Explore firsthand accounts of research and questions posed by IAS scientists and scholars. From art history to string theory, from moral anthropology to the long-term fate of the universe, contributions span the last decade to the research of today.

Shira’s work explores symplectic geometry, combining the study of geometry and Hamiltonian dynamics. Watch to learn how her interest in math was fostered by reading books by Paul Hoffman and Donal O’Shea, and how the creativity required to solve mathematical problems inspires her to this day.

This installment of our "Paths to Math" video series features Patrick Shafto, Member in the Institute’s School of Mathematics and Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Rutgers University. Learn how Patrick’s unexpected start studying physical therapy at Northeastern eventually led to his current research, which explores the intersections of human and machine learning.

When Karen Uhlenbeck was a MacArthur fellow, between 1983–88, she went on a series of incredible adventures visiting other MacArthur fellows and learning about their projects. “This was actually one of the high points of my life,” Uhlenbeck said to me, laughing. She recalls whale watching in Hawaii with Roger Payne, a trip to the Amazon to see Philip DeVries’s work with butterflies, studying lemurs in Madagascar with Pat Wright, and a Montana dinosaur dig with Jack Horner.

Mathematics Member John Urschel works on linear algebra, specifically matrix analysis. In this video, he shares his journey from the NFL to a career in mathematics, having worked on his Ph.D. at MIT during the offseason while playing for the Baltimore Ravens. Now retired from the NFL, Urschel is able to focus completely on math.

Ukrainian mathematician Svitlana Mayboroda was initially undecided on her career path. She had every intention of going into business until an opportunity presented itself to attend a mathematics graduate program in the United States.

The Institute for Advanced Study distributed $21,742.50 in stipends for mathematics and $10,000 for theoretical physics during the academic year 1935–36. Three hundred dollars, sufficient to secure entry to the United States, was awarded to the Polish mathematician Stanislaw Ulam (1909–84), who had written to John von Neumann about a problem in measure theory in 1934.

A Tale of Three Busts

Art historian Marilyn Aronberg Lavin describes how three busts attributed to Baroque artist Gianlorenzo Bernini shaped the career of her husband Irving Lavin, past Professor in the School of Historical Studies, and how she recently repatriated one of these artworks to Italy from her home at IAS.

After Dobbs: Biolegalities of Fetal Personhood

"There is a uniquely U.S. story to the legal undoings following Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The American divide on abortion finds its contested space reinvigorated by the recent majority decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that overturned Roe and Casey. This distinctly American institution of politically appointed judges is unparalleled to any other top courts in other liberal democracies."

Q&A with D. Dominique Kemp

Introducing D. Dominique Kemp, the first Black student to receive a PhD in Mathematics from Indiana University-Bloomington. He joins the IAS School of Mathematics in 2022–2023 to continue his exploration of problems that connect harmonic analysis with geometry. 

Animating the Antique: Sculptural Encounter in the Age of Aesthetic Theory

Animating the Antique: Sculptural Encounter in the Age of Aesthetic Theory, a pioneering work of eighteenth and nineteenth century art history, has been published by Penn State University Press. Sarah Betzer, a Member and former Visitor (2014–15, 2016) in the School of Historical Studies, wrote the book during her time at the Institute, culminating in the groundbreaking and widely-acclaimed text that spans a century-and-a-half and offers new account of the distinctively modern allure of the antique.

Q&A with Verena Krebs

Verena Krebs is an award-winning medieval historian working on Christian Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. She draws on archaeology, art, and written sources for her scholarship. At IAS, Krebs will work on her second monograph, “Africa Collecting Europe: Patronage and Power in Christian Ethiopia, 1468–1530", which will tease out an untold story about the assertion of power in a pre-colonial African kingdom.