On a quest for the ‘a-ha’ moment

Name: Mark Krutulis
Year: Freshman
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: West Lafayette, Indiana

He speaks with words and numbers: Math is the language he uses to figure out the world around him. “It’s those ‘a-ha’ moments that inspire me, the point at which you realize how it all works, and it’s not just mechanics.”

Ahead of his time: Even as a kindergartner, Mark showed a strong interest and aptitude for math — even though at the time he may not have thought so. "When I was only 5, my mom gave me a placement test in math. I was already halfway through the third grade level before I declared 'This is stupid!' because I thought I should be even further.”

A man of many interests: Mark’s mind is sparked by the world of numbers, but he also enjoys writing poetry, theater, unicycling, endurance cycling and playing guitar. In addition, he has a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo. “Taekwondo developed in me a real focus,” he says.

Math and Macbeth: So why is this math whiz so into artistic endeavors? “Pure thinking and applied thinking shouldn’t be separate,” he says. “Art is hands-on for me. It’s the way I express myself and produce something.”

A future filled with wisdom: Although Mark hasn’t settled on a career direction, he says it will likely involve numbers, but he’s also happy right where he’s at, working at a local bike shop. “I’d like to be the wise old man at the bike shop who gives advice. That actually sounds pretty good.”

By Kim Delker