What's up in

Q&A

Photo of Darden sitting on her couch and smiling
Q&A

The NASA Engineer Who’s a Mathematician at Heart

January 19, 2021

Christine Darden worked at NASA for 40 years, helping make supersonic planes quieter and forging a path for women to follow in her footsteps.

Q&A

A Prodigy Who Cracked Open the Cosmos

January 12, 2021

Frank Wilczek has been at the forefront of theoretical physics for the past 50 years. He talks about winning the Nobel Prize for work he did as a student, his solution to the dark matter problem, and the God of a scientist.

Portrait photo of Catherine Dulac of Harvard University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Q&A

Catherine Dulac Finds Brain Circuitry Behind Sex-Specific Behaviors

December 14, 2020

Catherine Dulac is overturning preconceptions about “male” and “female” instincts and opening new avenues to treating postpartum depression.

Q&A

The Computer Scientist Who Shrinks Big Data

December 7, 2020

Jelani Nelson designs clever algorithms that only have to remember slivers of massive data sets. He also teaches kids in Ethiopia how to code.

Q&A

Searching Symbols for the Rules of Change

November 17, 2020

Bryna Kra searches for the patterns in sequences of numbers that explain how complicated dynamical systems evolve over time.

Cora Dvorkin in front of a starry backdrop.
Hidden Structure

The Cosmologist Who Dreams in the Universe’s Dark Threads

November 5, 2020

Cora Dvorkin discovered new possibilities for what dark matter could be. Now she’s devising unorthodox ways to identify it.

Harvard professor L. Mahadevan stands in a slightly cluttered office, holding an apple and a jar containing a miniature brain
Q&A

A Scientist Who Delights in the Mundane

October 26, 2020

From crumpled paper to termite mounds to three-sided coins, L. Mahadevan has turned the whole world into his laboratory.

Q&A

To Boldly Go Where No Internet Protocol Has Gone Before

October 21, 2020

Vinton Cerf helped create the internet 40 years ago, and he’s still working to connect people around the world — and off it.

Computer scientist and complexity researcher Carlos Gershenson of the National Autonomous University of Mexico stands by a busy urban roadway.
Q&A

Complexity Scientist Beats Traffic Jams Through Adaptation

September 28, 2020

To tame urban traffic, the computer scientist Carlos Gershenson finds that letting transportation systems adapt and self-organize often works better than trying to predict and control them.