While attending Berkeley in the 60s I briefly resided at a fraternity, which housed a variety of students. Some of us were there to pursue an education. Others played sports. A few did both. Many did neither.
One of my “brothers” was a fellow pitcher on the Cal baseball team. But he was also studying mathematics. With envy I watched him excel at both, though what he was doing with formulas was far beyond my comprehension. He would graduate then be accepted to Berkeley’s doctoral program in mathematics, where he focused on algebraic topology.
I thought of Tom, the person mentioned above, upon reading that the Fields Prize, the “Nobel” of mathematics, was bestowed for the first time on a woman, an Iranian-born professor at Stanford. Her work, for which she received the award, deals with structures and surfaces, what I think Tom was into way back when.
You can watch a video of Maryam Mirzakhani here. Quite the story.