Prospects in Theoretical Physics is an intensive two-week summer program designed for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars considering a career in theoretical physics. The 2007 program was held from July 16 to July 27. First held by the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in the summer of 2002, the PiTP program is designed to provide lecture courses and informal sessions on the latest advances and open questions in various areas of theoretical physics.
Michael Walzer, Professor Emeritus, School of Social Science. This lecture attempts to answer multiple questions: First, what is wrong with terrorism? The question may seem easy, but it is often answered badly.
Having assisted in the postwar transitions in Afghanistan and Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, a Director's Visitor at the Institute in 2006-08, spoke in 2007 about the circumstances that led to the current situations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He examined the recent history of both countries and offered his perspective on the actions and non-actions that led to the present crises.
Yve-Alain Bois, Professor, School of Historical Studies. The lecture examines how, rather than always leading to the myth of the death of painting (or sculpture), as Alexandr Rodchenko had it, the idea that the artist should erase all traces of him- or herself was a dictum that helped sustain many different artistic practices during the past century, from Kasimir Malevich's Black Square of 1915, Jean Arp's collages "according to the laws of chance" of 1916-18, and Piet Mondrian's modular grids of 1918-19, to Pop Art, Minimalism, Process art, Conceptual art, and beyond.
This lecture by Enrico Bombieri, IBM von Neumann Professor in the School of Mathematics, explores how mathematics has arrived at its present pragmatic view of infinity and some of the counterintuitive paradoxes, as well as some of the positive results, deriving from its acceptance. It concludes with a view of how computer science is leading today to a new precise concept, namely the impossibly large in the realm of the finite.