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Why? It’s March 14, 2015–or 3.1415. It also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday. And in a not-unrelated development, today is the day that MIT releases its admissions decisions.

In honor of Pi Day, you might want to watch this video interview of UC Berkeley Professor Ken Ribet, a key player in the solution of Fermat’s Last Theorem.

Why? Because he walks you through how he did it. You will immediately recognize his first point, about the Pythagorean Theorem. See if you can stick with Ken through the rest.

Our point here? Human beings do math. Maybe you and I don’t do it quite as brilliantly as Ken Ribet–or Albert Einstein–but every one of us can think mathematically.

Athena Advises

marlena I watched the video, following along, nodding my head as we move out from the Pythagorean theorem we all know to the questions you and I probably never thought to ask about it, appreciating the clear explanations.

When decades-old photos appeared, I thought, yes, that’s what Ken Ribet looked like when we were graduate students in Paris . . .

Suddenly the interviewer asked in amazement, “Is that what you do? You just sit at your desk with your head in your hands and think?”

I had to laugh. I guess that’s a significant divide. When you’re thinking about what you might like to do in life, ask yourself, “Do I like to sit at my desk and think?”

Wishing you many happy days of sitting at your desk and thinking–or running around doing what it is that you do best,

Dr. Marlena Corcoran

Founder and CEO