Friday, January 29, 2010

Famous mathematicians who became famous for something else

With nothing else to do, I was browsing through some old "starred" items on Google Reader, and found this blog by Dave Richeson.

It lists many interesting people, who I had no or little clue, were mathematicians. In particular Art Garfunkel (masters from Columbia and dropped out of the PhD program), Teri Hatcher (actress), Ahmed Chalabi (Iraqi deputy PM), Corazon Aquino (Phillippines premier), Michael Jordan (till his junior year), Ted Kaczynski (the unabomber, his PhD thesis in mathematics from the University of Michigan  won the Sumner B. Myers Prize for best dissertation of the year), Danica McKellar (better known as Winne Cooper from the Wonder Years, she is also the author of the best-selling books Math Doesn’t Suck, and Kiss My Math), and Lewis Caroll.

From the fictional world, James Moriarty, former Professor of Mathematics, author of The Dynamics of an Asteroid, whose essay on the binomial theorem is said to have had a continental vogue, became the leader of the most sinister criminal conspiracy in Victorian England. He has been called "the Napoleon of Crime." Sherlock Holmes's nemesis

I dug up one more myself.

Charlie Munger (Buffett's Berkshire partner) also studied mathematics at the University of Michigan, although he did not finish his degree.

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