Aaron Santos is a physicist, author, teacher, and former actor/director.  He lives in Iowa with his lovely and highly talented wife Anna Lackaff.


Santos grew up in New Bedford, MA.  After graduating from New Bedford High School, he attended MIT where he received a B.S. in physics.  After graduating, he taught physics and chemistry in the Boston Public School system.  He then attended Boston University where he received a PhD in physics while studying the kinetics of the DNA melting transition in the Klein group.  More recently, his research has focused on studying emergent statistical properties in biological and other complex systems.  He currently teaches physics at Simpson College in Iowa.


Over the years, Santos has developed a strong desire to communicate science to the general public in ways that are both educational and entertaining.  Toward this end, he wrote How Many Licks?, or How to Estimate Damn Near Anything, a humorous collection of approximations: how long will it take until the Earth is covered in graves, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop, etc.  In 2012, Running Press released Santos's follow-up book, Ballparking: Practical Math for Impractical Sports Questions.  The book uses humor to explore serious math and science topics.  If you've ever wondered how fat a hockey goalie would need to be to completely block the goal or whether or not Michael Phelps could swim with cement flippers, this is probably the book for you.


In his very little spare time, Santos makes use of his acting and directing experience by animating cartoons that depict various science and math concepts.