I awoke on Jan. 31, 2016, to the dawn of a cold, gray, winter day. A heavy snowfall was expected later that day, and I could feel its impending arrival. Groggily, I found my way to my kitchen in search of strong coffee and sustenance. My head ached. I hadn’t slept well over the weekend, consumed by a physics problem that had kept me up late and disturbed my dreams, as I turned over and over in my mind the possible solutions, without feeling any nearer to the breakthrough I needed. But I wasn’t giving up.