BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It’s an unusual equation–how many pro-football players in the NFL publish a complex academic paper? The answer is one and it’s John Urschel from the Baltimore Ravens.
Mary Bubala has the details.
Twenty-three-year-old John Urschel, an offensive lineman, was thrilled to play in his first career NFL game with the Ravens this past season.
“I’m very passionate about mathematics,” said John Urschel.
So passionate, in fact, he just published a paper in the Journal of Computational Mathematics: “A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fiedler Vector of Graph Laplacians.” It’s full of complex computations and theories most of us can’t even grasp.
Urschel has three degrees in math including two masters. He graduated from Penn State in just three years with a perfect 4.0 and he’s known to use his math skills to analyze the team’s performance.
“If Harbaugh is talking about something and it involves math, they will start calling for me,” he said.
An entirely different paper published by Urschel got the nation’s attention last week about why he continues to play football– putting his brilliant brain at risk to concussion.
When other players like, Chris Borland are getting out.
He writes, “There’s a rush you get when you go out on the field, lay everything on the line and physically dominate the player across from you. This is a feeling I’m addicted to, and I’m hard-pressed to find anywhere else.”
Except maybe – when Urschel’s crushing a math problem.
“It’s that competitive drive in me the same thing that drives me out on the football field it drives me to be a great mathematician,” Urschel said.
Last year Urschel also published another paper– this one in a science journal called “Instabilities in the Sun -Jupiter-Asteroid Three Body Problem”