The Institute Letter Fall 2018

Includes a variety of articles by Faculty and Members exploring deep learning and computation, black holes and quantum information, the anthropology of life and the politics of gender, the porous boundaries between science and culture, the topology of locally symmetric spaces, and the queer beginnings of Mormonism. 

On April 5th, 1841, a young woman stood beneath an elm tree in far western Illinois. This was Louisa Beaman, twenty-six, and at this point in her life an orphan. Her father had died in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1837; her mother, only a few months before...

The five versions of the same volume presented here in French, English, German, Italian, and Spanish, could serve as a pretext for a reflection on the work of translation—not only of words, but also of ideas, contexts, and images.

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In 2017–18, I led a special program about analysis and topology on locally symmetric spaces as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School of Mathematics. Locally symmetric spaces are the home of the Langlands program—a set of...

This article is a slightly edited excerpt of the lecture given on the occasion of the awarding of the Edgar di Picciotto International Prize of the Graduate Institute of Geneva to Joan Wallach Scott, Professor Emerita in the...

In the last six months, Juan Maldacena, Carl P. Feinberg Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, has received three major awards: the Lorentz Medal of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences; the 2018 Einstein...

"It's kind of like physics in its formative stages—Newton asking what makes the apple fall down," says Sanjeev Arora, Visiting Professor in the School of Mathematics, trying to explain the current scientific...

Published here are three slightly edited excerpts from "Mathematics and Computation," a new book by Avi Wigderson, Herbert H. Maass Professor in the School of Mathematics, soon to be published by Princeton University Press (...

My work in the history of science probes the porous boundaries between science and culture over the past two centuries. Much of it gestures toward the role of history in public policy. I am interested in having the historian at the table while a...

"Life is a term, none more familiar. And one almost would take it for an affront, to be asked what he meant by it," writes John Locke. But he immediately adds: "And yet, if it comes in question, whether a plant, that lies ready formed in the seed...