The Hedge Fund Manager’s and Hal Prince’s Guide to Mentoring

October 25, 2017, 5:36 PM GMT

By Amanda Gordon

(Bloomberg) — Hedge fund manager Pete Muller’s countdown to his performance wasn’t a standard 1, 2, 3. He was at the National Museum of Mathematics’s Fibonacci Fete, after all, Tuesday night at Guastavino’s in Manhattan.

“1-1-2-3-5-8-13-21,” Muller said using a Fibonacci series to introduce the song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. Muller played keyboard and sang customized lyrics. A sample: “Math with Roman numerals is not so easy, enough to make Jim Simons queasy.”

This was one way to make a gala about mathematics fun. Muller also had a budgetary objective: to inspire text pledges to fund school visits by underprivileged kids.

The museum on Madison Square Park uses exhibitions, activities and events to explore mathematics.

“The museum takes deep mathematics, sometimes college level, graduate level, and distills it down to a level at which a non-mathematician can play, enjoy, discover,” said Cindy Lawrence, the museum’s chief executive officer.

Visiting math exhibits is one thing. Getting through math homework is another. So if you know math, what do you do to help?

“You have to believe in the kid, you never want to take the pen and do the problem,” said John Overdeck of Two Sigma.

If someone is stuck? “Tell them to go to sleep, get up in the morning and see if things become clearer,” said mathematician Jim Simons, founder of Renaissance Technologies, referring to people at an advanced level.

David Siegel of Two Sigma said he’s seen kids get interested in math through coding. “What you find is, you’re writing a program and you’re trying to do something, and all of the sudden you need the math to do it,” Siegel said… (Excerpted from Bloomberg Terminal)