After Hours Conversations

October - November 2020 ; February - March 2021

After Hours Conversations is a program of informal meetings that are held online, from 5:00 pm till 7:00 pm, on Thursdays, in October and November and again in February and March.

These talks are open to faculty, members, visitors, staff, spouses, and partners in an effort to encourage cross-discipline communication at IAS. Professors Piet Hut, Didier Fassin, Helmut Hofer, and Myles W. Jackson will moderate the sessions.

The format is as follows. At 5:30 pm, someone will give an informal presentation of no more than 10 minutes, intended for a general audience. The topic will be a brief description of a major open problem in his or her field, together with suggestions for possible future progress with respect to that problem. This talk will be followed by 20 minutes of discussion, until 6:00 pm. During the remaining hour, everyone is free to take part in more general discussions, preferably with others not from their own School.

A one-time registration is required. A zoom link will be sent to you upon registering.

Please contact Audrey Smerkanich ( for the registration link or questions about the series.

If anyone would like to volunteer for giving a talk, please send an email to Piet Hut (, Didier Fassin (, Helmut Hofer (, or Myles W. Jackson (

Here is the list of speakers for the 10-minute presentations:

First Semester

Thursday, October 1, 2020
Presentation by: Ahmed Almheiri, School of Natural Sciences
Title: How the Inside of a Black Hole Can Secretly Be on the Outside
Host: Piet Hut

Thursday, October 8, 2020
Presentation by: Remy van Dobben de Bruyn, School of Mathematics
Title: Modernism and Mathematics
Host: Helmut Hofer

Thursday, October 15, 2020
Presentation by: Nahir Otano Gracia, School of Historical Studies
Title: Conceiving the Global North Atlantic: Arthurian literature and the Medieval Borders
Host: Myles W. Jackson

Thursday, October 22, 2020
[ no meeting this day (due to a scheduling conflict) ]

Thursday, October 29, 2020
Presentation by: Shany Danieli, School of Natural Sciences
Title: The Telescope with 48 Eyes: Unveiling New Phenomena in our Universe with Lenses You Can Buy on Amazon
Host: Piet Hut

Thursday, November 5, 2020
Presentation by: Matthew Goodwin, School of Historical Studies
Title: The Latinx Files: Race, Migration, and the Space Alien
Host: Myles W. Jackson

Thursday, November 12, 2020
Presentation by: David Owen, Visiting Professor: School of Social Science
Title: What We Owe to Refugees
Host: Didier Fassin

Thursday, November 19, 2020
Presentation by: Richard Schwartz, School of Mathematics
Title: Bad Proofs of Good Theorems
Host: Helmut Hofer

Thursday, November 26, 2020
[ No meeting this day; IAS is closed for the Thanksgiving holiday ]

Second Semester

Thursday, February 4, 2021
Presentation by: Carissa Harris, School of Historical Studies
Title: The Rhetoric of Rage: Challenging Injustice in Medieval Lyrics and Black Women's Protest Movements
Host: Myles W. Jackson

Thursday, February 11, 2021
Presentation by: Lena Murchikova, School of Natural Sciences
Title: Flaring heart of the Galaxy
Host: Piet Hut

Thursday, February 18, 2020
Presentation by: Florence Jany-Catrice, School of Social Science
Title: "Growth and beyond": why measuring progress remains a challenge? 
Host: Didier Fassin

Thursday, February 25, 2021
Presentation by: Philip Ording, Program in Interdisciplinary Studies
Title: Multiplicity in Mathematical Literature from Bernhard Riemann to Italo Calvino
Host: Piet Hut

Thursday, March 4, 2021
Presentation by: Jacob Foster, School of Social Science
Title: Using Machine Learning to Find Hidden Patterns in Violent Deaths
Host: Didier Fassin

Thursday, March 11, 2021
Presentation by: Terrence Blackman, School of Mathematics
Title: Building a Quantum Computer: a mathematical reflection
Host: Helmut Hofer

Thursday, March 18, 2021
Presentation by: Banu Bargu, School of Social Science
Title: Corporeal Contentions: What can we learn from self-injury as protest?
Host: Didier Fassin

Thursday, March 25, 2021
Presentation by: Michail (Misha) Tsodyks, School of Natural Sciences
Title: Human memory through the prism of mathematics
Host: Piet Hut