Mission & History

Abraham Flexner
Founding Director 1930–39
“I am not unaware of the fact that I have sketched an educational Utopia. I have deliberately hitched the Institute to a star; it would be wrong to begin with any other ambition or aspiration.”

Influential in game theory, climatology, and computer science

John von Neumann

John von Neumann

Faculty 1933–57

Mathematical logician best known for his incompleteness theorems

Kurt Gödel

Kurt Gödel

Faculty/Emeritus 1953–78

The first woman to join IAS Faculty, influential in field archaeology

Hetty Goldman

Hetty Goldman

Faculty/Emerita 1936–72

Renowned for deep insights across mathematics and physics

Hermann Weyl

Hermann Weyl

Faculty/Emeritus 1933–55

Washington Post
October 1932
“Professor Albert Einstein’s decision to carry on his future work in America is of less importance than the inauguration of the educational venture with which he will be associated. The name of this great scientist lends dignity to the Institute for Advanced Study, to be launched next year by Dr. Abraham Flexner, but if this new super-university succeeds, its effect upon American life may be far more important than the theory of relativity and all of its corollaries.”
Abraham Flexner, “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge,” Harper’s, 1939
A Living History

Continue to explore the rich history of the Institute for Advanced Study through firsthand accounts from its Faculty and visiting researchers.