Josh Winn is from Deerfield, Illinois. He graduated from M.I.T. in 1994 with bachelor's and master's degrees in physics. After spending a year as a Fulbright Scholar in the UK, at Cambridge University, he returned to M.I.T. as a Hertz Fellow. While in graduate school, he worked in medical physics, condensed-matter physics, and astrophysics, and wrote for the science section of The Economist. He earned a Ph.D. in physics in 2001, and subsequently held N.S.F. and Hubble postdoctoral fellowships at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He joined the M.I.T. faculty in January 2006.