Pure to Applied

Unconventional mathematician Robert Ghrist is using one of mathematics’ most abstract disciplines—algebraic topology—to solve real-world problems in robotics and sensor networks.

The Waymaker

Andy Strauss has spent 25 years preserving land and creating trails to restore natural beauty to blighted landscapes. Now he has a vision for the hardscrabble coal country of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Unconditional Pavlov

Daniel Todes spent 25 years researching and writing his epochal biography of Ivan Pavlov. The result is a science historian’s answer to Tolstoy, Turgenev, and Dr. Zhivago.

Living Up to the Lipstick

In the two decades since her breast-cancer diagnosis, Geralyn Lucas C’89 has become an icon and inspiration to fellow survivors for her flamboyant and gleefully defiant response to her disease. It all started with her choice of lipstick to wear for her mastectomy.

Elementary

Even in the era of Big Science, some of the greatest discoveries start with someone—Penn physics professor and Nobel contender Charles Kane, for instance—just sitting in a room and thinking.

The T-Cell Warriors

Four years after a tentative but tantalizing breakthrough against leukemia, Carl June and Bruce Levine C’84 have gone from the fringes of gene therapy to the center of a revolutionary approach to cancer treatment.

Journey from the East

More than 80 years ago, the paths of two Penn students—one from China, the other from New Jersey—intersected. The resulting friendship changed their lives, and those of their families.

Down By Law

Alice Goffman was a Penn undergraduate when she began doing the fieldwork for the project that became On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. It’s an important, unsettling exploration of a serious issue. Just try not to focus on her.

Penn’s Ebola Fighters

They tend to be uncomfortable with terms like “fighter” and “hero,” but it’s hard to know what else to call these alumni and staff volunteers who’ve traveled to the heart of the epidemic to do whatever they can to help its victims.

Cue the Middlemen

Whether you’re in the market for exotic pickles or looking to invest in the next up-and-coming urban neighborhood, these alumni-owned online businesses have you covered.

The Good Neighbor

As a Zionist soldier, civil-rights advocate, and pioneer of joint nonviolent activism between Israelis and Palestinians, Hillel Bardin has dedicated most of his adult life to the pursuit of a most elusive peace.