Splash Biography

EDGAR WANG, Mathematics and French Studies Major

Major: Mathematics; French

College/Employer: Yale

Year of Graduation: 2024

Picture of Edgar Wang

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I'm a Math and French major interested in how both math and literature make us feel at home in the world.

At Yale, I'm involved in various math-related things and debate with the Yale Political Union. I grew up in Montreal, Quebec, where I ran a math circle and participated in math contests, culminating in a bronze medal at the 2020 International Math Olympiad. I'm still signed on as a trainer for the Canadian European Girls' Math Olympiad team. In my free time, I enjoy browsing bookstores, taking long hikes and exercising.

I like to think of math as a humanities. Math, like its cousins art and philosophy, has been a forerunner to happenings in the world of the mind. Our subjective understanding of math matters: why is Calculus taught the way it is? How does knowledge of math affect our perception of space and matter? Who cares about proofs? What is geometry, anyway?

Excited to meet all of you!

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

M4392: Doing Calculus the Right Way in Splash Spring 2021 (Apr. 24, 2021)
Have you ever thought: "what's the deal with Calculus?" Why does anyone care about limits? Why do we need polar coordinates to do anything? The answer to all this lies in some basic physics. We'll look at the motion of bikes, walk a few dogs, do some illegal geometry, and calculate hard integrals with pictures to understand the heart of calculus. You'll leave this class with an understanding of the visual aspects of calculus, and plenty of fun theorems with which to annoy your friends and teachers.

A4393: The Problem of Irony: Reading David Foster Wallace in Splash Spring 2021 (Apr. 24, 2021)
In this lecture, I'll attempt to convince you that we urgently need to read David Foster Wallace in our age of isolation, mass entertainment, and phone addiction - problems he diagnosed acutely in the 90s. His style - sprawling, self-referential, heady, and engaging - influenced bloggers and novelists. His investigations on irony and sincerity, media and communication, addiction, and mental health are all the more relevant today. David Foster Wallace is a very controversial writer. He's been lauded as the voice of a generation by critics from the NYT. He's also been condemned as a literary poser. Lately, he was embroiled in the #metoo movement. We'll see how to maintain a safe critical distance between ourselves as readers, the author, his work, and our outsized idolatry of genius.