Yitang Zhang, Professor at the University of New Hampshire and former Member (2014) in the School of Mathematics, has been named a 2014 Fellow of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which recognizes exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant contributions in the future. Zhang is honored for his landmark achievement in analytic number theory: the so-called bounded prime gap, which essentially establishes that the difference in spacing between two consecutive prime numbers is, infinitely often, bounded by a fixed number. Members of this year’s class join 897 other MacArthur Fellows whom the Program has recognized since it began in 1981. Fellows are selected through a rigorous process that has involved thousands of expert and anonymous nominators, evaluators, and selectors over the years.
Former Member Awarded Rolf Nevanlinna Prize
Subhash Khot, Professor at New York University and former Member (2003-04) in the School of Mathematics, has received the 2014 Rolf Nevanlinna Prize, which recognizes outstanding contributions in mathematical aspects of information sciences. Khot was awarded this prize for his “prescient definition of the ‘Unique Games’ problem, and leading the effort to understand its complexity and its pivotal role in the study of efficient approximation of optimization problems; his work has led to breakthroughs in algorithmic design and approximation hardness, and to new exciting interactions between computational complexity, analysis and geometry.” The Rolf Nevanlinna Prize is awarded by the International Mathematical Union once every 4 years at the International Congress of Mathematicians.
The International Centre for Theoretical Physics awarded three former Members in the School of Natural Sciences with the 2014 Dirac Medal. Ashoke Sen (1997-98), Professor at the Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Andrew Strominger (1982-87), Professor of Physics at Harvard University and former Institute Trustee, and Gabriele Veneziano (1970, 1998) of CERN, received the award for their crucial contributions to the origin, development, and further understanding of string theory. ICTP's Dirac Medal, first awarded in 1985, is given in honor of P.A.M. Dirac, who was a Member of the Institute on numerous occasions.
The International Mathematical Union awarded two former Members in the School of Mathematics with 2014 Fields Medals. Manjul Bhargava (2001-02), Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, received the award for developing powerful new methods in the geometry of numbers, which he applied to count rings of small rank and to bound the average rank of elliptic curves. Martin Hairer (2014), Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University, received the prize for his outstanding contributions to the theory of stochastic partial differential equations, and in particular for the creation of a theory of regularity structures for such equations. The Fields Medal is awarded every four years on the occasion of the International Congress of Mathematicians to recognize outstanding mathematical achievement for existing work and for the promise of future achievement.
Edward Witten, Charles Simonyi Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, has received the 2014 Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences for his outstanding contributions to mathematical science through his exploration of superstring theory. The Kyoto Prize is an international award bestowed by the non-profit Inamori Foundation to honor those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of humankind. The prize is Japan’s highest private award for global achievement, created by noted philanthropist Dr. Kazuo Inamori.
Daniel Eisenstein, Professor at Harvard University and former Member (1996-99) in the School of Natural Sciences, has received the 2014 Shaw Prize in Astronomy, which “recognizes significant breakthroughs in academic and scientific research resulting in a positive and profound impact on mankind.” Eisenstein shares this award with Shaun Cole, Professor at Durham University, and John A. Peacock, Professor at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh, for their contributions to the measurements of features in the large-scale structure of galaxies used to constrain the cosmological model including baryon acoustic oscillations and redshift-space distortions.
James Simons, Vice Chairman of the Institute’s Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Board at Renaissance Technologies LLC and President of Euclidean Capital LLC, and Jeffrey Harvey, Institute Trustee and Enrico Fermi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Six former Institute Members were also among the eighty-four new members elected on April 29. Established in 1863 by an act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln, the National Academy serves as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in matters of science or technology.
Danielle Allen, UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Social Science, has been elected chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board. Allen replaces Paul Tash, chairman and CEO of the Times Publishing Company. The Pulitzer Prize, regarded as the highest national honor in print journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition, is awarded annually in twenty-one categories.
Angelos Chaniotis, Professor in the School of Historical Studies, was bestowed the Order of the Phoenix (Commander) by the President of the Greek Republic in recognition of his contribution to scholarship. Established in 1926, the Order of the Phoenix recognizes Greek citizens who have excelled in the arts and literature, science, public administration, shipping, commerce, and industry. Chaniotis was presented with the award by the Greek Consul General, Georgios Iliopoulos in New York City.
