I am a journalist and author in Brooklyn, on staff at the Financial Times, focused on data journalism and magazine features.
I lead the paper's US data journalism team, and often write for its weekend magazine. Recently I've written about horse racing, chess, prediction markets, flagpoles, sound underground, the fentanyl crisis and supply chain, the “metaverse”, fantasy football, a town filled with chatbots, backgammon, poker and crosswords.
I studied artificial intelligence as a Nieman fellow, and taught a course called Telling Stories with Data.
I was a generalist features writer. I wrote about crossword plagiarism, nuclear conflict, playing chess with Magnus Carlsen and the darkest town in the US. I was also the puzzle editor, overseeing a weekly math column called The Riddler.
I did a PhD in economics with a focus on game theory. My dissertation had to do with the strategic behavior of politicians.
My work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Aeon, Air Mail, Lit Hub, Nieman Reports, Nautilus, Edible Brooklyn, New York Observer, The Pudding and Politico Magazine. Sometimes I write crossword puzzles.
For millennia, human beings have played games. For decades, computer scientists have developed artificial intelligence to beat human players—in checkers, chess, Go, backgammon, poker, Scrabble and bridge, among others. This book is a narrative history of that human-machine collision. It is also an essay on what artificial intelligence and games mean for our species and its future.
A collection of my weekly math columns and the first book under the FiveThirtyEight banner. Will Shortz called it “a modern, smart puzzle book, unlike anything I’ve seen before, whose math and logic challenges will stretch your brain in new ways.”