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Vincent A. '17

MIT student blogger Vincent A. '17


3, 6, 9, 21, 22, 47, 78, 89, 134, 225, 368...

What is the pattern in this sequence? Now that I have your attention—and please, keep trying to solve the problem—let me introduce myself a little.

Hi! I’m Vincent, a Nigerian citizen fortunate enough to be a member of the MIT Class of 2017. On August 26, 1996, I arrived on Earth, with a lot of bawling, puking and hair-pulling. As I grew, I soon discovered that my energy was happier being expended on math and writing.

I participated in a bunch of state and national level mathematics contests, and took part twice in the International Mathematics Olympiad. I also placed in the 99th percentile at the 2012 American Mathematics Contest, which gave me a chance to take part in the American Invitational Mathematics Examination. Shortly after that, I began working on a book. Little words scrawled on some sheets of paper morphed into a publishing deal with a company in Nigeria over a 160,000-word novel (plus or minus 10,000 words) I had written during my gap year.

Away from academics, I can be found pursuing a flurry of diverse events. I often watch horror movies in my free time, or an entire string of shows ranging from Fringe to The IT Crowd. While not flinching from a leering zombie or rolling off the edge of my bed laughing at some YouTube video, I like to pretend I can sing or dance. My parents and siblings graciously provide constructive criticism, and the current consensus is that my talent for singing and dancing shines best if I’m the only person in the room.

My life speeds its way through different phases, many of which overlap. I had the bygone phases in which I was convinced I would be an astronaut and read up a lot on black holes, or believed that I was living out someone’s novel in some great infinity-D dimension, perpetually fearful that the climax, a tragic fiesta of misery, was on the way. I’m still in my Taylor Swift phase (and have been dancing there since 2009) and will often feature her lyrics in one or two (or nine hundred) upcoming blog posts. I also still believe I will unlock my superpowers of levitation and teleportation if I focus hard enough.

I’m pretty good at trying to analyze different facets of my identity, whatever that word means. For instance, I know that for every linear unit of growth in my level of comfort with a person, there is a horrendously exponential unit of growth in my level of apparent lack of sense. This ends up working well because those who still stick with me despite this are undoubtedly equally crazy, and we all know the kind of explosions a friendship of that nature could create.

So yeah, I’m curious to see what lies ahead, and I hope you are too, but I can catch glimpses of the future. I see p-sets, new friends, discoveries, doubts, limits (not personal limits, I mean mathematical limits from introductory calculus or “18.01” in MIT-Speak), personal limits, p-sets, free food, p-sets, and of course, more p-sets. But the MIT experience is a whole lot more than that, as we’re about to find out. If you have any questions about anything from admissions to flying rhinoceroses, feel free to e-mail me.

Also, as for the sequence of numbers at the beginning, there is no pattern! Those numbers were randomly generated, and you will find an awful lot of randomness in my posts. After all, I live in Random Hall.

Catch you guys soon!