Public Events

Throughout the academic year, the Institute offers a range of events that are open to the public, including lectures by Faculty from each of the four Schools and guest speakers, and concerts and talks as part of the Edward T. Cone Concert Series. Please check this site throughout the year for new events as they are announced. To receive updates on IAS events by email, sign up for IAS eNews, the Institute’s monthly electronic newsletter. Videos of previous events may be found at the Institute’s video page.

Public Lecture: Is the Abstract Mathematics of Topology Applicable to the Real World?
Friday, May 1, 2015 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Wolfensohn Hall

Topology is the only major branch of modern mathematics that wasn't anticipated by the ancient mathematicians. Throughout most of its history, topology has been regarded as strictly abstract mathematics, without applications. However, illustrating Eugene Wigner's principle of “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences,” topology is now present in our understanding of many different real world phenomena. 

In this mini-symposium, Robert MacPherson will talk on “What is Topology?,” Randall Kamien will discuss topology and liquid crystals (like those in your computer display), and Raúl Rabadán will describe how topology modifies our understanding of the evolutionary “Tree of Life.”

Registration required

Public Lecture: Max Tegmark: Our Mathematical Universe
Friday, May 8, 2015 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Max Tegmark, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Wolfensohn Hall

In this lecture, Tegmark will survey how humans have repeatedly underestimated not only the size of the cosmos, but also the power of the human mind to understand it using mathematical equations. He will explore how mathematics in physics has allowed us to predict Neptune, radio waves, and the Higgs bosons. Tegmark will also discuss how we should think of ourselves in a cosmic perspective.