Where are you from?
Please describe an experience (or 2) that helped you discover/ cultivate your interest in the mathematical sciences.
I was fortunate as a child in having a neighbor who was a few years older. His goal was to become a mathematics teacher and he influenced me quite a bit. A few years after I graduated from Yale College, I found myself living in Germany, where I stumbled onto a position teaching mathematics in a public high school in Düsseldorf. I was employed at the high school for two and and a half years. That job sparked my interest in going to graduate school in mathematics.
What is/are your most proud accomplishment(s) in regards to your career in the mathematical sciences?
I certainly would include the main theorem in my dissertation as an achievement of which I remain proud to this day. I could add to the list my book, Mathematics: Rhyme and Reason, which was co-published by the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in 2018. Finally, I would mention my career at NSA, both the technical work and the influence that I had on younger mathematicians.
What is/are your most proud accomplishment(s) in regards to your personal life?
Being a husband and father.
Please share some words of wisdom/inspiration.
Following my love of German language eventually allowed me to re-kindle my love of mathematics. Most people care about more than one thing. Indulge yourself by tending to the things you care about and be patient with yourself.