The Institute Letter Summer 2012

Derek and I had several conversations during lunches about the potential for “The Symplectic Piece.” And he continued to attend occasional lectures on the subject, searching for a way to map symplectic geometry onto a musical score.

All of us who have watched as a friend or relative has disappeared into the fog of Alzheimer’s arrive at the same truth. Although we recognize people by their visual appearance, what we really are as individual humans is determined by how our...

Before dawn on July 4, CERN scientists announced the discovery of a new particle consistent with the boson predicted nearly fifty years ago by Peter Higgs. He gave one of his first seminars on his theory at the Institute at the invitation of...

If the eighteenth century is to be seen as the “Age of Reason,” then one of the crucial stories to be told is of the trajectory of philosophy from one of the most ardent proponents of the powers of human reason, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–...

Modular arithmetic has been a major concern of mathematicians for at least 250 years, and is still a very active topic of current research. In this article, I will explain what modular arithmetic is, illustrate why it is of importance for...

Prior to arriving at the Institute as a Director’s Visitor last fall, I had heard about the Institute Woods, of which George Kennan had said:

I have lived in the proximity of these Woods for over half a century. They are a

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“Freedom is the ultimate virtue of mankind”; “Democracy is the only political system of modern man and modern society”; “Therefore, Egypt must be committed to freedom and democracy.” These are the words of ‘Abbas Mahmud al-‘Aqqad in his book ...

How do we navigate the vast amount of data at our disposal? How do we choose a movie to watch, out of the 75,000 movies available on Netflix? Or a new book to read, among the 800,000 listed on Amazon? Or which news articles to read, out of the...