I grew up in the foothills of western North Carolina, later attending the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and earning a B.A. in international studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I studied Mandarin at UNC, at Xiamen University, and independently over years spent working across southern China. After returning to the United States, I earned a Ph.D. at Duke University.
Outside of my research and teaching, my habits hinge upon my location. When in China, I spend most of my free time reading, either to myself or to my boys, and picking my guitar. When in NC, I often hike the Triangle's many trails with my wife and kids, lounge in the front yard with my neighbors, and drive country backroads. I'm also an irrepressible bibliophile, and the proud winner of the 2017 Andrew T. Nadell Prize for Book Collecting at Duke. Finally, and to the chagrin of some colleagues, I'm a lifelong Tarheel. Go Heels!
My Erdös number is 5:
Paul Erdös → Craig A. Tovey → Norman J. Schofield → Andrew D. Martin → Georg Vanberg → me.
Paul Erdös → Peter C. Fishburn → John A. Ferejohn → Barry E. Friedman → Georg Vanberg → me.