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Erica Klarreich

Freelance Mathematics and Science Journalist

Berkeley, California

Erica Klarreich

My work has appeared in Quanta, Nature, The Atlantic, New Scientist, Science News, Wired and many other publications, and has been reprinted in the 2010, 2011, and 2016 volumes of "The Best Writing on Mathematics."

klarreic@nasw.org
@EricaKlarreich

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A Collector of Math and Physics Surprises

November 27, 2018 — Tadashi Tokieda lives in a world in which ordinary objects do extraordinary things. Jars of rice refuse to roll down ramps. Strips of paper slip past solid obstacles. Balls swirling inside a bowl switch direction when more balls join them. Yet Tokieda’s world is none other than our own. His public mathematics lectures could easily be mistaken for magic shows, but there’s no sleight of hand, no hidden compartments, no trick deck of cards.
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A Poet of Computation Who Uncovers Distant Truths

August 1, 2018 — The theoretical computer scientist Constantinos Daskalakis has won the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize for explicating core questions in game theory and machine learning.
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A Number Theorist Who Bridges Math and Time

August 1, 2018 — Akshay Venkatesh, a former prodigy who struggled with the genius stereotype, has won a Fields Medal for his “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics.”
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A Master of Numbers and Shapes Who Is Rewriting Arithmetic

August 1, 2018 — The 30-year-old math sensation Peter Scholze is now one of the youngest Fields medalists for “the revolution that he launched in arithmetic geometry.”
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A Mathematician Who Dances to the Joys and Sorrows of Discovery

November 20, 2017 — “Nadie te quita lo bailado.”(No one can take from you what you've danced.) For Federico Ardila, this Latin American expression epitomizes his approach to life and mathematics. It’s the driving force behind the parties he DJs in venues across the San Francisco Bay Area, where people dance till morning to the beats of his native Colombia. The dance floor is a place “where you have your freedom and you have your power, and nobody can take that away from you,” Ardila said.
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The Oracle of Arithmetic

June 28, 2016 — In 2010, a startling rumor filtered through the number theory community and reached Jared Weinstein. Apparently, some graduate student at the University of Bonn in Germany had written a paper that redid “Harris-Taylor” — a 288-page book dedicated to a single impenetrable proof in number theory — in only 37 pages.
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A Brazilian Wunderkind Who Calms Chaos

August 12, 2014 — Artur Avila’s solutions to ubiquitous problems in chaos theory have earned him Brazil’s first Fields Medal. It was pouring rain on a chilly spring day, and Artur Avila was marooned at the University of Paris Jussieu campus, minus the jacket he had misplaced before boarding a red-eye from Chicago. “Let’s wait,” said the Brazilian mathematician in a sleep-deprived drawl, his snug black T-shirt revealing the approximate physique of a sturdy World Cup midfielder.
Quanta Magazine Link to Story
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The Musical, Magical Number Theorist

August 12, 2014 — The search for artistic truth and beauty has led Manjul Bhargava to some of the most profound recent discoveries in number theory. For Manjul Bhargava, the counting numbers don’t simply line themselves up in a demure row.
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A Tenacious Explorer of Abstract Surfaces

August 12, 2014 — As an 8-year-old, Maryam Mirzakhani used to tell herself stories about the exploits of a remarkable girl. Every night at bedtime, her heroine would become mayor, travel the world or fulfill some other grand destiny.
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A Grand Vision for the Impossible

August 12, 2014 — One summer afternoon in 2001, while visiting relatives in India, Subhash Khot drifted into his default mode — quietly contemplating the limits of computation.
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Science Lives: Richard Karp

December 13, 2013 — When theoretical computer scientist Richard Karp began his graduate studies at Harvard University in 1955, there were no computer science departments. No one had even coined the term “computer science.”. The discipline was “somewhere between nonexistent and primitive,” he recalls. Nearly 60 years later, Karp, who at 78 still maintains an active research career, has done more than almost any other theoretical computer scientist to shape the discipline.
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Science Lives: Robion Kirby

November 26, 2013 — In 1963, rising mathematical star John Milnor set forth a list of what he considered the seven hardest and most important problems in the nascent field of geometric topology. Just five years later, no fewer than four of those problems had been laid to rest, largely through the efforts of a young mathematics professor whose entry into mathematics research had seemed anything but auspicious.
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About

Erica Klarreich

I have been writing about mathematics and science for a popular audience for more than fifteen years. A mathematician before I became a full-time journalist, I try to convey the essence of complex mathematical ideas to non-mathematicians, and give them a sense of the beauty and depth of mathematics.

I also enjoy plunging into topics far from my mathematical roots, and have written about fields such as economics, computer science, medicine, and biology — often as these fields relate to mathematics, but often simply for their own sake.

As a freelance journalist based in Berkeley, California, I have written for many publications, including Nature, Quanta Magazine, ScientificAmerican.com, New Scientist, American Scientist, Wired.com, Nautilus, and Science News, for which I was the mathematics correspondent for several years. I was also the Journalist in Residence at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley. My work has been reprinted in the 2010, 2011, and 2016 volumes of "The Best Writing on Mathematics."

I am a graduate of the science writing program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and I have a Ph.D. in mathematics from Stony Brook University.

For the Fall 2016 semester, I am the Journalist in Residence at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact me at klarreic@nasw.org.

Follow me on Twitter at @EricaKlarreich