In November, out of the blue, I received a letter from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Nothing about the envelope suggested that the letter inside would be important. It was an ordinary white office envelope with Institute for...

Edward Nelson, Member in the Schools of Mathematics (1956–59, 79–80) and Natural Sciences (1963–64, 67–68, 73–74) and Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University until his death in 2014, was an original thinker best known...

In 2006, Edward Witten, Charles Simonyi Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, cowrote with Anton Kapustin a 225-page paper, “Electric-Magnetic Duality and the Geometric Langlands Program,” on the relation of part of the...

From the data, you have this remnant of a real object that you want to resurrect. Before you can start to do that, the first thing you need to know is, is it really coming from such and such an object? Are there some good tests or signatures for that?

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...

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...

*What explains “the unreasonable effectiveness” of mathematics, as the late Princeton University physicist Eugene Wigner phrased it, in answering questions about the real world?*

Natural phenomena could have been structured in a way...

More than seventy-five years ago, Founding Director Abraham Flexner sought to create with the Institute for Advanced Study a haven where “scholars and scientists may regard the world and its phenomena as their laboratory, without being carried...

Born on October 6, 1936, in British Columbia, Robert Langlands grew up in a small town where his father owned a building supply store. “When I was a child I liked to add and subtract,” says Langlands. “In our store, my mother worked. And I...

On the occasion of the 1993 dedication of Simonyi Hall, Phillip Griffiths, then-Director of the Institute, spoke on “Mathematics—From Servant to Partner” in which he described how the relationship between mathematics and other disciplines had...