William Thurston was a Fields Medal winner for his work in three dimensional topology and geometry. A United States native, he earned his doctorate from the University of California. He worked as a professor at various universities including MIT, Princeton, University of California, and Cornell. He is best known for his research in topology.

**Quote:**“I don’t do it for the bottom line,” Dr. Thurston told The Wall Street Journal in 1983. “The inner force that drives mathematicians isn’t to look for applications; it is to understand the structure and inner beauty of mathematics.”

Dr. Thurston's simple and elegant explanation of the trefoil knot:

Sources:

Kaufman, Leslie. "William P. Thurston, Theoretical Mathematician, Dies at 65."

Phillips, Anthony. "Thurston, Knots to Narnia."

"William Paul Thurston."

Kaufman, Leslie. "William P. Thurston, Theoretical Mathematician, Dies at 65."

*The New York Times*. The New York Times, 22 Aug. 2012. Web. 27 June 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/us/william-p-thurston-theoretical-mathematician-dies-at-65.html?_r=0>.Phillips, Anthony. "Thurston, Knots to Narnia."

*YouTube*. YouTube, 22 Sept. 2012. Web. 27 June 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKSrBt2kFD4>"William Paul Thurston."

*Thurston Biography*. University of St. Andrews Scotland, n.d. Web. 27 June 2014. <http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Thurston.html>