Judith R. Goodstein’s books include Einstein's Italian Mathematicians: Ricci, Levi-Civita, and the Birth of General Relativity (American Mathematical Society, 2018), The Volterra Chronicles (American Mathematical Society, 2007), Millikan's School: A History of the California Institute of Technology (W. W. Norton, 2006) and Feynman’s Lost Lecture, with her husband David Goodstein (W. W. Norton, 1996), which has been translated into a score of foreign languages.
Goodstein has also lectured at a number of institutions around the world, including the American Philosophical Society, Harvard University and San Francisco State University in the United States; the National Academy of the Lincei, the University of Rome (La Sapienza), and the University of Turin in Italy; and the University of Tokyo in Japan. She has been a frequent public speaker at Caltech where she has also taught courses in the history of science.
In addition to authoring numerous articles, oral histories and book reviews on many subjects, in particular the history of chemistry and mathematics in Italy and science in America, Goodstein also created, wrote, and narrated historical vignettes on “Airtalk: The Caltech Edition,” broadcast monthly on KPCC and simulcast on cable television for several years in addition to serving as a historical consultant and scriptwriter for “The Mechanical Universe,” a physics telecourse series funded by the Annenberg Foundation/Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Goodstein is University Archivist Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology and served as the school’s registrar.
She is a graduate of Brooklyn College and received a Doctorate in the History of Science in 1969 from the University of Washington. A resident of Pasadena, Goodstein served as a trustee of the Pasadena Museum of History for many years.