Two current Members in the School of Mathematics have received major awards for their contributions to the field. The Cantor Medal, which is the highest distinction of the German Mathematical Society, was awarded to Herbert Spohn for the decisive impact on the development of stochastic analysis, the theory of kinetic equations and on mathematical physics. Additionally, Yitang Zhang won the Rolf Schock Prize in Mathematics, given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, for his “spectacular breakthrough concerning the possibility of an infinite number of twin primes.”
Danielle Allen, UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Social Science, and former Visiting Professor (2009-10) Rob Reich, Associate Professor at Stanford University, have received the 2013 PROSE Award in Education for their book, Education, Justice, and Democracy (University Chicago Press, 2013). The annual PROSE Awards recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content. Education, Justice, and Democracy is a collection of essays developed over the course of the School of Social Science’s 2009–10 theme year, “The Dewey Seminar: Education, Schools, and the State,” which explored the interrelationships among education, justice, schools, and the state.
Peter Sarnak, Professor in the School of Mathematics, has received the 2014 Wolf Prize in Mathematics for his outstanding contributions to number theory, analysis, geometry, and combinatorics. Education Minister Shay Piron announced the prize laureates at a ceremony at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel, will present the recipients with their awards at a celebration at the Knesset Building in Jerusalem.
The American Astronomical Society awarded two former Members in the School of Natural Sciences with prestigious prizes for extraordinary work by young astronomers. Nadia L. Zakamska (2005-10) secured the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy for outstanding observational research based on measurements of radiation from an astronomical object. Additionally, the Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy, which recognizes a significant contribution to observational or theoretical astronomy, was awarded to Christopher Hirata (2005-07). The recipients were announced at the 223rd semiannual American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, D.C.
Michael B. Green, former Member (1970-72) in the School of Natural Sciences, and John H. Schwarz have received the 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, which recognizes transformative achievements in the field with a special focus on recent developments. The two scholars will share the prize for their work on opening new perspectives on quantum gravity and the unification of forces. The names of the winners were released on December 12 at an exclusive ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. The Fundamental Physics Prize committee includes Charles Simonyi Professor Edward Witten, and Professors Nima Arkani-Hamed, Juan Maldacena, Nathan Seiberg, and former Visitor (1997-98) Ashoke Sen and former Member (1992-93,1996) Maxim Kontsevich, among others.
The American Mathematical Society (AMS) announced the 2014 awards for outstanding achievement in mathematical research. The prizes will be presented on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore.
Phillip A. Griffiths, Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematics, was awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement, one of the highest distinctions in mathematics. Griffiths is honored for his deep and wide-ranging contributions to the field, including his work in algebraic geometry and fundamental contributions to differential geometry and differential equations. Alexander Kontorovich, a current Member in the School of Mathematics, was awarded the Levi L. Conant Prize, which recognizes the best expository paper published in either the Notices of the AMS or the Bulletin of the AMS. Kontorovich is honored for his article "From Apollonius to Zaremba: Local-global phenomena in thin orbits" (Bulletin of the AMS, 2013). Additionally, Luis Caffarelli, former Professor in the School of Mathematics (1986-96) and former Member (2009), along with Louis Nirenberg former Member (1958, 1979-80), and Robert Kohn were awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research for their landmark paper "Partial regularity of suitable weak solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations" (Communications Pure and Applied Mathematics, 1982).
The work of additional former Members of the School of Mathematics at the Institute were acknowledged with other awards, including the Joseph L. Doob Prize, given to Cédric Villani (2008-09) for his book Optimal Transport: Old and New (Springer-Verlag, 2009); the Award for Distinguished Public Service, presented to Philip Kutzko (1979, 1988-89); and the Memorial Bôcher Prize, awarded to Simon Brendle (2002-03) for his outstanding solutions of long-standing problems in geometric analysis. Additionally, former Members Daniel Goldston (1982-83, 1990), János Pintz (1990-91, 2009), and Cem Yildirim (2009) received the Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Number Theory for their work on "small gaps" between prime numbers, which is presented in their paper "Primes in tuples. I" (Annals of Mathematics, 2009). Additionally, the Leonard Eisenbud Prize was awarded to Gregory W. Moore, former Member (1986-89, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2012) in School of Natural Sciences, for work that brings mathematics and physics closer together.
