What's up in

Q&A

Liz MacDonald holding a banner printed with the STEVE aurora.
Q&A

The Scientist Leading the World’s Aurora Hunters

July 9, 2020

Liz MacDonald realized that if she wanted to create the world’s best aurora map, she needed a secret ingredient: Twitter.

Katie Mack portrait.
Q&A

This Cosmologist Knows How It’s All Going to End

June 22, 2020

The astrophysicist and social media phenom Katie Mack is ready to tell you about the fate of the universe.

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.

Paleontologist Pincelli Hull
Q&A

A Rapid End Strikes the Dinosaur Extinction Debate

March 25, 2020

The paleontologist Pincelli Hull has nailed down the timing and speed of the extinction that killed off the dinosaurs — details that carry ominous warnings for today.

Photo of Ronald Rivest sitting in his office
Q&A

Cryptography Pioneer Seeks Secure Elections the Low-Tech Way

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

Q&A

The Man Making Rwanda Into a Hub for Physics

March 3, 2020

As the founding director of a new institute for fundamental research in Rwanda, the physicist Omololu Akin-Ojo hopes to stem the brain drain of Africa’s brightest minds.

Photo of James P. Allison sitting at his desk at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Q&A

The Contrarian Who Cures Cancers

February 3, 2020

James P. Allison believed that unleashing the immune system was a way to beat cancer when almost no one else did. A Nobel Prize and a growing list of cancer survivors vindicate him.

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.