The "P vs. NP" Problem: Efficient Computation, Internet Security, and the Limits of Human Knowledge

Avi Wigderson
Institute for Advanced Study
October 24, 2008

The "P vs. NP" problem is a central outstanding problem of computer science and mathematics.  In this talk, Professor Wigderson attempts to describe its technical, scientific, and philosophical content, its status, and the implications of its two possible resolutions.

Human Rights Challenges in the Next Decade

Mary Robinson
Former President of Ireland and founder of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative
October 27, 2008

Mary RobinsonMary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will address the present and future of international human rights as part of the Institute’s Lectures on Public Policy. On the eve of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Robinson will discuss the need to take stock of current challenges

Geometric PDE - Optimal transportation and nonlinear elliptic PDE

Neil Trudinger
Institute for Advanced Study
November 11, 2008


In these lectures we will describe the relationship between optimal transportation and nonlinear elliptic PDE of Monge-Ampere type, focusing on recent advances in characterizing costs and domains for which the Monge-Kantorovich problem has smooth diffeomorphism solutions.

Background references.

L.C Evans, PDE and Monge-Kantorovich mass transfer. Current developments in Mathematics, 1997. Int. Press, Boston, (1999).