Helmut Hofer, Professor in the School of Mathematics, has received the 2013 Heinz Hopf Prize for outstanding scientific work in the field of pure mathematics. The Prize is awarded by ETH Zürich every two years on the occasion of the Heinz Hopf Lectures. Hofer, who shares the prize with former Member (2001-02) Yakov Eliashberg, a Professor at Stanford University, will present “From Dynamical Systems to Geometry and Back” on December 3 at ETH.
Patricia Crone, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the School of Historical Studies, has received four major awards for her book, The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2012). The four prizes include the Albert Hourani Book Award, which recognizes outstanding publishing in Middle East studies; the Houshang Pourshariati Iranian Studies Book Award, for outstanding publishing in Iranian studies; the Central Eurasian Studies Society Book Award, awarded for important contributions to Central Eurasian studies, or that holds the greatest potential for furthering scholarship on the Central Eurasian region; and the James Henry Breasted Prize, awarded by the American Historical Society for the best book in English, in any field of history prior to CE 1000.
Current Member Shiraz Naval Minwalla and four former Members received major prizes awarded by the Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation on November 5. Both the 2014 New Horizons in Physics Prize and 2014 Physics Frontiers Prize recognize transformative achievements in the field of fundamental physics, and aim to provide recipients with more freedom and opportunity to pursue future accomplishments. Minwalla, a current Member in the School of Natural Sciences, was awarded the 2014 New Horizons in Physics Prize. Minwalla was recognized for his pioneering contributions to the study of string theory and quantum field theory, and in particular, his work on the connection between the equations of fluid dynamics and Albert Einstein's equations of general relativity. Additionally, former Member (2002-03, 2004-05, 2009-10) Freddy Cachazo was also awarded the New Horizons Physics Prize for uncovering numerous structures underlying scattering amplitudes in gauge theories and gravity. The 2014 Physics Frontiers Prize laureates include former Member (1970-72) Michael B. Green for opening new perspectives on quantum gravity and the unification of forces. Other recipients of this award include Andrew Strominger, former Member (1970-72) and Trustee (2003-08) and Cumrun Vafa, former Member (1994) in the School of Mathematics, for numerous deep and groundbreaking contributions to quantum field theory, quantum gravity, string theory, and geometry. The Fundamental Physics Prize committee includes Charles Simonyi Professor Edward Witten, and Professors Nima Arkani-Hamed, Juan Maldacena, Nathan Seiberg, and former Visitor Ashoke Sen (1997-98) and former Member Maxim Kontsevich (1992-93, 1996).
Caroline Walker Bynum, Professor Emerita in the School of Historical Studies, has been awarded the Grand Merit Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by President Joachim Gauck. The medal, which recognizes outstanding achievements in the political, social, economic, and intellectual realms, was presented to Bynum in New York City on November 4 by Consul General Busso von Alvensleben at a reception for the American Academy in Berlin, on the board of which Bynum serves.
The Tomalla Prize, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to general relativity and gravity, has been awarded to Scott Tremaine, Richard Black Professor in the School of Natural Sciences. Professor Tremaine was cited for his work on gravitational dynamics by the Tomalla Foundation for Gravity Research of Basel, Switzerland, which has administered the award since 1981 and offers the Prize every three years. Previous recipients include Nobel Laureates Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Andrei Sakharov, and Joseph Taylor. A portion of the prize money was donated by Tremaine to the Institute’s School of Natural Sciences endowment.
Patricia Crone, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the School of Historical Studies, will receive the 2013 Giorgio Levi Della Vida Medal for Excellence in Islamic Studies from the G. E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) at the University of California, Los Angeles. The medal, which is given to outstanding scholars whose work has significantly and lastingly advanced the study of Islamic civilization, will be presented to Professor Crone at a conference on October 28, “Islam and its Past: Jahiliyya and late antiquity in the Qur'an and Tradition.”
In recognition of his scholarly work, Peter Paret, Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies, has been awarded the Great Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Professor Paret has been an officer of the Order for the past decade.
Robert and Luisa Fernholz have endowed a Professorship in the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study through the Fernholz Foundation. The first Robert and Luisa Fernholz Professor is Richard Taylor, one of the world's leading number theorists who has been a Professor at the Institute since 2012. Robert Fernholz, a Trustee of the Institute since 2010, is Founder and Chairman of the Investment Committee of INTECH Investment Management, and Luisa Fernholz is Professor Emerita of Statistics at Temple University. An endowed Professorship at the Institute is supported through a contribution of $5 million or more.
