Robbert Dijkgraaf

“Trying to appreciate mathematics without understanding its inner workings is like reading a description of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony instead of hearing it.” Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor, on the differences between generic and exceptional beauty, and why one type of beauty proves more useful in describing the universe.

Robbert Dijkgraaf, IAS Director and Leon Levy Professor, remembers Freeman J. Dyson, the legendary physicist, writer, and fearless intellectual explorer who served on the Faculty in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for over 65 years. “As an eternal graduate student, a ‘rebel’ in his own words, Dyson was unafraid to question everything and everybody," writes Dijkgraaf in the PNAS. “… Perhaps he understood better than most that progress stems from disagreement more than agreement.”