Eugenia Cheng has built a “portfolio career” combining her passions for math, piano and education. Eugenia has a PHD in Pure Mathematics and is a Scientist in Residence at School of the Art Institute in Chicago. As part of her portfolio career, Eugenia also performs as a concert pianist and is a published author of two books about math. Eugenia also works to develop math training materials and curriculum, she does research in math within higher dimensional category theory, and she writes about math for media publications. Eugenia has built her career by finding ways to use her talents and work to help others. Eugenia suggests we build our careers by finding what we are really good at and then finding how to use our talents in the best possible way to contribute to society.

Eugenia has a talent for showing how math relates to our world, and in describing the beautiful and mysterious intersections of math, science and art. We talk with Eugenia on how she got on her path and how playing the piano was her refuge when she was frustrated with the confinements of her school years. Eugenia offers suggestions for encouraging kids to enjoy math ( there is some great advice for those of us who have math phobias), we talk about Eugenia’s latest book, beyond infinity, and Eugenia’s thoughts on how math, science and art are spiritually related. Eugenia stepped away from a conventional tenured academic path to create a career where she could user her strengths and interests. Eugenia’s thoughtful and analytical approach to creating a career that allowed her to contribute more to society, applies to those of us trying to find work where we can also use more of our strengths. We think you will love this conversation abut how to combine different interests, including Eugenia’s thoughts on the concept of  infinity, how “drunk cooking” and math are similar and how you can stretch the possibilities within your career.