Juan Maldacena, Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, and Avi Wigderson, Herbert H. Maass Professor in the School of Mathematics, have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Four former Institute Members were also among the eighty-four new members elected on April 30. Established in 1863 by an act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln, the National Academy serves as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in matters of science or technology.
Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study and Leon Levy Professor, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Also among the 198 newly elected members are eleven former Institute Members and Visitors, as well as Institute Trustee David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of the Carlyle Group. Founded in 1780 by leaders of the American Revolution, the Academy's membership of scholars, scientists, artists, and civic leaders includes twenty-three of the Institute's current Faculty and Emeriti.
Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study and Leon Levy Professor, has been selected to receive an honorary doctorate from Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands on May 24. The award recognizes Dijkgraaf’s achievements as a mathematical physicist, as well as his efforts to make science accessible to the general public, including in popular writing and presentations and in the science website he created for children, www.proefjes.nl. Gerard Meijer, President of the Radboud University Executive Board, remarked, “Like no other, Robbert Dijkgraaf has succeeded in making science more visible and accessible to the public by translating abstract scientific concepts into evocative stories. He has done both science and the general public a great service.”
Patricia Crone, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the School of Historical Studies, will receive an honorary doctorate from Leiden University in the Netherlands on February 8, 2013. She will receive the honor jointly with her collaborator Michael Cook, Class of 1943 University Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, in recognition of their “pioneering and consistently innovative” work on the history of Islam. The doctorate will be presented on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Arabic studies at Leiden.
Six former Members and a former Visitor in the Institute for Advanced Study’s School of Mathematics received major prizes at the Joint Mathematics Meetings on January 10, 2013, in San Diego. The American Mathematical Society (AMS) Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Yakov Sinai, a Member in the School in 1991. Sinai was recognized for his “pivotal role” in shaping the theory of dynamical systems, as well as his “groundbreaking” contributions to ergodic theory, probability theory, statistical mechanics, and mathematical physics. The Leroy P. Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition was awarded to former Members John Guckenheimer (1970–72 and 1988–89) and Philip Holmes (2003) for their now-classic book Nonlinear Oscillations, Dynamical Systems, and Bifurcations of Vector Fields (Springer, 1983). The AMS E. H. Moore Research Article Prize was awarded to Michael J. Larsen, a Member in 1988–90, along with Richard Pink, for their article “Finite Subgroups of Algebraic Groups” (Journal of the AMS 24, 2011). The AMS David P. Robbins Prize was awarded to Alexander Razborov, a Member in 1993–94 and a Visiting Professor in 2000–08, for his article “On the Minimal Density of Triangles in Graphs” (Combinatorics, Probability and Computing 17, 2008). The AMS–Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics was awarded to Andrew J. Majda, a Member in 1988 and 1991–92, for his work on theoretical fluid mechanics and its applications in atmospheric science and oceanography. The Mathematical Association of America awarded its Chauvenet Prize to Robert Ghrist, a Visitor in 1995, for his article "Barcodes: The Persistent Topology of Data" Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society 45 (2008).
The 2013 New Horizons in Physics Prize of the Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation has been awarded to Zohar Komargodski, a long-term Member in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study, and Davide Gaiotto, a former long-term Member (2007–12) in the School. The New Horizons in Physics Prize, which is in its inaugural year, recognizes achievement in the field of fundamental physics by promising junior researchers. Komargodski was cited for his work on the dynamics of four-dimensional field theories, which has solved a long-standing problem and led to important insights. Gaiotto, who is currently a member of the faculty of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, was recognized for "far-reaching" work on duality, gauge theory, and geometry, and for linking theories in different dimensions in unexpected ways. The New Horizons in Physics Prize was also awarded to Niklas Beisert of Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich.
Jonathan Israel, Professor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, has received the Frans Banninck Cocq Medal from the City of Amsterdam. The medal was established by the city in 1996 and is intended to be awarded for particular services to Amsterdam over a minimum of twelve years. The Mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, presented the medal on November 25 in recognition of Israel's contributions to the history of the city and of the Enlightenment.
Fifteen scholars currently affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study have been named Fellows of the American Mathematical Society for 2013, the inaugural year of the program. Among 1119 Fellows representing over 600 institutions are Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute and Leon Levy Professor; Helmut Hofer and Richard Taylor, Professors in the School of Mathematics; Edward Witten, Charles Simonyi Professor in the School of Natural Sciences; Phillip A. Griffiths and Robert P. Langlands, Professors Emeriti in the School of Mathematics; Benedict H. Gross, a Trustee of the Institute; Jürg M. Fröhlich, Mark Goresky, Dieter Kotschick, Gopal Prasad, and Eduard Zehnder, Members in the School of Mathematics; Gregory Moore, Member in the School of Natural Sciences; and Robert M. Guralnick and Christopher Skinner, Visitors in the School of Mathematics. The Fellows program was created to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to creating, explaining, advancing, and using mathematics.
