, theoretical astrophysicist, was born on February 8, 1957 in Freiburg, Germany. The family emigrated to the USA when she was nine years old.
She earned a BA in physics at Princeton University, an MA from Columbia University, and a PhD from the University of Chicago. She then went on to postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard, the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California in Santa Barbara, and Presidential Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.
After that, Freese was an assistant professor at MIT, a professor of Physics at the University of Michigan, Director of Nordita (the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics in Stockholm), and as a Visiting Professor at Stockholm University. In 2019 she took a position at the University of Texas at Austin where she holds an endowed chair in physics.
Freese was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2009, and in 2020 was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 2019 she received the Lilienfeld Prize from the American Physical Society “for groundbreaking research at the interface of cosmology and particle physics, and her tireless efforts to communicate the excitement of physics to the general public.” As part of her scientific outreach she appeared in two seasons of Through the Wormhole
with Morgan Freeman.