The author was born in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1969. He graduated from Cornell University (BA'90) with a degree in physics, and from the California Institute of Technology (MS'93, PhD'96) with degrees in planetary astronomy. While an undergraduate, Weisstein spent summers at Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. As a graduate student, Weisstein collaborated in the construction of a Fourier transform spectrometer operating at submillimeter wavelengths from the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
Upon completion of his doctoral thesis, Weisstein became a research scientist in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. While there, he participated in the refurbishment of the department's 40" telescope and commisioning of its new large-format CCD camera. Weisstein currently lives in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, where he works with Wolfram Research, Inc.
The author has been compiling scientific encyclopedias for more than ten years, beginning as a high school student and continuing through his college, graduate school, and post-graduate years. His mathematics encyclopedia is part of a larger project to collect and make available detailed mathematical and scientific information in a way most accessible to laypeople. The author hopes this encyclopedia and the others currently under development will provide jumping-off points for people who are interested in scientific subjects but are not necessarily experts.
Weisstein is an avid soccer fan. He played for the Bloomington Demons traveling youth team, was captain for three years of the Caltech Geology intramural team (Caltech champions two years running), and played and co-captained the Charlottesville Popes adult league team (1997-1999 champions) for two years.
Weisstein has published a number of papers on submillimeter spectroscopy of planets, the Earth's atmosphere, and the Orion Nebula. This is his first book.