Cedric Villani is sometimes called the “Lady Gaga” of math. Bearded and long-haired, he typically wears a three-piece suit, a lavallière (a cross between a cravat and a bow tie) and a spider brooch on his lapel. But most importantly, Villani is an educator. As a teacher, Villani has found that math gives young people a way to think more effectively. For Villani, math is not just for thinking, though. It’s also about action. Despite contemporary challenges, such as fake news and complex global problems, the future is ripe with opportunity for better forms of thinking.

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