Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 4:30pm
Nathan Seiberg, Professor, School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study
In recent decades, physicists and astronomers have discovered two beautiful Standard Models of particle physics, one for the quantum world of extremely short distances, and one for the Universe as a whole.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 4:30pm
Patrick J. Geary, Professor, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study
Historians have debated for centuries the magnitude, nature, and impact of population movements from the borders of the Roman Empire into its heart between the fourth and seventh centuries. Were barbarian peoples distinct ethnic groups whose arrivals in the Empire ended centuries of wandering, or were they heterogeneous coalitions formed in the recent past on the Empire’s borders? Did they replace local populations, simply dominate them, or rapidly merge with them? Did they cause the disintegration of the Roman Empire? Did these migrations even take place at all?
Friday, November 8, 2013 - 4:30pm
Jennifer Chayes, Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director of Microsoft Research New England and New York City
Everywhere we turn these days, we find that networks can be used to describe relevant interactions. In the high-tech world, we see the Internet, the World Wide Web, mobile phone networks, and a variety of online social networks. In economics, we are increasingly experiencing both the positive and negative effects of a global-networked economy. In epidemiology, we find disease spreading over our ever-growing social networks, complicated by mutation of the disease agents.
Friday, October 25, 2013 - 5:30pm
Dani Rodrik, Albert O. Hirschman Professor, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study
Developing countries, led by Asia, have grown significantly more rapidly than mature economies over the last two decades, closing the gap between them. Historically, this experience is quite anomalous, since economic convergence has been the exception rather than the rule. In this lecture, political economist Dani Rodrik, Albert O.
Friday, November 8, 2013 - 5:30pm
Quentin Skinner, Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary University of London
In this lecture, Quentin Skinner, Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary University of London, will discuss the concept of individual freedom, arguing that the usual practice of defining it in negative terms as “absence of interference” is in need of qualification and perhaps abandonment. Because the concept of interference is such a complex one, there has been much dispute, even within the liberal tradition, about the conditions under which it may be legitimate to cl
A Life Inside the Center
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 5:00pm
Ray Monk, Professor, University of Southampton
In this lecture, Ray Monk, author of Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center (Random House, 2013), will tell the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Institute's third Director (1947–66), in the context of the momentous developments in which he played a leading part.
Black Holes and Their Gusty Influence on the Birth of Galaxies
Friday, May 10, 2013 - 5:00pm
Nadia Zakamska, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University
Galaxies are the visible building blocks of the universe, astrophysical laboratories that have profoundly informed our knowledge of cosmology and nature. Black holes—once a bizarre mathematical consequence of Einstein’s relativity theory—are now mainstream astronomy, thanks to studies of the centers of nearby galaxies in which these exotic objects are routinely found. Galaxies and black holes form together under the influence of gravity until the powerful winds fueled by black holes snuff out the candle of star formation.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 4:30pm
Mark Goresky, Long-term Member, School of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study
Cellular telephones, GPS, radar imaging, and most other modern wireless systems would not exist without the sophisticated mathematical and digital techniques that are used to encode and decode their messages. These "spread spectrum" methods, under continuous development since the 1960s, have facilitated spectacular improvements in the performance and reliability of wireless communications.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 4:30pm
Didier Fassin, James D. Wolfensohn Professor, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study
“Civilized countries did offer the right of asylum to those who, for political reasons, had been persecuted by their governments, and this practice, though never officially incorporated into any constitution, has functioned well enough throughout the nineteenth and even in the twentieth century; the trouble arose when it appeared that the new categories of persecuted were far too numerous to be handled by an unofficial practice destined for exceptional cases,” writes Hannah Arendt.
Friday, May 3, 2013 - 5:30pm
Matias Zaldarriaga, Professor, School of Natural Sciences
On March 21, 2013, the most detailed map of the infant universe to date was publicly released, showing relic radiation from the Big Bang, imprinted when the universe was just 380,000 years old. This was the first release of cosmological data from the Planck satellite, a mission of the European space agency that was initiated in 1996 and involved hundreds of scientists in over thirteen countries.