I was born in Atlanta, Georgia, grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and got my PhD in mathematics from the University of Warwick in England where I was a Marshall Scholar. I have been on the faculties at Princeton and Oxford, as well as Berkeley. I have been a visiting professor at Yale, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, and the Newton Institute in Cambridge, England. My research has revealed a new operator calculus which applies equally to fractals, soap films, manifolds, stratified sets, and charged particles. It unifies the discrete and smooth continuum and gives the notion of infinitesimal a rigorous foundation. These methods have been used to find the first solution to the general Plateau's problem, taking into account all soap films which arise in nature, as well as all previous solutions by Douglas, Federer and Fleming, and others.