Institute for Advanced Study

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The Institute for Advanced Study is a center for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry in history, mathematics, natural science, and social science located in Princeton, New Jersey. The Institute has no formal connection with Princeton University. It was founded in 1930 by philanthropists Louis Bamberger and his sister Caroline Bamberger Fuld.

The Institute has a permanent faculty of 27 scholars and 190 visiting members. The Institute's web page mentions, as particularly notable faculty, "Albert Einstein, who remained at the Institute until his death in 1955, and distinguished scientists and scholars such as Kurt Gödel, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Erwin Panofsky, Homer A. Thompson, John von Neumann, George Kennan and Hermann Weyl."[1]

The "Princeton machine," also known as the "IAS machine," was a pioneering computer designed by Von Neumann and built at the IAS. It was completed in 1952. After its completion, about a dozen similar "IAS machines" were built elsewhere. Von Neumann's work at the IAS transformed "computers" from specialized numerical calculators like ENIAC into the general-purpose stored-program device we know today.[2] The machine was used in the development of nuclear weapons; during the summer of 1951 Los Alamos ran a calculation on it that required sixty days to complete. It continued in useful service until 1960.[3]

Notes and references

  1. Institute for Advanced Study: Mission and History
  2. Princeton University's Institute of Advanced Studies IAS General Purpose Computer, image and description
  3. Electronic Computer Project, IAS website