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Author, ‘The Upright Thinkers’



Leonard Mlodinow, PhD, is a theoretical physicist and author, recognized for groundbreaking discoveries in physics and as the author of five best-selling books.  His book The Grand Design, co-authored with Stephen Hawking, reached #1 on the New York Times best-seller list; his book Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, won the 2013 PEN/E.O. Wilson award for literary science writing; and his book The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives was chosen as a New York Times notable book, and short-listed for the Royal Society book award.  


Mlodinow is also known through his many public lectures and media appearances on programs such ranging from Morning Joe, to Through the Wormhole, and for debating Deepak Chopra on ABC's Nightline.  He has spoken to a wide variety of audiences on topics ranging from the role of chance in our lives to how our unconscious mind affects our thoughts, decisions, and feelings—and at venues as varied as Harvard, the Major League Baseball General Manager’s Winter Meeting, Pepsico, and the World Science Festival.


Mlodinow earned his PhD in Theoretical Physics at the University of California at Berkeley in 1981.

Mlodinow has served as faculty at the California Institute of Technology as Bantrell Research Fellow in Theoretical Physics.  He later became an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich, Germany.  


In 1985, Mlodinow moved to Hollywood to pursue script writing.  Over the next several years he wrote for television series such as: Hunter, MacGyver, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the comedy series Night Court.  Meanwhile he continued to conduct physics research as a hobby.


In 1993 Mlodinow left the television and film business for computer gaming, and became producer, executive producer and designer of several award-winning games created in conjunction with Stephen Speilberg, Robin Williams, and the Walt Disney Company.  Among the awards won by his games are the Consumer Electronics Software Showcase Award; Home PC Magazine Editor's Choice Award; and the National Association of Parenting Publications Gold Medal (twice). 


Between 1997 and 2003 he was Vice President for Software Development and then Vice President and Publisher for Math Education at Scholastic Inc., the New York publisher of the Harry Potter series.  As head of Scholastic software, he created a children's games division and built it into one of the top five in the United States.


His books include Elastic: flexible thinking in a time of change (2018), The Upright Thinkers: the human journey from living in trees to understanding the universe (2015), Subliminal: how your unconscious mind rules your behavior (2012), War of The Worldviews: science vs. spirituality (2011), co-authored with Deepak Chopra, The Grand Design (2010), co-authored with Stephen Hawking, The Drunkard's Walk: how randomness rules our lives (2008), A Briefer History of Time (2005), co-authored with Stephen Hawking, Feynman's Rainbow: a search for beauty in physics and in life (2003), and Euclid's Window: The story of geometry from parallel lines to hyperspace (2001).

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