The Institute Letter Spring 2011

Historians today can hardly answer the question: when does history begin? Traditional boundaries between history, protohistory, and prehistory have been blurred if not completely erased by the rise of concepts such as “Big History” and “...

The Tunisian revolution of 2011 (al-thawra al-tunisiya) was the result of a series of protests and insurrectional demonstrations, which started in December 2010 and reached culmination on January 14, 2011, with the flight of Zine el-Abidine Ben...

In the twentieth century, mathematicians developed a deep theory of knots, which was revolutionized by the discovery of the Jones polynomial—a way to calculate a number for every knot—by Vaughan F. R. Jones in the early...

Generally a hacker is a technologist with a love for computing, and a hack is a clever technical solution arrived at through non-obvious means (alternatively, it can mean a downright clunky and ugly solution, one, however, that gets the job at...

It all began with a cable from Oppenheimer that I received on March 10, 1948, in Trondheim, Norway: ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF BOHR AND HEITLER I AM GLAD TO OFFER YOU MEMBERSHIP SCHOOL OF MATHEMATICS FOR THE ACADEMIC YEAR 1948 – 1949 WITH STIPEND OF $3500. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER.

Artist Paul Hodgson spent some time at the Institute as a Director’s Visitor last fall. He created the work he is pictured with at left (shown here in progress) in a studio on campus and gave the talk “Honest Doubt” to the Friends of the...

Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus in the School of Natural Sciences, wrote a series of letters to his parents about Richard Feynman, published by Physics Today in 1989. Feynman visited the Institute but declined an...