Melanie Mitchell was born in Los Angeles, California. She attended Brown University, where she majored in mathematics and did research in astronomy, and the University of Michigan, where she received a Ph.D. in computer science. At Michigan she worked with her advisor, Douglas Hofstadter, to develop the Copycat project, a computer program that makes analogies. She is currently Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. Melanie's most recent book, Complexity: A Guided Tour, won the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Science Book Award, was named by Amazon.com as one of the ten best science books of 2009, and was longlisted for the Royal Society's 2010 book prize.
Melanie directs the Santa Fe Institute's Complexity Explorer project, which offers free online courses related to complex systems. For more information, go to http://complexityexplorer.org.