I first met Emery Robinson at Albert Leonard Junior High School
in New Rochelle, New York. He was two grades behind me, a seventh
grader when I was in the ninth grade. He was known as a manchild,
not only in terms of size, because he was much bigger...
In 1987, in my third year as a graduate student in anthropology,
I arrived in the small California town of Livermore, host to one of
two nuclear weapons design laboratories in the United States.
Thanks to an indulgent dissertation committee, which...
Over the last ten years, national and international courts have
prosecuted a greater number of political leaders and their
propagandists who incite others to commit acts of war, terrorism,
and genocide. The United States government, a self-avowed...
During Augustus’s reign (late first century B.C.E.), the
philosopher Athenodoros returned from Rome to his hometown Tarsos,
in southwest Turkey. When he found the city dominated by the poet
and demagogue Boethos, he used the authority given to him...
Three years ago, just before it was scheduled to shut down in
preparation for its second phase, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)
discovered the Higgs boson. Its discovery was expected, having been
predicted nearly sixty years earlier by Peter Higgs...
Addressing an international audience in 2004, Professor Dong
Guangbi, an erudite historian of science, summarized Chinese
physics development over the previous century, and he argued that
the country from which Chinese physicists and physics...
Topology is the branch of geometry that deals with large-scale
features of shapes. One cliché is that a topologist cannot
distinguish a doughnut from a coffee cup: if a coffee cup were made
of rubber, one could continuously deform it to a doughnut...
What do the motion of the planets in our solar system, the
energy levels of the hydrogen atom, and the interactions between
subatomic particles have in common? Surprisingly, they are all
governed by the same hidden symmetry principles. This is
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 geometric
The Rubik’s Cube is one of the most popular toys in
history. It is also an example of a permutation puzzle, which have
existed in mathematics in one form or another for at least 140
years. In hindsight, it is strange that the cube ever became
The Institute was invited by the Mathematical Sciences Research
Institute to cosponsor and promote the country’s first
National Math Festival, a three-day celebration held April
16–18 in Washington, D.C., to encourage and support the math