I grew up in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, where I attended Parkview Center School and Roseville Area High School, as well as the University of Minnesota (more or less continuously, in one form or another, from birth until high school graduation). I often played, studied, and eventually conducted research in my father's chemistry laboratory. My mother is a retired research chemist and high school teacher. My sister is postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience at Emory University. My wife Stephanie is a "real doctor" (a.k.a. medical resident) in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Chicago.
Though I could not reliably count past 29 when I began primary school, I quickly developed a taste for mathematics. Before heading off for college, I worked under Vic Reiner to write a program to compute Tutte polynomials for hyperplane arrangements. For my undergraduate degree at Cornell University, I studied mathematics and its history, sociology, and philosophy (these latter through the College Scholar Program). My undergraduate thesis (supervised by Mike Lynch) explored the ideas of witnessing and translation in mathematics. In 2006, I worked under Luke Rogers in an NSF REU program directed by Bob Strichartz on the topic of differential equations on fractals. I lived in the Telluride House and in 2007 I joined the board of the Telluride Association. I also played trumpet and french horn with the CU Winds.
A Marshall Scholarship took me to St. John's College, Cambridge, for the 2008-9 academic year, and to the University of Edinburgh (where I was advised by Donald MacKenzie) the following year. I completed my PhD at Princeton University between 2010 and 2016 in the Program in History of Science, with a foot in both the history and mathematics departments, advised by Michael Gordin. I was an adjunct instructor in history at The College of New Jersey in Fall 2013.
Starting in Fall 2016, I am junior fellow in the Dartmouth College Society of Fellows.