John Allen Paulos is an extensively kudized author, popular public speaker, and monthly columnist for ABCNews.com and formerly for The Guardian. Professor of math at Temple, a state university in Philadelphia, he earned his Ph.D. in the subject from the University of Wisconsin.
His latest book, A Numerate Life explores some of the mathematical aspects of (auto)biography. Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up may be particularly relevant to CFI. Other writings of his include Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences (NY Times bestseller for 18 weeks), A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper (on the readers’ list of the Random House Modern Library’s compilation of the 100 best nonfiction books of the century), Once Upon A Number: The Hidden Mathematical Logic Of Stories (chosen by the LA Times as one of the best books of 1998), and A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market (a brief tenant on the BusinessWeek bestsellers list). He’s also written scholarly papers on probability, logic, and the philosophy of science as well as scores of OpEds, book reviews, and articles in publications such as the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Nation, Discover, The American Scholar, and The London Review of Books.
The audiences he’s addressed range from those in classrooms to members of the Smithsonian, from Harvard’s Nieman Fellows to its Hasty Pudding Club, from mathematical associations to stock market forums, and from NASA and the National Academy of Sciences to college gatherings, including the commencement assembly at the University of Wisconsin. Paulos has appeared frequently on radio and television, including a four-part BBC adaptation of A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper and appearances on the Lehrer News Hour, 20/20, Larry King, and David Letterman. In 2002 he received the University Creativity Award and in 2003 the American Association for the Advancement of Science award for promoting public understanding of science.
He’s also been cited by cultural, business, and political commentators, has an extensive web presence, and has even been the answer to a Jeopardy question. With these curious credentials, he served for two years on the editorial board of the Philadelphia Daily News where, as with his newspaper book, ABC columns, and stint at the Columbia School of Journalism, he tried to straddle the disparate realms of Pythagoras and Pulitzer.
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