Melanie Matchett Wood 2017-10-13T11:55:59+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

STEM Gems Club

Is a career as a Number Theory Mathematician in your future? Creativity drives everything STEM Gem Melanie Matchett Wood does. She uses tools from algebraic geometry to study things about primes and uses primes to study the geometry of spaces. Her work is at the heart of all online encryption and security tools. Read her story and digest. Watch one of her videos. Then, with your STEM Gems Tribe, discuss, explore, reflect, and act.

Videos