Harvey Milk, Mathematician

Movie I sawI had time to see a movie on Christmas day! And it turned out to be a great movie, Milk, with great acting by Sean Penn and many others. It is a true story of the first openly gay politician elected to public office in California.

It was mentioned only in passing in the movie, but it turns out that Harvey Milk was a mathematician. He wasn’t publishing research papers or teaching calculus classes as an academic professor, but, as he mentions in the movie, before getting into politics, he worked in insurance. Wikipedia has a little more to say about this: Milk was a “actuarial statistician”, and after that, but before becoming a political organizer,

Milk abruptly stopped working as an insurance salesman and became a researcher at the Wall Street firm Bache & Company. He was frequently promoted despite his tendency to offend the older members of the firm by ignoring their advice…

Milk was a quant! Any quants looking for a change of pace, Milk is an inspiring example of what a person did in 8 years, without doing a bit of activism before turning 40. I came across this youtube video of a speech Milk gave, that has some music mixed under it and motion graphics layered on top.

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One response to “Harvey Milk, Mathematician

  1. Mohammad

    amazing speech!