Stephan Mertens is a Professor at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany, and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. After his Ph.D. with Annette Zippelius at Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany, he worked in the software industry for two years. In 1994, he moved to Magdeburg where he has worked ever since. His current research interests include phase transitions in computational complexity, parallel computing, and algorithms in statistical physics. Together with Cris Moore he is the coauthor of The Nature of Computation (Oxford University Press 2011).