J.S.: How did you decide to get into mathematics? A.P.M.: In high school I liked math, and I read standard books like Eric Temple Bell’s Men of Mathematics-chapter biographies of famous mathematicians, well written, but a lot of it is considered suspect; it’s not scholarly work, but very enthusiastic-and Courant and Robbins, What Is Mathematics? Stuff like that. And I was on the math team. This was in Midwood High School in Brooklyn, and the New York City schools had inter-high school competitions. So we would meet for the year or the semester with a particular school, like Brooklyn Tech, where my father was the chemistry chairman, or Madison, Erasmus-good nearby Brooklyn schools.