I’m overeducated and like to tell jokes. I was raised in Milwaukee (my parents were Polish-Jewish immigrants) and have lived in Italy, Israel and everywhere in America except the Northeast. I’ve been a Duke University professor and a restaurant dishwasher (one paid a lot better, the other might have been a bit more fun). I’m generally very happy and sometimes very cranky. I’ve been married for longer than is legal in California (shhh…don’t tell the authorities). Somehow along the way, I became America’s grade inflation czar (I don’t understand how this happened, honest).

I’ve written tons of science articles, hundreds of songs, a good number of op-eds for newspapers, one opera (with composer William Susman) about Henry Ford, and two books: one published memoir about my days as a professor (Gone for Good, Oxford, 1999) and a comic novel about Polish-Russian émigrés, The Mathematician’s Shiva, which was published by Penguin Books in September 2014.

The novel is partly about the Navier-Stokes Millennium Prize problem, which examines the mathematical appropriateness of the Navier-Stokes equation to describe turbulent fluid flow. But mostly the novel is a comedy about the American immigrant experience.

I’m currently putting the finishing touches on a new novel about an Omaha family that owns an Italian restaurant whose success depends on the fragile support of Omaha’s most famous resident, Warren Buffett.

Those interested in CVs (warning: very long and ridiculously detailed like all academic CVs) can find mine here.