At ICTS, science outreach for school and college students and civic society in general is taken very seriously. ICTS regularly organizes public lectures given by eminent visitors. Public lectures bring exciting new developments in science to the general public and play an important role in engaging students and civic society at large on issues of modern science.
Past Lectures
Etienne Ghys (Ecole Normale Superieure Lyon, France)
13 April 2012, 16:00 to 17:00
Homi Bhabha Auditorium, TIFR, Mumbai
Some interesting questions about surfaces have been studied mathematically for centuries. For example, in 1772 Euler characterised the surfaces that can be covered with paper, allowing bending but not stretching, cutting or wrinkling. For cloth in place of paper, it would be a different question,...more
Terence Tao (Department of Mathematics, UCLA)
23 February 2012, 16:00 to 17:00
AG 66, TIFR, Mumbai
"God may not play dice with the universe, but something strange is going on with the prime numbers" - Paul Erdos The prime numbers are a fascinating blend of both structure (for instance, almost all primes are odd) and randomness. It is widely believed that beyond the "obvious" structures in the...more
Benedict Gross (George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Mathematics, Harvard University)
06 January 2012, 17:15 to 18:15
AG 66, TIFR, Mumbai
I will discuss a problem which has been central in number theory for several centuries – whether a cubic equation in the plane has infinitely many rational solutions.This led to a precise conjecture by Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer in the 1960s, and to some partial progress in the 1980s. More recently...more
Kip S. Thorne (Caltech), J. Richard Bond (Caltech), P. James Peebles (Princeton University) and John Ellis (CERN)
13 December 2011, 14:00 to 15:00
Homi Bhabha Auditorium, TIFR, Mumbai
What are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? In the language of physics, these become: What is the structure of matter? How did the Universe evolve? How will it evolve in the future? John Wheeler's famous mantra, IT from BIT, envisaged the Universe as an information structure of BITs...more
Istvan Hargittai (Budapest University of Technology and Economics & Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
26 September 2011, 16:00 to 17:00
AG66, TIFR, Mumbai
Historical circumstances brought together an extraordinary group of scientists during the first half of the twentieth century that included the aerodynamicist Theodore von Kármán, the physicists Leo Szilard, Eugene P. Wigner, and Edward Teller, and the mathematician John von Neumann. These Jewish-...more
Klaus von Klitzing (Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart)
04 July 2011, 18:00 to 19:00
J N Tata Auditorium, IISc, Bangalore
Length measurements are as old as humanity itself. Together with time and mass measurements, they have had a profound influence on all aspects of our lives, including trade, science and industrial developments. The presentation gives a survey of the development of these units, starting with an...more
William D. Phillips (National Institute of Standards and Technology Gaithersburg, MD, USA)
23 January 2010, 17:30 to 18:30
Faculty Hall, IISc, Bangalore
At the beginning of the 20th century Einstein changed the way we thinkabout Nature. At the beginning of the 21st century Einstein'sthinking is shaping one of the key scientific and technologicalwonders of contemporary life: atomic clocks, the best timekeepersever made. Such super-accurate clocks...more
Albert Libchaber (The Rockefeller University)
30 December 2009, 17:30 to 18:30
J. N. Tata Auditorium, IISc, Bangalore
One of the deepest and most controversial questions of our time is that of the origin of life. In this public lecture a hypothesis is presented, according to which the temperature gradients existing in the earth - which led to plate tectonics and the formation of undersea thermal vents - also led...more
David Gross (KITP, Santa Barbara)
28 December 2009, 17:30 to 18:30
J. N. Tata Auditorium, IISc, Bangalore
On the occasion of the inauguration of the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, TIFR, I shall share some of my observations and conclusions as to the various roles of theory in science. Physics is the field of science where theory is most established and it is the most mature and powerful...more
Avi Wigderson (IAS, Princeton)
27 December 2009, 17:30 to 18:30
J. N. Tata Auditorium, IISc, Bangalore
The P vs. NP problem is a central outstanding problem of computer science and mathematics. In this talk I will attempt to describe its technical, scientific and philosophical content, its status, and the implications of its two possible resolutions.more