February 20, 2020

Vannevar Bush’s seminal report “Science, The Endless Frontier,” was a blueprint for U.S. scientific research in the post–World War II era that heralded government support for innovation. In this symposium, Robbert Dijkgraaf will join the panel “From Basic Research to Innovation and Economic Growth, and the Next 75 Years,” to examine the prescient report and consider how science can continue to spark discoveries that benefit the entire world. Talks will be streamed on February 26 from Washington, D.C.

Ideas

By Enrico Bombieri

As the poet Keats wrote, beauty is truth, truth beauty. In their search for truth, mathematicians, sometimes involuntarily, use beauty as a guide.  
2020 IAS Public Policy Lecture
March 10, 2020 | 5:307:00pm

A political economy is made, not born. The United States adopted one political economy at the outset of the New Deal, and then replaced it with another—which seems increasingly unpopular domestically and globally—during the last quarter of the twentieth century. How did this happen, and what have been the effects? Nicholas Lemann, Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism at Columbia University, will explore these questions.

IAS News

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory, officially advising no travel to China due to the coronavirus. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is requesting that those who have traveled to the U.S. from China self-isolate for a period of 14 days.

IAS is requesting that all Faculty, Members, staff, and any friends and visitors who have recently been in China, wait to attend events on our campus until after they have completed the recommended 14-day self-isolation period.

At IAS, we are committed to following government guidelines and supporting a healthy community. Thank you for your help in our efforts.

Event

March 04, 2020 | 5:30pm

This public event will feature two short talks about the transformational possibilities and provocative challenges that emerge from dialogue between the social sciences and AI. The talks will be followed by a conversation with the speakers and a Q&A with the audience. 

Gossuin de Metz's "Image du Monde"

By Suzanne Conklin Akbari

At the Institute, while each School certainly has its own character and researchers’ work is highly specialized, there is nonetheless a sense of common purpose and shared environment. We inhabit the same space—the same woods—and not just in the literal sense. We share the experience of bewilderment, and the perpetual yearning for clarity.

Ideas

Arnold Levine converses with several students in a circle

By Arnold J. Levine

The tools of biology will blend with computer sciences, physics, and mathematics, and the practitioners of biology will undergo another paradigm shift. 

"It's kind of like physics in its formative stages—Newton asking what makes the apple fall down," says Sanjeev Arora. "Thousands of years went by before science realized it was even a question worth asking. An analogous question in machine learning is 'What makes a bunch of pixels a picture of a pedestrian?' Machines are approaching human capabilities in such tasks, but we lack basic mathematical understanding of how and why they work."

Ideas

By Daniel Freed

The techniques developed over many years by topologists—generalized cohomology theories, the Adams spectral sequence, and much more—are now brought to bear on specific computations of interest in physics.

Ideas

My friend Specker, who could not speak English too well, he told him, “Well, we liked your reading, but I think you spoke down to the audience a bit, didn’t you?” and Dylan Thomas let loose swear words of an order that we didn’t use, that were no-nos.

Ideas

By Irving Lavin and Marilyn Aronberg Lavin

The radical nature of Flexner’s twinning of science and humanism with truth and beauty arose in part from the radical nature of his concept for a “modern” university.