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MIT Reads

To build community and foster understanding

MIT Reads

""MIT Reads is an all-MIT reading experience that aims to build community and foster understanding. Events and discussions are open to the entire MIT community.

Spring 2024 book selection – Mind and Matter

We are delighted to announce our spring selection, Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football by John Urschel and Louisa Thomas.

Get the book.


We invite you to join us in exploring our spring selection, Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football by John Urschel and Louisa Thomas. Here are some options:

The MIT Libraries are committed to making these activities accessible. ASL interpreters and live captioning will be available during the panel discussion; accommodations for the small group discussion may be requested at the time of registration.

More details may be found at the above links.

About the book

Assistant Professor of Mathematics and former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel tells the story of a life balanced between two passions.

For John Urschel, what began as an insatiable appetite for puzzles as a child developed into mastery of the elegant systems and rules of mathematics. By the time he was thirteen, Urschel was auditing a college-level calculus course. But when he joined his high school football team, a new interest began to eclipse the thrill he felt in the classroom. Against the odds, Urschel found a way to manage his double life as a scholar and an athlete. Weaving together two separate narratives, Urschel relives for us the most pivotal moments of his bifurcated life. Equally at home discussing Georg Cantor’s work on infinities and Bill Belichick’s playbook, Urschel reveals how each challenge—whether on the field or in the classroom—has brought him closer to understanding the two different halves of his own life, and how reason and emotion, the mind and the body, are always working together.

This book was selected in collaboration with students enrolled in 21W.022, Writing and Experience: Reading and Writing Autobiography, a subject offered by Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication (WRAP).

MIT Reads is sponsored by the MIT Libraries and the MIT Press Bookstore.