MacArthur Winner–Does He Have the Answer for Tribune/Times Dilemma?

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Today in the California section of the LA Times (aren’t all the sections about California, when you get down to it?), Larry Gordon finally interviews Terence Tao, the illusive math professor. Tao’s just won a MacArthur.

Last month, when Tao won the Fields Prize, the Times ran a piece where Tao was conspicuous by his absence–Gordon hadn’t talked to him. FBLA mocked this, of course.

But, the UCLA prof has been cornered and forced to answer an “only in LA” question:

Q: Will all this celebrity interfere with your life?

A: I still have my work to do. All the problems I am working on haven’t miraculously gone away. I still have my students. Also I still have to pick up my son from preschool every day. I guess it keeps me rooted in reality. The thing about L.A. is that there is no shortage of actor celebrities in this town. So you can be safe.

FBLA wants to know if Tao has some subtle code for the Tribune bean-counters in this statement:

You could probably save tens of thousands of dollars if you use some basic algebra.

Make that millions, Professor, and you’ve got yourself a deal!

Earlier:
Local Math Whiz Wins Medal, Friends are Happy and Say So to the LA Times