Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor


Upper School Math Teacher Eric Taylor is funny, laid-back, affable, outgoing, and patient—and he knows how to make math fun. If you drop by his class, you may find students modeling inductive reasoning using Dominoes or creating 3D structures using Zometools—an atomic tinkertoy! Eric grew up in Sterling, Va. with three brothers, including a fraternal twin. His dad taught automotive technology and his mom was a music teacher. Eric’s not a big dreamer, but when he was young, he did think it would be cool to be a rock star. He graduated from the Potomac School, got a bachelor’s in environmental sciences from the University of Delaware, and a master’s of education from George Mason. His favorite obscure fact: Kurt Godel proved that in a mathematical system, there will always be true statements that cannot be proved or disproved. In short, he proved that not everything is provable. It’s a good thing Eric teaches logic, because someone has to explain that. Eric takes the time to teach a few life lessons in his class, like “a valid argument is not necessarily a true argument” and “compound interest is your best friend.” He also treats his students to his favorite brain teaser, the Prisoner’s Dilemma. It’s a subset of game theory and is simplified to give each of two parties two decisions—resulting in 2*2=4 possible outcomes. Google it! Eric says his students are fun and sometimes unpredictable, keeping class exciting with new challenges every day. Maybe Prisoner’s Dilemma is his payback? If he could invite three mathematicians to dinner, he would ask John Nash (a pioneer in the field of game theory), Carl Friedrich Gauss (“The Prince of Mathematicians”), and Bertrand Russell (who tried to prove the foundations of mathematics). Eric’s love of math can be expressed in one equation, the probability mass function (PMF) for the binomial distribution—which, Chat GPT says is “a fundamental formula in probability theory, often used in scenarios like flipping coins, rolling dice, or conducting experiments with binary outcomes.” And Eric’s superhuman ability is that he can explain all of this to his students! Outside of the classroom he’s married to Jackie, and they have two adorable daughters, Mollie ’34 and Delaney ’37, and two orange cats, Lily and Tova. As for hobbies, Eric plays the drums, blasts heavy metal music, and plays video games until all hours of the night. He also enjoys making spreadsheets of things in his life, like all the movies he’s seen—he gives “Dune 2” five stars. Eric has traveled all over the U.S., and if he had a bucket list, which he doesn’t, going to Sweden for a heavy metal festival would be the only thing on it. His secret quirk: for about 13 years he played Magic the Gathering and between him and his twin, they collected around 50,000 cards. The craziest thing he’s ever done was caving—which he found nerve-wracking and claustrophobic. Eric’s drive and motivation in life comes from his family; they are everything to him. His neighborhood is filled with kids, so he spends countless hours outside with his daughters doing all sorts of activities. The greatest gift he’s ever gotten? “Do kids count?” he asks. They certainly do.

What is the one thing in the world you would fix if you could wave a magic wand?
I would wave a magic wand and make all food free. I hate having to pay for food.  Why is food so expensive? To that end, I love free food and am known in my neighborhood as the dad everyone gives their leftovers to.

If you had a million dollars in the bank, what would you be doing?
Making a spreadsheet with compound interest formulas to see how I could get the most out of my million dollars.

What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is my ability to connect with people.

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken in your life?
Quitting my safe, easy job at Northrop Grumman and going back to school to become a math teacher. I’ve been a teacher for 11 years now and I’ve never once regretted that decision.

What is your most treasured object and why?
My most treasured object, is my comic collection. Over the years I have worked on collecting all the comic books related to the Infinity Gauntlet series. I don’t have ’em all, but I enjoy the hunt.

What in life makes you smile?
My kids and memes…I love memes.