Institute for Advanced Study

By Joan Wallach Scott

Why—despite decades (indeed centuries)—of social protest, policy initiatives, educational reform, nongovernmental organization activity, national and international legislation—does gender inequality persist? 

Ideas

“We feel strongly that the spirit characteristic of America at its noblest, above all the pursuit of higher learning, cannot admit of any conditions as to personnel other than those designed to promote the objects for which this institution is established, and particularly with no regard whatever to accidents of race, creed, or sex.”
Joan Breton Connelly

By Joan Breton Connelly

The Parthenon sculptures conveyed genealogical myths that answered for the Athenians the most basic human questions. The cosmic and epic narratives, and the great boundary catastrophes of war and deluge, established frameworks for understanding the distant past. 

Video

Cedric Villani

By Cédric Villani

Can one predict future arrangements of planets over extremely large time periods? Cédric Villani explores the long time behavior of a plasma and the long-term stability for incompressible fluids. 

Ideas

By John J. Hopfield

Tornadoes are a high-level description of the motions of enormous numbers of interacting molecules. We want to understand how mind emerges from brain, just as we understand how tornadoes emerge from molecules.

In the last six months, Juan Maldacena, Carl P. Feinberg Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, has received three major awards: the Lorentz Medal of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences; the 2018 Einstein Medal from the Albert Einstein Society in Bern; and most recently the Richard E. Prange Prize and Lectureship in Condensed Matter Theory and Related Areas. The following is an edited Q&A with the Institute Letter.

Ideas

By Angelos Chaniotis

What are the means through which ancient artists represented the emotions of gods, mythical heroes, and “real” people? How were images and texts exploited to arouse emotions in an ancient (and modern) audience?

By Akshay Venkatesh

Locally symmetric spaces are the home of the Langlands program—a set of overarching and interconnected conjectures connecting representation theory to number theory, first proposed in 1967 by Robert Langlands, now Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematics. These spaces have become a crossroads for many different strands of mathematical thought.

Ideas

By Linda Jane Goddard

Gauguin aligned the visual artist with the “primitive” and the writer with the ­“civilized” but was ambivalently suspended between the two.  Although skeptical of critics (he claimed that art needed no verbal commentary), Gauguin nonetheless wrote a good deal. 

By Robbert Dijkgraaf

It is difficult to convey the enormous impact of his revolutionary idea. Langlands showed how the same formula can originate from two entirely different worlds of thought. To employ another metaphor: it is as if two chefs cooking with two entirely different recipes, ingredients, and methods of preparation, produce exactly the same dish.