Science/Technology Reporter, Editor, Author
For most of my career I was an award-winning science and technology journalist, author, and documentary producer. I wrote for many kinds of readers: lay, professional, business, kids, and pretty much anyone interested in high-technology and science. In addition to explanatory journalism, I also wrote about the impact of science and technology on culture. I also made two documentaries for public television about the impact of technology on society––one on women and computing, the other about elearning.
During the past decade, I transitioned from reporting to creative writing. My parents were European Jews and I knew I had a dramatic story to tell about their struggles to outwit Hitler. People sometimes assume that all Holocaust survivors were in concentration camps but that was not so in my mother's case. My father was a refugee, but those who escaped Europe before the Nazi onslaught were often silent in the face of the suffering of their brethren stranded in the Third Reich. I applied my investigative skills to my family history and launched the project described below.
The Family Treasures Lost and Found Project: A Documentary and A Memoir
In 2014, I embarked upon a journey of discovery to fill gaps in my parents' World War II stories of survival. My father, a Polish refugee from Lwów, now Lviv, Ukraine, disclosed nothing of his pre-war life. He died at age 57 when I was 15, so I never had the opportunity to talk to him adult-to-adult. My mother survived as a slave laborer in Germany posing as a Catholic Pole. In contrast to my father, she did talk about the war, but spoke selectively to my sisters and me of her travails. I'm very grateful, however, that in 1987 at my urging, she recorded her story for the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. Her plight as a teenager at the onset of the war and through Liberation was complicated, so I scoured Poland's online and real archives to clarify and fact-check her tale.
All I knew of my enigmatic father's life in Europe was told to me by my mother and his older brother. To discover more about my father's medical school days at the University of Vienna and how he arrived in New York via the Caribbean in 1939, I perused virtual and real archives in Poland, Ukraine, Israel, and the United States. When confronted by language barriers, I hired researchers and genealogists. My father served in the U.S. Army Medical Corp and treated soldiers in Southern England, Normandy, and The Battle of the Bulge. Ultimately, I was able to match the many unlabelled photos of his wartime collection to his unit history, which I found in the National Archives.
In 2016, I visited the cities where most of the action took place: Kraków (my mother's birthplace), Vienna, Tarnów (where my maternal grandparents sent my mother in 1941 thinking it would be safer than Lwów where they were hiding on the Aryan side), and Lviv, Ukraine, previously Lwów, Poland (the location of my paternal grandparents' stunning house). I knew not only that my grandfather had buried jewels there but also just were to look. I did not know that the house is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. I also take readers to Havana, Veracruz, and New York City, where a large part of my father's story takes place.
The resulting memoir-in-progress, forthcoming 80-minute documentary, and series of five docuementary shorts chronicle my parents' and only grandfather's survival, and the fates of my other grandparents and uncle, and my investigative quest. I detail the lengths to which my father, mother, and paternal grandfather went physically, emotionally, and morally to save themselves, and how far I went to find facts. Director Marcia Rock and Consuling Producer Roger Sherman, both award-winning filmmakers, collaborated with me on the Treasures documentary.
I began my painstaking process of discovery with low expectations, and never found the material treasure my grandfather hid, but an adventure unfurled full of unexpected twists and turns. I was astounded by the rich information in 19th and early 20th century documents just waiting to be found. The most surprising reward, however, is a deep sense of connection to my lost grandparents, who until now were strangers I referred to as my mother's father, my mother's mother, and my father's mother. I discovered another kind of treasure; I learned that it is possible to love people you never met.
I directed, co-wrote, and co-produced net.LEARNING, winner of the 1998 National Education Reporting Award, Best Television Documentary and Feature. My first documentary is the award-winning Minerva's Machine: Women and Computing. For more information about these films, please see the Filmmaker page. Minerva's Machine evolved from my November 1990 article on women in computing in Communications of the ACM.
Honors and Awards
• Guest Speaker, The New York Academy of Science, "The Human Genome Project and Informatics" (November 1991, CACM).
• Net.LEARNING: 1998 National Education Reporting First Prize, Television Documentary and Feature
• Minerva's Machine: Women and Computing: Best Documentary in a Small Market, 1997 EMMA (Exceptional Merit Media Award),
given by National Women's Political Caucus and Radcliffe College
• Best Documentary, Brooklyn Arts Council's 30th Annual International Film and Video Festival
• Best Television Series, Runner Up, Eleventh Annual Computer Press Award
My short stories have appeared on MrBellersNeighborhood.com, The East Hampton Star, and most recently The Jewish Literary Journal.
Freelance Science and Technology Author and Editor
I began my career covering robotics and computer science and still report on both. What I love about these fields is that they are interdisciplinary. Most recently, I have contributed bi-weekly stories on research reports on security and cyberwarfare to CIOInsight.com. I also covered the Internet of Things (IoT), the Cloud, apps, Big Data, Open Software, project management and anything else of interest to Chief Information Officers.
I have covered women and STEM for three decades. In May and November 2014 I wrote stories on black women in tech for Essence Magazine. My stories on technology, innovation, and entrepreneurs have appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek (Businessweek.com), Bloomberg.com, Communications of the ACM, the magazine of the Association for Computing Machinery (Communications of the ACM online), FastCompany.com and YoungEntrepreneur.com. Other articles have appeared in Science Magazine, reporting for the News of the Week and News and Analysis sections, as well as for Science NOW. Stories also have recently appeared in U.S. News and World Report, Scientific American and ScientificAmerican.com.
With Isaac Asimov I co-authored Robots: Machines in Man’s Image (Crown Publishing Group/Harmony Books, 1985), which was translated into Japanese, German, Spanish, and Hungarian. It was selected by the United States Information Agency as one of 1,000 books to represent the diversity of American culture in a traveling book exhibit that toured the Soviet Union in 1987. Beginning at the Moscow Book Fair, the exhibit was called “Many Booked America: the People, Politics, and Government of the United States.”
Columns and Articles
My first online writing experience was as the technology and culture columnist for CyberTimes, The New York Times on the Web. I continued in print, though, and my articles appeared in Business Week, Discover, Forbes, Medical World News, Millimeter, Personal Computing, Publish, Technology Review, and VAR Business. As Senior Writer for Communiations of the ACM, the flagship magazine of the Association for Computing Machinery, I covered artificial intelligence, interactive multimedia, computer aided design, computer security, computers and medicine, databases and the human genome project, high-definition television, parallel processing, and supercomputers. I still bear a fascination for the power of those machines., the flagship magazine of the Association for Computing Machinery, I covered artificial intelligence, interactive multimedia, computer aided design, computer security, computers and medicine, databases and the human genome project, high-definition television, parallel processing, and supercomputers. I am still fascinated by the power of those machines.
Scripts, Columns, and Earlier Online and Magazine Articles
I've written scripts for "The Loh Down on Science," a radio show hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh for Southern California Public Radio station 89.3 KPCC FM, broadcast out of California Institute of Technology. It was great to participate in injecting a little humor into science.
M.S. in Science Communication from the Journalism Department of Boston University's School of Communication. Undergraduate degree from Hampshire College is a B.A. in philosophy of science and psychology.
• Past Board Member, Director of Programming, New York Women in Film and Television, Co-Chair, Documentary Subcommittee
• National Association of Science Writers
• Science Writers in New York
• Society for Business Editors and Writers
• The Authors Guild
• The Society of Silurians
Adjunct Instructor, New York University
I taught a six-week course online for NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, called "Reporting and Writing in the Digital Era." Students learn how to craft features for the Web, and to embed photo slideshows, video, and audio.
I also taught interviewing techniques, a five-week course in a real classroom.
Interviews and Profiles