Martin Rees, a Trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study and a former Member (1969–70, 1973, 1975, 1982, 1992–93, 1996) in the School of Natural Sciences, has been awarded the Isaac Newton Medal of the Institute of Physics. The award recognizes Rees’s "paradigm-shifting" contributions to relativistic astrophysics and cosmology, as well as his mentorship of scientists, his leadership in the scientific community, and the impact of his nontechnical writings on public understanding of science. Rees is Professor Emeritus of Cosmology and Astrophysics and Master of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. Previous recipients of the medal include Edward Witten, Charles Simonyi Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute. Graham Farmelo, a frequent Director’s Visitor at the Institute since 2005, was awarded the Kelvin Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics for outstanding work in communicating science to a broad audience. Farmelo is a By-Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, and author of The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom (Basic Books, 2009).
John J. Hopfield, Martin A. and Helen Chooljian Visiting Professor in Biology in the Simons Center for Systems Biology in the School of Natural Sciences, has been awarded the 2012 Society for Neuroscience Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience. The prize recognizes Hopfield's exceptional contributions to the field of computational neuroscience, including "rigorous and elegant" models of neural networks.
Patrick J. Geary, Professor in the School of Historical Studies, has received the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's Anneliese Maier Award, which honors outstanding achievement in the humanities and social sciences and seeks to strengthen German scholarship's international ties. The award was presented in Heidelberg on September 13 by Annette Schavan, the German Federal Minister for Research and Technology. The award ceremony was part of a symposium for which the award winners, their German cooperation partners and approximately one hundred other German and international humanities scholars and social scientists convened at the University of Heidelberg from September 12 to 14. The key subjects of the interdisciplinary meeting were the Europeanization of family law and new developments in medieval studies. Geary, one of seven recipients of the award in 2012, will use the 250,000 euro prize to intensify his collaboration with German and other European scholars in transcultural and genetic history.
Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus in the School of Natural Sciences, was awarded the Henri Poincaré Prize at the International Mathematical Physics Congress in August. The award recognizes Dyson's "many decisive contributions to physics and mathematical physics," including the study of quantum electrodynamics, the stability of matter, and random matrix theory. Further, the prize citation concludes, "His lifetime of achievements has been an inspiration to generations of scientists." Past recipients of the prize include Edward Witten, Charles Simonyi Professor in the School.
Juan Maldacena, Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, has received the 2012 Pomeranchuk Prize of the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics in Moscow. The award is given in memory of Isaak Yakovlevich Pomeranchuk for outstanding achievement in theoretical physics. Past recipients include Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus in the School, who won the prize in 2003.
Caroline Walker Bynum, Professor Emerita in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, has been elected to the Orden Pour le Mérite für Wissenschaften und Künste of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Orden Pour le Mérite was founded in 1740 by Frederick the Great for military service to Prussia, and in 1842 the civil class was created to recognize excellence in science, scholarship, and the arts. Bynum is one of two new members elected by the membership to the Order, which has a total of thirty-seven German and thirty-six foreign members.
Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study as of July 1, has been named a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. The honor was presented by Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, on behalf of Queen Beatrix. Dijkgraaf’s excellence as a researcher and professor were cited, as well as his advocacy for the scientific community and his contributions to culture and media. Dijkgraaf is Distinguished University Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Amsterdam and was President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2008–12).
Richard Taylor, Professor in the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Bruce Kovner, an Institute Trustee and Chairman of Caxton Alternative Management LP, is also among the 220 new members elected to the Academy in 2012, as are eight former Institute Members and Visitors. Founded in 1780 by leaders of the American Revolution, the Academy's membership of scholars, scientists, artists, and civic leaders includes twenty-three of the Institute's current Faculty and Emeriti.
