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.  

IAS News

Updated 2/24/2020

In addition to the Level 4 Travel Advisory for China that was issued on February 2, 2020, the CDC has issued an Alert Level 2 for Japan and South Korea, advising older adults and those with medical conditions to consider postponing nonessential travel. Read more.

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.

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 of Columbia University will explore these questions.

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.

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. 

Ideas

By Matthew Kahle

In hindsight, it is strange that the Rubik’s Cube ever became so popular considering how hard it is. 

"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."