I wrote about the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in a post titled “Piet Hut the Hero Physicist.” In that piece I mentioned that many legendary mathematicians and physicists worked at the IAS. Gödel, Einstein and Weyl were faculty members at the IAS. All current faculty members are highly accomplished people with impressive resumes.
I have been living and working in the NY/NJ area for the last 18 years. I visited the Princeton University many times but for some inexplicable reason never visited the IAS – which is only 1 mile away from the Princeton University campus – until today.
Today, after visiting my son at Rutgers University, I suddenly decided to drive 15 more miles to the south to visit the Institute. When I got there, I was surprised by the tranquility of the IAS surroundings. I heard about the institute’s calm and quiet environment before but actually experiencing it was a nice surprise. I work in Manhattan and I am always surrounded by noise. As I get older the noise level of Manhattan is getting to me. It started bothering me. The tranquility of IAS presented such a nice contrast.
After my visit I experienced a pleasant calmness. It was not a spiritual experience but close to it.
Take a look at the current faculty at IAS: https://www.ias.edu/people/faculty-and-emeriti
Some of the world’s most renowned thinkers have been affiliated with IAS. Here’s another list that includes the past faculty members.
These fortunate few are not there by themselves. That would have been a very lonely existence. Each faculty member is surrounded by many younger researchers who hold visiting positions at the Institute. Each year, approximately two hundred scholars from about one hundred universities and research institutions from more than thirty countries come to study at the Institute.