The Interview


In this episode, I talk with mathematician and author Ben Orlin. Ben is the creator of the “Math With Bad Drawings” blog and similarly titled book, and the best illustration I’ve seen of the value of mathematical, or first principles, thinking. Plus, it’s hilarious. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Ben graduated from Yale in 2009 with a degree in mathematics. There he was Creative Director for The Yale Record. He has taught math in Oakland, CA and Birmingham, UK. He has a frequent public speaker, and his writing has been published in The Atlantic, Slate, Vox, and the LA Times.

In this episode, we talk about the book, misconceptions about mathematical aptitude, the importance of allowing yourself to be stuck with a problem, and more.

Where To Connect with Ben:


“The State of Being Stuck” (article)
“Math With Bad Drawings,” by Ben Orlin
Math With Bad Drawings website
Ben’s Recommended Math Resources
Genius at Play, by Siobhan Roberts
The Man Who Only Loved Numbers, by Paul Hoffman
Hello Worlds, by Hannah Fry
The Riddler
“Mathematical Games,” by Martin Gardner

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The Power of Mathematical Thinking: Interview with Ben Orlin