CHAPTER 20 Encountering Mathematics and a Mathematics Institute Sheila Embleton “Probably the most important thing to facilitate the research of mathematicians [is] other mathematicians.” I am not (really) a mathematician. But I can say that mathematics has always been, to a greater or lesser extent, a part of my life. The daughter of a PhD in Physics and a PhD in Chemistry, I was introduced very early to the notion that mathematics is everywhere, the foundation of so many things. One of my earliest memories is of working in the garden doing typical yard work while rehearsing multiplication tables, doing factorials, or simply playing number games of various types. There was never any question of fear of mathematics or of “girls don’t do math” in my upbringing. In fact, when I first encountered mention of these phenomena in high school, I just could not comprehend it.