K.C. Cole spent her early childhood in Rio de Janeiro, and grew up in Port Washington, New York, and Shaker Heights, Ohio. After graduating from Barnard College with a BA in political science, she worked for Radio Free Europe as an editor, and subsequently lived in the former Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union and Hungary. She became a writer almost serendipitously when her piece on the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia appeared in the New York Times Magazine. While working as a writer and editor at the Saturday Review in San Francisco, she developed a love of physics through Frank Oppenheimer's Exploratorium and started writing about science -- initially in the New York Times "Hers" column and a column in the Washington Post magazine. In the late 1970s, she became an editor at Newsday, and began writing personal essays on politics, humor and women's issues. Her first book, "What Only a Mother Can Tell You About Having a Baby," was published by Doubleday in 1982. A collection of essays, "Between the Lines," appeared two years later.

Since that time, Cole has been writing mostly about physics and mathematics for a wide variety of publications ranging from the New York Times Magazine and Newsweek to Esquire and Lear's. She wrote a column for Discover magazine when it was part of Time, Inc. in New York, and later became an editor for a subsequent incarnation of Discover under Disney in Los Angeles. Since 1994, she has covered physical science for The Los Angeles Times, where she also writes the column, "Mind Over Matter."

Cole is the author of the national best seller "The Universe and the Teacup: The Mathematics of Truth and Beauty," and also "First You Build a Cloud: Reflections on Physics as a Way of Life." She has taught science writing as a Fellow at Yale and Wesleyan universities, and is currently Adjunct Professor of Science, Society and Communication at the University of California at Los Angeles. She is an active member of JAWS (Journalism and Women Symposium) and a director of PEN West.

Among her recent awards are the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award in 1995, the Skeptics Society Edward R. Murrow Award for Thoughtful Coverage of Scientific Controversies in 1998, and the Los Angeles Times award for deadline reporting, also 1998.