The Institute Letter Summer 2016

Includes a variety of articles by Faculty and Members exploring the intersection of gender and religious freedom, the difficulties of gravitational-wave detection, the revolution of nineteenth-century print culture in Iran, and the evolution of contact and symplectic geometry.

Symplectic and contact structures first arose in the study of classical mechanical systems, allowing one to describe the time evolution of both simple and complex systems such as springs, planetary motion, and wave propagation. Understanding the evolution and distinguishing transformations of these systems led to the development of global invariants of symplectic and contact manifolds.