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The On Being Project

Janna Levin

Mathematics, Purpose, and Truth

An astrophysicist who studies the shape of the universe, Janna Levin has also explored her science by writing a novel about two pivotal 20th-century mathematicians, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing. Both men pushed at boundaries where mathematics presses on grand questions of meaning and purpose. Such questions, she says, help create the technologies that are now changing our sense of what it means to be human.
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  • Janna Levin

    Janna Levin

    is an astrophysicist and writer. She has contributed to an understanding of black holes, the cosmology of extra dimensions, and gravitational waves in the shape of spacetime. She is the author of A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, which won the PEN/Bingham prize.