Goldberg in The Atlantic

Friedman is 45 years old. A retired IBM programmer in Austin, Texas, he lives in an apartment playing the stock market and making collages from pictures cut out of magazines. He is also the main character in Matthew Goldberg’s latest novel. Goldberg teaches creative writing in S&T’s English and technical communication department.


A short story adapted from the novel, “Friedman in the Dark,” was published in the October 2010 issue of The Atlantic. In the story, Friedman works on his relationship with a 22-year-old girl and deals with his mother, who is bipolar and institutionalized. After she escapes from her residential facility, he has to find her and decide what to do with her.
Friedman has no first name in either the novel or the short story. “I didn’t want to think of him that way,” Goldberg says.
Goldberg, who is in his second year of teaching at S&T, worked at IBM in Austin for two years before following his passion to write. He says the novel isn’t autobiographical.
“Friedman isn’t based on any one person, but it could be anyone,” he says. “They seem to share a sense of claustrophobia and find it tough to open up to the world.”
Goldberg holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical and biomedical engineering from Duke University and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Arkansas. He feels his background in engineering makes him a good fit to teach composition to S&T undergraduates.
“I can talk about the importance of writing to engineering students,” Goldberg says. “In every job I had before I started teaching, writing was important — evaluations, presentations. When you’re writing your own performance evaluation, it helps to have good writing skills.”
Goldberg is currently working on his second novel and shopping for a publisher for the first. He tries to write three hours a day.
“I get caught up in it,” he says. “Some days it happens, other days it doesn’t.” But having the discipline to try helps his creativity. “At least it’s an address where inspiration can find me.”

Around the Puck

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

[Read More...]

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

[Read More...]

Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

[Read More...]

Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

[Read More...]

What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

[Read More...]