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has awarded the 2012 Abel Prize to Endre Szemerédi, former Member (2007–08, 2009–10) in the School of Mathematics at the Institute. The prize committee cited Szemerédi's contributions to discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science and their "profound and lasting impact" on additive number theory and ergodic theory. Szemerédi is State of New Jersey Professor of Computer Science at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and Research Fellow at the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Robert Fernholz, a Trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study, and his wife Luisa have donated $2 million through the Fernholz Foundation to the Institute to support the Visiting Professorship they have established in the School of Mathematics. Robert Fernholz is Founder and Chairman of the Investment Committee of INTECH Investment Management, and Luisa Fernholz is Professor Emerita of Statistics at Temple University. The first Robert and Luisa Fernholz Visiting Professor is Karen Uhlenbeck, Professor and Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair in Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin, who is spending the current term at the Institute.
Rashid A. Sunyaev, the Maureen and John Hendricks Visiting Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study, has won the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics. Sunyaev was recognized for his contributions to the understanding of the early universe and the properties of black holes. He is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, and Chief Scientist at the Russian Academy of Sciences Space Research Institute. The medal will be presented April 26 by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
The National Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2012 Public Welfare Medal to Harold T. Shapiro, an Institute Trustee and President Emeritus and Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Established in 1914 to honor the use of science for the public good, the Public Welfare Medal is the Academy’s most prestigious award. Shapiro was honored for his efforts to distill, debate, and resolve complex aspects of controversial scientific issues. The award will be presented on April 30 during the Academy’s annual meeting.
The 2012 Wolf Prize in Physics has been awarded to Jacob D. Bekenstein, former Member (2009–10) in the School of Natural Sciences, for his work on black holes. Bekenstein is Polak Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Racah Institute of Physics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The 2012 Wolf Prize in Mathematics has been awarded to Michael Aschbacher, former Member (1978–79) in the School of Mathematics, for his work on the theory of finite groups, and Luis Caffarelli, former Professor (1986–96) and Member (2009) in the School of Mathematics, for his work on partial differential equations. Aschbacher is the Shaler Arthur Hanisch Professor of Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology. Caffarelli is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas, Austin. The awards will be presented in May at the Knesset in Jerusalem.
Seven individuals associated with the Institute received awards at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston on January 5. The American Mathematical Society awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research to William P. Thurston. Thurston was a Member in the School of Mathematics in 1972–73, 1976, and 1984–85. He is currently Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Mathematics at Cornell University. Former Member Björn Engquist (1991–92) received the AMS-SIAM George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics. Engquist is the Computational and Applied Mathematics Chair I Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. The Leroy P. Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition was shared by former Member Michael Aschbacher (1978–79), Shaler Arthur Hanisch Professor of Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology; former Member Richard Lyons (1978, 1985–86, 1991), Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; former Member Ronald Solomon (2003), Professor of Mathematics at the Ohio State University; and Stephen Smith. The AMS Award for Distinguished Public Service was awarded to former Member William McCallum (1995–96), University Distinguished Professor and Head of the Mathematics Department at the University of Arizona. Joseph W. Dauben, former Member (1977–78) in the School of Historical Studies, received the AMS Albert Leon Whiteman Memorial Prize, which honors notable exposition that centers on the history of mathematics and that reflects exceptional mathematical scholarship. Dauben is Distinguished Professor of History and the History of Science at Herbert H. Lehman College and a member of the Ph.D. Program in History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
The 27th annual Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences has been awarded to Rashid A. Sunyaev, the Maureen and John Hendricks Visiting Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study. Sunyaev was selected for his contributions to the theory that fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background radiation can be used to explore the properties and history of the expanding universe, and for his insights in the field of high-energy astrophysics and the study of accretion of matter onto compact stars and black holes. The Kyoto Prize, consisting of a gold medal and a $625,000 cash gift, is awarded annually in three categories by the Inamori Foundation. Award ceremonies will be held in Kyoto, Japan, in November, and there will be a Kyoto Prize Symposium in San Diego in March 2012. Sunyaev also holds the positions of director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, and chief scientist at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Space Research Institute.
The Medieval Academy of America has presented the 2011 Haskins Medal to Caroline Walker Bynum, Professor in the School of Historical Studies for her book, Wonderful Blood: Theology and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Germany and Beyond (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007). The book, which the Academy called “a disturbing, intriguing, and masterly study of Christ’s blood,” was cited for “the originality, density, clarity, and complexity of Bynum’s argument, which has broad implications for the study of late-medieval theology, religiosity, Christian-Jewish relations, and art.”
