As a 10-year-old, Matt Baron realized his gift for making rapid mathematical calculations and seeing the world through a numerical lens.
His passion for numbers was matched by his interest in story-telling, which led to a 20-year career in journalism. He covered sports, business, city government and a variety of other topics for publications such as Time, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and Sports Illustrated for Kids.
In 1998, with “By the Numbers,” Matt became a syndicated columnist nationally for Copley News Service. Around the same time, he shared the wonder of numbers with grade-school and middle-school classrooms and teamed up with two math teachers to create a newspaper series dubbed “Summer Math Puzzler.”
The twice-weekly feature consisted of math problems designed to help youngsters of various ages build their math skills during summer break.
Matt has developed an inflation index for home runs that was featured in Sports Illustrated and led to his becoming a statistics researcher and columnist for Sports Illustrated for Kids.
Since 2001, Matt has shared the “Go Figure: Making Numbers Count” training program to journalists around the country, including more than 15 newspaper associations. In addition, his “Go Figure” column on mathematical topics have guided thousands of journalists and other professional communicators.
In “Go Figure,” Matt makes math fun, practical and accessible for everyone as he invites participants to “bite into” the Eleven Sandwich, embark on a journey into Fibonacci Numbers, and build on any-sized successes that boost their comfort with and confidence in mathematics. Visit Matt’s “Go Figure” Facebook page here.
Matt’s mission is to help ignite the calculator inside everyone. When speaking to school groups, his problem-solving strategies are tailored to reinforce and complement teachers’ curricula, particularly Common Core.
A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Matt is principal of Inside Edge: Public Relations & Media Services. His roster of past and current clients includes Guinness World Record holder Scott Flansburg. Known as “The Human Calculator,” Scott has become a friend and mentor to Matt.
Elected to the District 200 Oak Park and River Forest High School Board in April 2017, Matt is also past president of the Oak Park (Ill.) Public Library Board and volunteered as a youth basketball and baseball coach for five years. His hobbies include shooting free throws ambidextrously—as well as tracking the results—and when it comes to multiplying and dividing license plates, he is on auto-pilot.
Matt and his wife, Bridgett, are the parents of 13-year-old boy/girl twins.