Siobhan Roberts

Contributing Writer

Valeria Pettorino in the woods near CosmoStat
Q&A

An Italian Cosmologist Who Wanders in Dante’s Dark Wood

A scientist and programmer with a literary bent, Valeria Pettorino thinks multiple angles and diverse points of view are needed to unriddle the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Photo of Carina Curto
Q&A

Her Key to Modeling Brains: Ignore the Right Details

Being able to think like a physicist helps Carina Curto, a mathematician-turned-neuroscientist, pull insights about the human brain out of theoretical models.

Sylvia Serfaty, Stefan Falke for Quanta Magazine
Q&A

In Mathematics, ‘You Cannot Be Lied To’

For Sylvia Serfaty, mathematics is all about truth and beauty and building scientific and human connections.

Pencils Down: Experiments in Education

The Art of Teaching Math and Science

The impasse in math and science instruction runs deeper than test scores or the latest educational theory. What can we learn from the best teachers on the front lines?

Q&A

Michael Atiyah’s Imaginative State of Mind

At 86, Britain’s preeminent mathematical matchmaker is still tackling the big questions and dreaming of a union between the quantum and the gravitational forces.

profile

A Life in Games

The mathematician John Horton Conway’s myriad accomplishments — including the Game of Life, sprouts and the surreal numbers — are the product of a mind at play.

About the author

Siobhan Roberts is the author of Genius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway. She writes for the “Elements” science blog at NewYorker.com, as well as Nautilus, The Walrus and Quanta.