April 15, 2012
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North Trail Redevelopment Partnership
April 17, 2012
Math attracts many academics for its certainty — its reassuringly definitive answers that court little controversy. But not Donal O’Shea. New College of Florida’s president-in-waiting is a mathematician who explores the outer edges of certainty, where complex algebraic equations falter, where math becomes the language of dreams. “It allows you to talk about things you can’t see,” O’Shea said recently. “It’s a way into other universes.” That attitude may explain one of the lingering questions about O’Shea’s recent appointment as the fifth president at New College: Why would a top liberal arts college known for creativity and free-thinking, where graduates dress in period costumes and strange get-ups as they matriculate, choose a math man to lead it into an exciting yet uncertain future?