Henri Poincaré

In the beginning of the twentieth century, the University of Göttingen was one of the top research centers for mathematics in the world. The mathematician David Hilbert was a well-established professor there, and during the winter semester of...

Thanks to the rabbit I pulled out of my hat on my returning from the museum the other evening, I’ve been able to get back on track. But today I’m filled with a strange mixture of optimism and dread. . . . the complexity of the mathematical landscape that’s now opened up makes my head spin if I think about it for more than a few moments.

Cedric Villani

Can one predict the future arrangements of planets over extremely large time periods? For centuries this issue has triggered dreams of curious people, and hot debates by specialists including Newton, Lagrange, Poincare, Kolmogorov, Laskar, and...

John Brockman, founder and proprietor of the Edge website, asks a question every New Year and invites the public to answer it. THE EDGE QUESTION 2012 was, “What is your favorite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?” He...

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.

The stability of the solar system is one of the oldest problems in theoretical physics, dating back to Isaac Newton. After Newton discovered his famous laws of motion and gravity, he used these to determine the motion of a single planet around ...

The mathematical problems arising from modern celestial mechanics, which originated with Isaac Newton’s Principia in 1687, have led to many mathematical theories. Poincaré (1854–1912) discovered that a system of several celestial bodies...

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...

A conference on algebraic and differential geometry was held last fall in celebration of the seventieth birthday of former Institute Director (1991–2003) Phillip A. Griffiths, a Professor in the School of Mathematics, who will retire at the end...