There probably aren’t too many people who link a Nobel-Prize-in-physics awardee with a NASCAR driver, but here I am.

In 2008, I published a book called The Physics of NASCAR, which set me on an amazing journey into the world of motorsports. I’ve used that entree to get racing fans interested in math and science, especially those fans who are positive that they will ‘never understand science’. Believe me: You can.


The author of the book The Physics of NASCAR, I blog about the science of auto racing here at Building Speed. I appear regularly (usually every other Friday) on the SiriusXM Speedway satellite radio program (NASCAR Channel 90) to comment on current events. She has served as a guest, contributor or writer for motorsports programming on ESPN, H2 and VOOM HD, as well as the National Science Foundation’s Science of Speed web series.


I earned undergraduate degrees in physics and philosophy from the University of North Texas and a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from Michigan State University, where I researched multilayered spin-glass systems. I spent most of my academic career in the Department of Physics at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

My Research

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, I was a leading researcher in the field of nanomedicine. I studied magnetic nanoparticles – small spheres with diameters a fraction of the width of a human hair. In addition to fundamental studies of magnetism in these materials, I developed nanoparticles for medical diagnosis and treatment processes including drug delivery, magnetic resonance imaging and chemotherapy. My research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the Office of Naval Research and other federal and state funding agencies. I have over 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers and is the co-Editor of the book Biomedical Applications of Nanotechnology.

Science Education and Outreach

I have been involved with science education for K-12 schools, future science teachers, and the public since graduate school. I was one of the founders of the Michigan State Science Theatre project. My education and outreach projects have been supported primarily by the National Science Foundation.

Public Speaking

I do a lot of public speaker, including a stint as a Sigma Xi Distinguished Speaker. She gave presentations for technical and non-technical audiences, including addresses sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. She has been covered in outlets as diverse as the New York Times Science Times and Sports Illustrated, as well as in professional society publications such as C&EN and the Materials Research Society Bulletin.


To learn more about me (including upcoming speaking engagements), please check out my personal website: