Like many people who would go on to become mathematicians, Wei Ho grew up competing in math contests. In eighth grade, she won the Mathcounts state competition in Wisconsin, and her team took third place at nationals.Unlike many future mathematicians, she wasn’t sure she ever wanted to become one.“I wanted to do everything, all the time,” Ho said. “I took ballet very seriously until early high school. I edited the literary magazine. I did debate and forensics. I played tennis and soccer and piano and violin.” By contrast, many successful mathematicians appeared to be obsessed with math to the exclusion of everything else. How could she, a person with numerous passions, compete with that level of focus?
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