The Columbia Science Initiative, launched in 2012, celebrates Columbia’s leadership in research and innovative teaching. It marks the first phase of a long-term commitment with tremendous potential for impact on theoretical and applied science—in sustainable energy, in biomedicine, in climate science, in the study and use of materials at the smallest limits of matter, in the study of mind and brain, in understanding the origins and makeup of the universe, in fields we cannot yet imagine.
Janna Levin, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College, is a theoretical physicist and a writer. She has contributed to an understanding of astrophysical black holes, the cosmology of extra dimensions and gravitational waves in the shape of spacetime. Levin integrates scientific themes in both fiction and nonfiction. Her second book, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, won the PEN/Bingham Fellowship for Writers that “honors an exceptionally talented fiction writer whose debut work…represents distinguides literary achievement.” It was also a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway award for “a distinguished work of first fiction.” She also wrote the popular science book How the Universe Got Its Spots.