Higher Ed: Navigating a Math-y Career Pivot

A listener wrote in to “Higher Ed” about his decision to pursue a Ph.D. in pure mathematics after studying classical piano performance and working as a pianist. In this episode of KUT’s podcast Higher Ed, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss becoming a mathematician later in life and the joys and challenges of making a career shift. Focus, passion and commitment. Those are some of the qualities Ed says are necessary to successfully pull off a career pivot to mathematician – or to pursuing any new field. As a matter of fact, Ed says “talent is secondary to commitment” when making this kind of change. Preparing for a job interview for a new job? This week’s puzzler could help. It’s a “classic” that actually gets asked in some job interviews.

This episode was recorded Aug. 10, 2017.

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Jennifer Stayton