Smarandache was born in Bălceşti, in the Romanian county of Vâlcea. According to his own autobiographical accounts, in 1986 he was refused an exit visa by the Ceauşescu regime that would have allowed him to attend the International Congress of Mathematicians at the University of California, Berkeley. He fled Romania in 1988, leaving behind his son and pregnant wife; after two years in refugee camps in Turkey, he immigrated to the United States in 1990. He was employed as a software engineer at a Honeywell facility in Phoenix, Arizona from 1990 to 1995 and was an adjunct professor at Pima Community College in Tucson from 1995 to 1997. He obtained a doctorate in mathematics from the Moldova State University, in 1997. From 1997 to 2003 he was an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico, Gallup. He was promoted to Associate Professor of Mathematics in 2003; he is currently chairman of the Gallup Branch Department of Mathematics and Sciences.
Smarandache has published material classified diversely as art, poems, theatre plays, translations, novels, dramas and fiction in Romanian, French, and English. Some of his literary and philosophical writings are described by him as paradoxical; indeed, Smarandache also describes himself as the leader of an avant-garde movement in the arts and sciences called "paradoxism" which he set up in the 1980s as an anti-totalitarian protest against the regime in Romania.
According to Smarandache "The goal is to enlarge the artistic sphere through non-artistic elements. ... 'The flying of a bird', for example, represents a "natural poem", that is not necessary to write down, being more palpable and perceptible in any language than some signs laid on the paper, which, in fact, represent an "artificial poem"".
In number theory Smarandache's name has been attached to various objects.
The Smarandache constant is the positive solution of . Its value is . Smarandache conjectured that x is in fact the smallest solution of as n varies, where is the nth prime, and interpreted this as a generalization of Andrica's conjecture. It should not be confused with a list of sixteen Smarandache constants denoted s1 to s16, which involve the Smarandache function S(n), defined to be the smallest integer such that is divisible by .
A Generalized Smarandache Palindrome is a concatenated number of the form: for , or , for , where all are positive integers of various number of digits in a given base .
Smarandache has harshly criticized the moderators of ArXiv.org (the most widely used eprint server in mathematics and theoretical physics) who he claims have put him on a "blacklist", moving his submissions to the GM (General Mathematics) category instead of accepting them as contributions to the intended field, or rejecting them outright. Smarandache attributes this to the fact that
....there is a MAFIA IN SCIENCE which ignores or even boycotts some scientists and ideas, while propagandistically promoting only theirs through the main mass-media that mafia controls! [...] Blacklisted scientists are subject to derision, ignorance, insults, lies, false accusations, personal attacks against them, misinterpretations regarding their research, culture, faith, etc. Prizes, awards, fellowships, high positions, etc. are all manipulated by this international mafia in science that rejects any dissident scientist [...]
..."theories" [which] continue to be rejected by the physics community as ill-informed speculation, [while] their proponents continue to promulgate them in rather obscure journals.
Smarandache is one of five "Editors-in-chief" of International Journal of Applied Mathematics & Statistics, which is a printed international mathematical journal started in December 2003.
He is also Associate Editor of Progress in Physics, an alternative printed and online journal in experimental and theoretical physics which was started in 2005 with the Mathematics Department at UNM-Gallup as its address.