Says Derb, who tried to stump Herman Cain with some math, and, to his (pleasant) surprise, failed:
I broke the ice with Cain by remarking that we were both born in the same year (he is 193 days younger than me) and both took our first degree in mathematics.
I asked him about the ballistics work he’d done for the Navy. Lotta differential equations? Oh, yeah.
ODEs or PDEs? Mostly O’s—which is the right answer in ballistics. I recall thinking: Smart cookie.
I doubt mathematical ability is directly relevant to a president’s tasks, but a guy who can do advanced math is a guy who can pursue chains of deductive reasoning for minutes at a time—rare in human beings.