I am an award-winning freelance math and science journalist and contributing editor at Discover magazine. My work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, O Magazine, Discover, Science News, Aeon, Wired, High Country News and many other publications. My memoir, Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer's Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand was published by Rodale Press in May 2017. It describes navigating the science and politics of poorly understood illnesses, based on my experience with chronic fatigue syndrome. I have also written several articles on the topic.
Much of my writing has been about mathematics, a passion of mine. For seven years, I wrote the Math Trek column for Science News, where I delighted in showing my readers how mathematics could reveal so many different facets of the world. I wrote the Equation column for Wired, in which I took a single equation and explain how it describes an interesting real-world phenomenon. I’ve also written about a wide variety of science topics, including the effort to save the Tasmanian devil and how safe it is to eat salmon.
Before I became a science writer, I earned a master's in math from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. You can read my master's thesis, on homotopy colimits, here. For a more comprehensible view of my take on mathematics, I recommend this interview that Sol Lederman did with me for his wonderful blog Wild about Math! Also, way back in 1996, when I was a graduate student, I wrote a long letter to the wonderful homeschooling magazine Growing Without Schooling, “What a Mathematician Does.” The magazine is now gone, but the letter, amazingly enough, is preserved here. It’s on page 14 of the magazine.
After my time at MIT, I became a professor at St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During that time, between 1998 and 2001, I built my own strawbale house in a beautiful valley outside of town. I didn't know what I was doing, but neither did anyone else, really—it was the early days of strawbale building, so there was a wonderful community of people online figuring it out together. I have a few pictures of the house up here.
I now live there with my husband, John; our hound mix Frances; and our cat Lao. We also spend time in John's hometown of Boulder, Colorado.
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