Describe your latest book/project.
The Little Book of String Theory is a short but searching account of modern string theory. As a practitioner of string theory, I wanted to bring it to a popular audience in a way that would cut to the main points of the subject in relatively few words.
Describe your favorite childhood teacher and how that teacher influenced you.
In seventh grade I had a math teacher named Gary Kreutzer who was fun and enthusiastic and also knew a lot of math. He was often willing to work with me by myself, and I remember learning about polynomials, systems of equations, and prime numbers with him.
Have you ever taken the Geek Test? How did you rate?
Chess or video games?
Chess, but I'm not very good at it.
What do you do for relaxation?
I play the piano, and I play games with my daughters, age 6, 4, and 1.
Douglas Adams or Scott Adams?
Douglas Adams. Don't even know who Scott Adams is.
What was your favorite book as a kid?
Depends on age. Up to 7, Oz books. At 12, The Return of the King. At 17, Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
Which country do you believe currently leads the world in science and technology? In 10 years?
The U.S. currently. In 10 years, the U.S. still, perhaps by a smaller margin.