Susan D'Agostino

Contributing Writer

Q&A

The Computer Scientist Who Can’t Stop Telling Stories

April 16, 2020

For pioneering computer scientist Donald Knuth, good coding is synonymous with beautiful expression.

Photo of Ronald Rivest sitting in his office
Q&A

Cryptography Pioneer Seeks Secure Elections the Low-Tech Way

March 12, 2020

Ronald Rivest helped come up with the RSA algorithm, which safeguards online commerce. Now he’s hoping to make democratic elections more trustworthy.

Photo of Scarlett Howard, a researcher at the University of Toulouse, working with honeybees
Q&A

Secrets of Math From the Bee Whisperer

January 22, 2020

As Scarlett Howard taught honeybees to do arithmetic, they showed her how fundamental numbers might be to all brains.

Q&A

The Architect of Modern Algorithms

November 20, 2019

Barbara Liskov pioneered the modern approach to writing code. She warns that the challenges facing computer science today can’t be overcome with good design alone.

About the author

Susan D’Agostino is a mathematician who earned a doctorate in mathematics at Dartmouth College and a writer who is currently pursuing a master's degree in science writing at Johns Hopkins University. Her essays have been published in Scientific American, Nature and the Financial Times. Her book, How to Free Your Inner Mathematician: Notes on Mathematics and Life, will be published by Oxford University Press in March 2020. You can follow her on Twitter @susan_dagostino.