Paul J. Nahin (born November 26, 1940 in Orange County, California) is an American electrical engineer and author who has written 20 books on topics in physics and mathematics, including biographies of Oliver Heaviside, George Boole, and Claude Shannon, books on mathematical concepts such as Euler's formula and the imaginary unit, and a number of books on the physics and philosophical puzzles of time travel.

Born in California, he graduated from Brea Olinda High School in 1958, and thereafter received a B.S. from Stanford University in 1962, an M.S. from the California Institute of Technology in 1963, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine in 1972, all in electrical engineering.[1]

He thereafter taught at Harvey Mudd College, the University of Virginia, and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.[1] As of 2004, Nahin was an emeritus professor of electrical engineering at the University of New Hampshire.

Nahin received the 2017 Chandler Davis Prize for Excellence in Expository Writing in Mathematics[2] and, in 1979, the first Harry Rowe Mimno writing award[3] from the IEEE Areospace and Electronic Systems Society.

He married Patricia A. Telepka in 1962.



  1. ^ a b Electrical and computer engineering expert offers annual Sampson Lecture Bates College News (March 23, 2011).
  2. ^ "The Mathematical Intelligencer". Springer. Retrieved 2022-11-25.
  3. ^ "Harry Rowe Mimno Award". IEEE AESS. 2020-12-09. Retrieved 2022-11-25.
  4. ^ Bultheel, Adhemar. "In Pursuit of Zeta-3". Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 2022-11-25.
  5. ^ A. Bultheel (2014) Review: Intersect from European Mathematical Society.
  6. ^ Henry Ricardo (2006) Review: Euler's Fabulous from Mathematical Association of America.
  7. ^ Reviews of Chases and Escapes:
  8. ^ Danielle L. Parker (2006) Review:Time Travel from Bewildering Stories.
  9. ^ Ed Sandifer (1999) Review:Imaginary Tale from Mathematical Association of America.
  10. ^ Blank, Brian E. (November 1999). "Review of An imaginary tale: The story of √-1 by Paul J. Nahin" (PDF). Notices of the AMS. 46 (10): 1233–1236.
  11. ^ Y.H. Ku (1989) Journal of the Franklin Institute 326:3.
  12. ^ Robert Rosenberg (1989) Isis.
  13. ^ George E. Webb (1989) The Historian, Review of Oliver Heaviside.
  14. ^ Jed Buchwald (1991) Centaurus. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0498.1985.tb00750.x