Baez is known to science fans in the UseNet community as the author of This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics, an irregular column on the web featuring gossip, exposition and criticism. Baez started This Week's Finds in 1993, and it has a worldwide following. This Week's Finds anticipated the concept of a personal weblog. Baez is also known on the World Wide Web as the author of an ironic crackpot index.
Baez earned his Ph.D. at MIT in 1986, under the direction of Irving Segal. In one of his posts, Baez mentioned that he can trace his mathematical genealogy back to the famous mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss. The link to Gauss also takes in other mathematical luminaries such as Weierstrass and Riesz. See the link to the Mathematics Genealogy Project below for details.
His real, non-mathematical family tree includes the singer Joan Baez, his cousin.