Israel Institute for Advanced Studies
The Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) of Jerusalem (Hebrew: המכון ללימודים מתקדמים) is a national science institution devoted to academic research. It is a self-governing body, both in its administrative function as well as its academic pursuits. It is located at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, on the Edmond J. Safra campus at Givat Ram, where the National Library of the State of Israel is located as well.
The Institute was founded in 1975. It brings together scholars from around the world to engage in collaborative research projects for periods of six to twelve months. The Institute is similar in concept to several existing Institutes of Advanced Study, yet also unique in its sponsoring unrestricted academic research and hosting collaborative teams throughout the more than thirty years since its establishment.
The Institute for Advance Studies in Jerusalem was founded by Israeli mathematician Aryeh Dvoretzky, a winner of the Israel Prize for Mathematics. Professor Dvoretzky had several times visited the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey and this inspired him to establish an IAS in Jerusalem in 1975. In March, 1976 Professor Dvoretzky wrote:
- The Institute is similar in concept to several existing Institutes of Advanced Study, notably the Princeton Institute. An IAS in Israel will fulfill a long-acknowledged need for an appropriate setting to encourage scientific and academic leadership, along with promoting the highest standard of research. The proliferation of universities in Israel, along with the overall trend toward mass higher education, has heightened the need for an IAS here in Israel. The inspiration and achievement of these Institutes are essential to strengthening and advancing Israel's scientific and academic landscape.
In 1982, Yuval Ne’eman, Professor of Physics and Minister of Science, established the first School in Theoretical Physics at the Jerusalem IAS. Professor Steven Weinberg, Nobel laureate in Physics, was asked to become the director of the School, and he held this post for twelve years. Four additional Schools were established, based on the same model, in the following fields: Economics, Life Sciences, Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion, and Mathematics. Each School is headed by a preeminent scholar in his or her field.
- Aryeh Dvoretzky (1975–1985)
- Hanoch Gutfreund (1986–1989; 1990–1992)
- Menahem Yaari (1989–1990)
- David Shulman (1992–1998)
- Alexander Levitzki (1998–2001)
- Benjamin Z. Kedar, (2001–2005)
- Eliezer Rabinovici (2005–2012)
- Michal Linial (2012–present)
The Institute annually hosts five schools under the auspices of the Victor Rothschild Memorial Symposia. They are in the fields of Theoretical Physics, Life Sciences, Economic Theory, Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion, and Mathematics. Each lasts seven to twelve days.
Each School is headed by an internationally preeminent scholar, working alongside an Israeli codirector. At present, three of the five Schools are directed by Nobel laureates. Attendees include senior scholars, doctoral students, and postdoctoral researchers.
The Institute subsidizes participants in the form of travel grants, tuition or hotel expenses. The Israeli coordinator allocates scholarships to candidates and assumes responsibility for technical arrangements. Scholars have come to the institute from Western and Eastern Europe, South and North America, East Asia, and North Africa.
Directors of the advanced schools:
- School in Theoretical physics : David Gross
- School in Economics Theory : Eric Maskin
- Midrasha Mathematicae : Peter Sarnak
- School in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion : Haym Soloveitchik
- School in Life Sciences : Roger D. Kornberg
Other Institutes for Advanced Study
There are many academic centers of varying status known as "Advanced Study" Institutes throughout the world, but the Institute for Advanced Study located in Princeton, NJ is the original Advanced Study Institute upon which all the others were modeled. Some Institutes for Advanced Study (SIAS) is a consortium of such establishments.