An MIT Alumni Association Publication

Now in his third year as a doctoral student at MIT, John Urschel enrolled at the Institute while also playing as an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens.

Early in his career, Urschel says, he prided himself on “not giving up football for math or math for football. But when I was honest with myself, I wasn’t pushing myself to be the best mathematician I could be. I had more to learn. I had room to grow.” So he applied to MIT.

After three years playing in the National Football League, Urschel retired, choosing to focus on his math career—with his long-term health and the future of his family, and young daughter, playing a large role in his decision. Hear Urschel recount part of his story on stage at an MIT Better World event in Washington, D.C.

Urschel also tells the story of his lifelong balance of math and football in his recently published memoir, Mind and Matter. Read more about the book at MIT News.

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