. “So if you’re ready, let’s talk some math.”

Agastya Mondal, a senior studying applied mathematics and biomedical engineering, said afterward: “I was impressed with how he balances football with his academic work. Those are two different worlds, but he makes it work.”