Among the group of physics honors students huddled in 1957 on a Colorado mountain watching Sputnik bisect the heavens, one young scientist was destined, three short years later, to become a key player in Americas own top-secret spy satellite program. One of our eras most prolific mathematicians, Karl Gustafson was given just two weeks to write the first US spy satellites software. The project would fundamentally alter Americas Cold War strategy, and this autobiographical account of a remarkable academic life spent in the top flight tells this fascinating inside story for the first time. Gustafson takes you from his early pioneering work in computing, through fascinating encounters with Nobel laureates and Fields medalists, to his current observations on mathematics, science and life. He tells of brushes with death, being struck by lightning, and the beautiful women who have been a part of his journey.