Corry L. Lee is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer with a Ph.D. in particle physics and a love of data. Her science fiction short story “Shutdown,” about a former ballerina turned military commando, won the Writers of the Future award in 2011. World Fantasy Award-winning author Tim Powers says, “‘Shutdown’ is a beautifully vivid and imaginative story — this is what science fiction is supposed to do.”
Inspired by a childhood spent reading science fiction, Corry studied physics and applied mathematics in college while sneaking in writing time between classes and research. She went on to complete a Ph.D. in experimental particle physics at Harvard University (while still sneaking in writing time). For her thesis, she searched for rare decays of heavy, unstable particles created by the Stanford Linear Accelerator and recorded by the BaBar detector. BaBar and future “B-physics” experiments seek to understand a phenomenon called CP Violation, which will help explain why the universe is composed predominately out of matter (where did all the antimatter go?).
After completing her doctorate, Corry focused on writing full-time. This dream-come-true lasted three years before Corry decided that she missed data crunching and having coworkers in the same time-zone, so she ventured into the tech industry and became a data scientist at Amazon.
There, Corry applies her statistics and experimental science training to improve the Amazon shopping experience. Like most websites, Amazon runs experiments to test out new features, and Corry’s team works on ways to improve our experimental toolkit so we can more accurately detect what changes are helpful to the customer.
When she’s not writing or thinking about data, you’re likely to find Corry at the zoo with her 4-year-old, doing yoga, enjoying a night at the theatre, discovering new and delicious coffees (though this is harder now that her favorite coffee shop literally exploded), or reading a good book in the sun. That is, if she can find the sun. She lives in Seattle, Washington, and is starting to accept rainy days.