The Opportunity Equation, a partnership between the Institute for Advanced Study and Carnegie Corporation of New York, has joined Carnegie and Ashoka’s Changemakers to launch an online collaborative competition aimed at unleashing the talent, passion, and real-world skills of experts to engage students of all ages in rich science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning. The competition, Partnering for Excellence: Innovations in Science + Technology + Engineering + Math Education, calls for solutions from community partners and others that engage STEM experts in hospitals, universities, technology companies, museums, architecture firms, graphic-design studios, banks, pharmaceutical companies, and beyond.
Jean Bourgain, Professor in the School of Mathematics, is among the eighteen Foreign Associates elected to the National Academy of Sciences, while two former Members in the School of Natural Sciences, Andrew Strominger (1982-87), and Edward Wright (2000-01) are among the seventy-two newly elected Members of the Academy. All were chosen for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Strominger, who also served as a Trustee of the Institute (2003-2008), is currently Gwill E. York Professor of Physics at Harvard University, and Wright holds the David Saxon Presidential Chair in Physics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln, the National Academy serves as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.
Avi Wigderson, Herbert H. Maass Professor in the School of Mathematics, is among the 212 newly elected members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Established in 1780 by founders of the United States, the Academy is composed of scholars and practitioners from mathematics, physics, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, public affairs, and business, giving it a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary studies and public policy research. Thirteen former Institute Members and Visitors were also elected to the Academy’s 2011 class.
Martin Rees, Trustee of the Institute and former Member (1969-70, 1973, 1975, 1982, 1992-93, 1996) in the School of Natural Sciences, has been awarded the 2011 Templeton Prize. The announcement cited his insights into the mysteries of the Big Bang and black holes in space that have “provoked vital questions that address mankind’s deepest hopes and fears.” Rees is currently Master of Trinity College in the University of Cambridge, where he is also Professor Emeritus of Cosmology and Astrophysics. He is a former President of the Royal Society and has held the honorary title of Astronomer Royal since 1995. Previous Templeton Prize recipients include Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus in the School of Natural Sciences, who was awarded the prize in 2000.
With funding from the European Research Council, a new multidisciplinary research program, Towards a Critical Moral Anthropology, is being developed at the Institute for Advanced Study and the Institut de recherche interdisciplinaire sur les enjeux sociaux of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Didier Fassin, James D. Wolfensohn Professor in the School of Social Science, is coordinating the initiative with a team of twelve social scientists, including anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists on both sides of the Atlantic. Visit the new website here to learn more.
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has awarded the 2011 Abel Prize to John W. Milnor for his pioneering discoveries in topology, geometry, and algebra. Milnor served on the Faculty of the School of Mathematics at the Institute from 1970 to 1990 and was a Member in the School in 1966. He recently visited the Institute for its eightieth anniversary celebration, where he gave a talk that may be seen here. Milnor is currently Co-Director of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Stony Brook University.
Angelos Chaniotis, Professor in the School of Historical Studies, is one of the recipients of the State Literature Prize for 2010, awarded by the Greek Ministry of Culture. Chaniotis received the prize in the essay category for his book Theatricality and Public Life in the Hellenistic World, published in Greek (Iraklion, Crete University Press 2009), which exploits literary sources, inscriptions, and images to study the theatrical behavior of statesmen and kings in the Hellenistic period (ca. 330-30 BC), the perception of political life as a staged drama, and the influence of theatrical performances on political oratory and public rituals.
Danielle Allen, UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Social Science, has been named to the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, recently established by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to bolster teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences, fields that are critical to culture, education, and to America’s economic competitiveness. The commission, formed in response to a bipartisan Congressional request, expects to complete its work over the next eighteen to twenty-four months.
Avishai Margalit, George F. Kennan Professor in the School of Historical Studies, will receive the 2011 Leopold-Lucas Prize at ceremonies in Germany in May, when he will present a lecture entitled “Apostasy.” The prize is presented annually by the Faculty of Protestant Theology, on behalf of the Eberhard-Karls University, Tübingen, to honor outstanding achievements in the fields of theology, intellectual history, historical research, and philosophy.
Images of America: Institute for Advanced Study, a pictorial history by Linda G. Arntzenius, has been published by Arcadia Publishing. This latest addition to the Images of America series celebrates the Institute’s unique character and history and features some 189 images, drawing upon photographs from the Institute’s archives along with images from the collections of Princeton residents and others. The book is available now in bookstores and online.
Arntzenius will be signing copies of the book at Princeton Public Library on March 12 from 2-4 p.m.
