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.
Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study and Leon Levy Professor, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society in its Mathematical and Physical Sciences Class. Among the thirty-four other leading scholars recently elected for membership are four former Institute Members and Visitors. The American Philosophical Society is the nation's oldest learned society, founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of "promoting useful knowledge."
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.