A biography such as this one represents not only the solitary work of the author but also, over time, the cumulative help and cooperation of literally hundreds of people. In the writing of this book, I have incurred many debts of gratitude -- too many to credit them all. However, here are those who deserve special thanks:
To my husband, Brett, who endured my nocturnal work habits and also my frequent absences when I traveled to China and all over the United States to research this book. His love, good humor, and incredible patience sustained me throughout the development of this biography.
To my editor, Susan Rabiner, who took a gamble on an unknown, untested writer when she signed me on and then spent countless hours nurturing me. Without her guidance, insight, and brilliant editing, this book would simply not be possible. To her assistants, Sarah Stickle and Justin McShea, for their help throughout the project.
To all the participants of the oral history interviews that provided the life and heartbeat of the book, who, alas, are too numerous to list here. To the alumni of Caltech and MIT who took the time to write me letters -- some longer than twenty pages -- based on a mailing of questionnaires to their homes. Copies of