Ten individuals associated with the Institute received awards at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans on January 7. The American Mathematical Society awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement to John W. Milnor. Milnor served on the School of Mathematics Faculty at the Institute from 1970 to 1990 and was a Member in the School in 1966. He is currently Co-Director of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Stony Brook University. Former Member Ingrid Daubechies (1999) received the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research. A professor at Duke University, Daubechies has served on the organizing committee of Women and Mathematics, a joint program of the Institute and Princeton University, since the program’s inception in 1994. Eight additional former Members were also honored, including Henryk Iwaniec (1983–84, 1986–88, 1999–2000), who received the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition; Peter Kronheimer (1987–88, 1988–89) and Tomasz Mrowka (2003–04), who shared the Joseph L. Doob Prize; Chandrashekhar Khare (2010–11), who shared the Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Number Theory with Jean-Pierre Wintenberger; David Vogan (1977–78, 1978–79), who received the Levi L. Conant Prize; Herbert Spohn (1990), who was awarded the Leonard Eisenbud Prize for Mathematics and Physics; Peter Winkler (2003–04), who shared the David P. Robbins Prize with Mike Paterson, Yuval Peres, Mikkel Thorup, and Uri Zwick; and Rhonda Hughes (1982–83), who received the M. Gweneth Humphreys Award for Mentorship of Undergraduate Women in Mathematics.
Oleg Grabar (1929-2011), Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies, was awarded the 2010 Chairman's Award by the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in ceremonies held in the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar. The award was established to honor achievements that fall outside the scope of excellence in architecture for which their main award is given, and is made in recognition of the lifetime achievements of distinguished architects and academics. It has been presented on only three previous occasions. Grabar was cited in acknowledgement of the valuable contributions he has made to the study of the Islamic world’s architectural evolution, from the early Islamic period up to the present. You may view the awards ceremony here. The Chairman's Award is presented beginning at 36:13 on the video.
Jonathan Israel, Professor in the School of Historical Studies, has been awarded the 2010 Benjamin Franklin Medal by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) for his outstanding contribution to Enlightenment scholarship. The medal is awarded annually to those who have made profound efforts to forward Anglo-American understanding in areas closely linked to the RSA’s agenda. It is also recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to global affairs through cooperation and collaboration between the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science has awarded the Lorentz Medal to Edward Witten, Charles Simonyi Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, for his pioneering contributions to the mathematical description of fundamental forces and elementary particles, including contributions to string theory. The medal, presented at ceremonies in Amsterdam in June, is awarded every four years to a scientist in recognition of important contributions to theoretical physics. Witten has also been awarded the Isaac Newton medal by the Institute of Physics for his many profound contributions that have transformed areas of particle theory, quantum field theory, and general relativity. Introduced in 2008, the medal is awarded annually internationally for outstanding contributions to physics. Witten received the award in London on July 2 at a meeting of the Institute of Physics at which he will give the Isaac Newton lecture on “String Theory and the Universe.”
Thomas Spencer, Professor in the School of Mathematics, is among the seventy-two new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Members are selected for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln, the National Academy serves as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.
The Opportunity Equation, established by the Institute for Advanced Study and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, has launched a new website, designed to be an information hub for educators, parents, policymakers, business leaders, and others who share a sense of urgency about the need to transform math and science education for all American students. The website offers resources for the growing community of advocates of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the so-called “STEM” disciplines. It is expected that the resources on this site will help accelerate progress on making high quality STEM education a reality by challenging and guiding transformative change.
Avishai Margalit, George F. Kennan Professor in the School of Historical Studies, has been awarded the 2010 Israel Prize in Philosophy. The award was announced by Israel’s Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar. The Israel Prize committee cited Margalit as one of the most important philosophers in Israel and throughout the world. The prize, considered Israel’s most distinguished award, will be presented in a state ceremony in Jerusalem, in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, the Knesset chairperson, and the Supreme Court president.
The 2010 Wolf Prize in Mathematics will be awarded to Shing-Tung Yau, formerly a Professor, from 1980-84, and a Member, from 1971-72 and from 1979-80, in the Institute's School of Mathematics. He will share the prize with Dennis Sullivan, former Visitor (1968-70) in the School of Mathematics. Yau, William Caspar Graustein Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, was selected for his work in geometric analysis, and Sullivan, Professor of Mathematics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, was selected for contributions to algebraic topology and conformal dynamics.