The Institute Letter Summer 2010

The fundamental lemma has been described as a gross understatement. Says Andrew Wiles, a Visitor in the School of Mathematics and an Institute Trustee, “At first, it was thought to be a minor irritant, but it subsequently became clear that it was not a lemma but rather a central problem in the field.”

It has been said that the goals of modern mathematics are recon­struction and development.1 The unifying conjectures between number theory and representation theory that Robert Langlands, Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematics...

Why is the expansion of the universe speeding up, instead of being slowed by the gravitational attraction of galaxies and dark matter? What is the history of the Milky Way galaxy and of the chemical elements in its stars? Why are the planetary...

In my discipline, political theory, we love a good story. We tell each other stories about the lives and times of great thinkers, such as Plato, Jefferson, or Gandhi. We enter into the fictitious worlds like the state of nature in Hobbes, Locke,...

In April, President Obama laid out an interesting new vision for human exploration of the solar system, more exciting than anything that has been proposed in the last forty years. A key component of his vision is the proposal to send humans to...

Members of the Dewey Seminar in the School of Social Science are working on a range of issues, but all of our inquiries have led back in one way or another to the problem of democracy and education. I am interested specifically in the question of...

Several years ago, I was increasingly disturbed by the direction taken by American foreign and domestic policy. It seemed to me that many key actions were inspired by mistaken notions about the way the Cold War ended and the causes and...

Jihadism today has a strong transnational and anti-Western character, but this was not always the case. The first jihadists were revolutionaries who fought in their home countries against their respective governments from the 1940s onward. Only...

Carl Kaysen, the Institute’s Director from 1966–76, died on February 8, 2010, at the age of eighty-nine. A political economist with a distinguished career in public service, Kaysen used his tenure at the Institute to broaden...