Dr. Janna Levin is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University, where her scientific research focuses on the early universe, chaos, and black holes. Her recent book, the novel A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines (Knopf, 2006), won the PEN/Bingham Fellowship for Writers, which “honors an exceptionally talented fiction writer whose debut work . . . represents distinguished literary achievement.” She is also author of the popular science book How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a FiniteTime in a Finite Space.
Levin holds a BA in physics and astronomy with a concentration in philosophy, also from Barnard, and a PhD in physics from MIT. She worked at the Center for Particle Astrophysics (CfPA) at the University of California, Berkeley, before moving to the UK, where she worked at Cambridge University in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. Just before returning to New York, she was the first scientist-in-residence at the Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing at Oxford with an award from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and Arts (NESTA).