**Leaders in the Business World share the importance of Math **

## Steve Bence

## Director of Nike Global Transition Management

## Nike, Inc.

**Was there a math teacher, project or lesson that made a big impact on you while in school? What got you interested in math?**

The biggest impact on me happened in an Abstract Algebra class in college (at the University of Oregon). I was probably a junior or senior at the time, about 20 years old. We were studying Galois theory and group theory which I enjoyed. For one class I was surprised when the young professor used most of the class to read us a story of Evariste Galois, the man behind the theory which we were studying. What stood out to me was the way that Galois died, in a duel. **(Click on the Nike Logo to read more)**

## Allison Medellin

Testing Manager

Nike, Inc.

**Was there a math teacher, project or lesson that made a big impact on you while in school? What got you interested in math?**

I don't recall the exact moment that impacted me in math. I was in a few split classes with older children in elementary school, so I remember learning multiplication tables earlier than some of my peers. I had a few good teachers in middle school, especially in algebra. Math made sense and I enjoyed the logic behind it. High school I transitioned between 2 schools, so algebra 2 lagged a bit, but I had a great pre-calculus teacher. The good grades in math kept me motivated. Combining math with science was one of main reasons I decided to pursue engineering. **(click the Nike Swoosh to read more)**

## Brad Feld

Managing Director

Foundry Group

Brad Feld, co-founder of the Foundry Group, discusses his math background and how he uses mathematics on the job.

Mr. Feld is one of the managing directors of the Boulder, Colorado based Foundry Group. Brad has been one of America's leading early stage investors and entrepreneurs for over twenty years. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Venture, a group that helps launch and operate software companies. Brad is also a co-founder of TechStars.

Mr. Feld has written a variety of books about entrepreneurship such as his most recent books: * Startup Life* and

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**Startup Communities**The following are Mr. Feld's answers to our questions

**Was there a math teacher, project or lesson that made a big impact on you while in school? What got you interested in math?** (click the Foundry Group Logo to read more)

## Steve Brandes

President & General Manager

Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League

NBA Affiliate of the Portland Trail Blazers

There were a couple of teachers that had a huge impact, not only on me, but I am sure on other students in my class. Those specific teachers had an amazing ability to connect with the student, and make math fun and engaging.

I know math isn't always easy for everyone, but it was very easy for me. I enjoyed the challenge of trying to solve problems and it was very gratifying to put in the work to find the answers to problems. I believe I had teachers that taught tricks on how to do math in your head and tricks for algebra that made it much easier. (click the link above to read more)

## Gretchen Todd

Director of Tickets

Norfolk Tides Baseball Club

AAA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles

Math has generally come very naturally to me so that was the primary reason that I enjoyed it. I liked that there was only 1 right answer - not typical subjective grading. It brought out the perfectionist in me. Personally (although they are terrible to use in a classroom situation), I loved the competitive games like Around the World, a prime number game called Buzz and other things like that. I don't remember too many individual lessons that stood out, but I have several teachers that did. Mrs. Noomer (nicknamed the numerator) made a sheet each day that had half of her lesson plan on there. Our job was to pay attention and fill in the missing words, numbers, symbols, equations etc. as she taught. We all had a binder and were responsible for keeping every sheet. It forced the entire class (those that liked math and those that didn't) to stay engaged with the lesson and provided us detailed notes to reflect back on throughout the year. I was never a big fan of manipulatives as a teaching tool when I was younger. I was the kid that wanted to play with the base 10 blocks instead of using them the correct way! Some kids benefit from tactile learning, but they were a little too much of a distraction for me! (Click the Norfolk Tides logo above to read more)

**Leslie Bradshaw**

**Managing Partner **

**Made by Many**

**#1 – Was there a math teacher, project or lesson that made a big impact on you while in school? What got you interested in math? **

First and foremost, my mom sparked my interest in math. She is an accountant by trade and has always made sure I understood how to record, analyze and calculate numbers. I can remember her teaching me about my multiplication tables very early. She also fostered and cultivated my interests in math and science, making sure I had the best teachers, tested out of classes that were too easy for me, and attended summer camps that further challenged me (early memories of attending math and science camp for girls and economics camp are some of my fondest childhood memories).

Beyond my mom, I had a number of teachers who recognized I had an interest and gift in the area; in middle school it was Ms. Liupakka and in high school it was Mr. Eldridge. **#2 – What did you enjoy most about math while in school?**

I loved that math was a pure science and based on rules. I also loved long division and doing math problems by hand. The end product, when done correctly, was so rewarding. And it was often times a work of art visually (Click on the photo to read more )

**Rex Elliott**

## Product Operations Director

## Nike, Inc.

**Was there a math teacher, project or lesson that made a big impact on you while in school? What got you interested in math?**

Mr. Paul Camp was my 3rd and 4th grade math teacher. He spent the summer between those years creating a separate math workbook for me because I had exceeded my grade level and he wanted to give me more of a challenge in math. I will never forget him for that.

**What did you enjoy most about math while in school?**

**What did you enjoy most about math while in school?**

Math was always at the same time old and new. The fundamental principles of math never change and the most basic of concepts are relevant to higher levels of math. At the same time, there is an endless level of complexity and applications for math in the classroom and the real world. (click on the Nike logo to read more)

**Jim Baucom**

**Senior Engineer**

**Nike**

**Was there a math teacher, project or lesson that made a big impact on you while in school? What got you interested in math?**

I decided on Engineering early on and math was a requirement.

I find the interested in math an interesting question, since I was never purely interested in math for math’s sake. Once I found out that parts of mathematics could actually be used for something besides proofs and rote memorizing, it became alive.

I would say that my high school geometry teacher, who was a gruff ex-marine, gave us story problems and actually uses for geometry.