Seth Cottrell is amazed by the universe and thinks you should be too. Starting in childhood, he studied math to be better at physics and ended up researching quantum information and earning his PhD in mathematics from NYU.
In 2008 he and a friend created a traveling booth, “Ask a Mathematician / Ask a Physicist”, appearing first at Burning Man and then in public parks around New York City, where they talked with strangers about the universe and the things in it. Seth quickly learned that practically everyone is boiling over with curiosity, but often don’t know what to ask or where to start. For all those people who said “I never thought to ask that!” he created “askamathematician.com”, a collection of questions and answers from emails and conversations.
More recently, Seth wrote a book, Do Colors Exist? (and other profound physics questions), based on nine years of questions from the website such as “How do we know that Pi never repeats?”, “What would Earth be like to us if it were a cube?”, and “Does quantum mechanics really say there is more than one me?”.
When he’s not teaching or writing, Seth lives with his wife Lauren, a psychiatrist and artist, in San Diego.