Katherine Addison is the pen name of Sarah Monette.
She grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one of the three secret cities of the Manhattan Project. She got her B.A. from Case Western Reserve University, her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Despite being summa cum laude, none of her degrees is of the slightest use to her in either her day job or her writing, which she feels is an object lesson for us all.