Director of Video
In a 1967 letter to the number theorist André Weil, a 30-year-old mathematician named Robert Langlands outlined striking conjectures that predicted a correspondence between two objects from completely different fields of math. The Langlands program was born. Today, it’s one of the most ambitious mathematical feats ever attempted. Its symmetries imply deep, powerful and beautiful connections between the most important branches of mathematics. Many mathematicians agree that it has the potential to solve some of math’s most intractable problems, eventually becoming a kind of “grand unified theory of mathematics.” In a new video explainer, Rutgers University mathematician Alex Kontorovich takes us on a journey through the continents of mathematics to learn about the awe-inspiring symmetries at the heart of the Langlands program.
Astrophysicists and data scientists on the Event Horizon Telescope team give the backstory behind their new image of Sagittarius A*, the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole.
Leslie Lamport talks about the importance of programming instead of coding, how he developed distributed systems and his favorite algorithm.
Vijay Balasubramanian discusses the connections he sees between physics, computer science, neuroscience and literature and the humanities.
Trichoplax adhaerens is a species of placozoa, the simplest animals at the base of the tree of life. It doesn’t have a nervous system, yet it exhibits complex behaviors. How is this possible? The answer could shed light on the origins of the nervous system—and the future of robotics. “It’s a tour de force of biophysics,” said Orit Peleg of the University of Colorado, Boulder.
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