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On a Monday afternoon in March, Mark Hayes entered the Adult Basic Education (ABE) room at the Center for the Homeless clutching a two-page printout in his hands. “Look at this!” he eagerly announced, a smile stealing across his lined face as he handed me the papers. Giving the pages a quick glance, I noticed that they were a biography of a Civil War-era general. I did not understand Mark’s excitement until he explained that the nineteenth-century man shared his last name. Pointing to the second line, he drew my attention to General Arnold Hayes’ time as a professor of mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy. Immediately, the significance became clear – Mark believed he had found an ancestor that shared his own passion for math.