Nancy Blachman’s love of mathematics and puzzles goes back to her high school days when she took George Polya’s short course in mathematical logic, did a research project on continued fractions, and participated in the Saint Mary’s Math Contest, which was held at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California. These experiences taught her that it was more fun to learn by discovery than to be told how to solve problems or just apply formulae. She subsequently earned a B.Sc. in applied mathematics, an M.S. in computer science, and an M.S. in operations research from the University of Birmingham (UK), Stanford, and UC Berkeley, respectively. She taught a course in problem solving with Mathematica at Stanford from 1990 to 1997.

Nancy has written several books on Mathematica, in 2003 created Google Guide, and in 2007 founded the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival, which inspires students to explore the richness and beauty of mathematics collaboratively. She is the former Chair of the Board of Gathering 4 Gardner and she is currently Chair of the UCB IEOR Advisory Board.