Nets Katz was born in Arlington, Texas on August 19, 1972. His father was a theoretical physicist who left academia to become an aerospace engineer and entrepreneur, before eventually returning to academia as the Cudsworth Professor of Aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama. His mother opted to be a stay-at-home mother. He has one older sister.
He skipped three grades and attended Rice University at the age of 15. At age 20, he completed his PhD in pure math at the University of Pennsylvania, successfully passing his thesis defense in May 1993.
He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012. In 2015, he was awarded the Clay Research Award with Larry Guth. He currently is IBM Professor of Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology, where he has been since 2013.
He has a new book Calculus for Cranks, published by Yale University Press, coming out in January 2021.
(The following interview was conducted via video chat on December 14, 2020.)
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