What does it mean to do research in math? According to Tara S. Holm, professor of mathematics, profiled in this Cornell Research story, it’s not as complicated as some might think. “It’s always surprising—the simple things that we still don’t know,” she says.

Contrary to popular assumptions, Holm adds in the story, research in mathematics doesn’t take talent or genius so much as hard work and obsession. “You get obsessed with certain problems, and you’re not able to stop thinking about them,” she says. “It’s curiosity-driven. Mathematicians study mathematics because they have to know.”

Read the full story on Cornell Research here.