Melanie Matchett Wood 2017-02-27T14:26:59+00:00

Melanie Matchett Wood

Number Theory Mathematician

“Math is something that you get better at by practicing and doing more and by hard work. It’s not a matter of having a math brain or not having a math brain. It’s not as if you can be a math person or not a math person. It’s something that by working at and by practicing, you will get better at. The ‘I’m not so good at it’ excuse is a statement about how much work you’ve put in.”

Career Highlights
  • Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an American Institute of Mathematics Five-Year Fellow
  • Passion lies in the deep connections between the seemingly unrelated subjects of prime numbers and polynomial geometry, which are the heart of all online encryption and security
  • First female on a U.S. International Math Olympiad team in high school and first woman in history to win the prestigious Morgan Prize in college, an award given for superior mathematical research by an undergraduate
  • Emphasizes that she wasn’t always a math star and insists that math is something you get better at by practicing and doing more and by hard work