Mr Turow makes math sing

Nora Fellas, Blogger

When he’s not on stage playing guitar, you’ve probably seen Mr. Turow–or Brad, as many of his students call him–roaming the halls with his nose in a huge red math book. When I asked him about his guilty pleasure, he told me: “It’s not something I like to share, that I do that when I’m by myself.” He was talking about math. “It really was my first love,” he added. In high school, he said he was, “amazingly cool and unbelievable handsome–and still a math nerd.”

Turow finds math beautiful and relates it to everything. He’ll watch a movie, and all he can think about is the math behind it. He told me that his dream is to work in an animation studio as a mathematician. “People don’t know–big companies like Pixar have teams of mathematicians that just sit around and make their math better, and it’s all deep geometry and topology.” He also sees math in music. He once brought his electric guitar to my class, played a few chords, and then proceeded to explain how the 12-note scale is based on an exponential function.

It was Turow’s unique style of teaching that drew him to Masters: “This seemed like a place where I could have the freedom to do cool stuff.” One opportunity that Masters has presented him with is an annual competition for faculty, in which teams of teachers design an out-of-the-box curriculum and the winning team is awarded $25,000 to carry it out. No surprise, Turow’s idea is about math: “‘Lightshow’ is basically a program that kids could use to basically apply principles of geometry to make a light show.”

Masters is special to Turow because it’s open to new ideas, and while Turow is excited about trying some new things (especially math-related) he’s not always so adventurous. When I asked him if he like the food here, he confessed “I’m a very picky eater… I’ve only had one orange in my whole life.” Turow continued, “fish really scares me. Every time I see fish, I’m like, ‘What?!’” He has also only had one steak and one burger in his life and hates cauliflower. He ranted, “What the hell cauliflower. It just looks like a tree got sick.”

Aside from food, Turow reflected upon another challenge: senioritis. He said, “ I’m sort of a pushover, it’s easy for me to be like, ‘Oh you got like a  negative 12 on that test, I’ll give you like an 85.’” Turow’s advice to current seniors is: “Don’t waste college; so many people throw it away by taking classes like, ‘introduction to polka dots…’ do something that means something to you.”