Welcome to the online press kit for IHES

Providing Critical Support for the Advancement of Fundamental Research in Math and Science

The Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHES) is where great minds meet

France is renowned for its wine, cuisine, and haute couture — and for its mathematics! French mathematicians such as Laplace, Lagrange and Fourier laid the foundations for today’s science and engineering, and more than 80 streets in Paris are named for mathematicians. Today this tradition is as strong as ever. Founded in 1958, the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHES) is located just outside the French capital, and serves as an international center for fundamental research in mathematics, theoretical physics, and all related sciences. Fundamental research has the goal of expanding knowledge, rather than aiming to solve a specific problem.

Indicative of France’s leadership role in these fields, in 2021, Paris-Saclay University, of which IHES is a founding member, was ranked as the number one university in mathematics globally in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

At a time when we are developing vaccines in an innovative pill form, making huge progress in the field of renewable energy, and sending a ninety-year-old William Shatner into space, it is more important than ever to support fundamental science, which is a building block for many advancements.

Friends of IHES is a United States-based nonprofit organization devoted to supporting this important French institution that sets the stage for global mathematical and scientific advancement. By raising crucial funds, increasing visibility, and coordinating the network of American scholars, Friends of IHES offers necessary support to this international research center so that mathematicians and scientists can continue their important work there.

One of the most significant points of interaction between the United States and France is in the field of math and science. Leading American mathematicians and scientists have been visiting IHES for decades.

A Global Hub for the Advancement of Math and Science

One of the leading mathematics institutions globally, each year IHES hosts more than 200 researchers from around the world. At IHES they have the freedom to spend uninterrupted time devoted to in-depth and innovative research, free from teaching obligations.

Serving as a hub for some of the world’s most accomplished mathematicians, of the twelve past or current permanent professors at IHES, seven have been awarded the Fields medal, the highest distinction in mathematics. Collectively, these mathematical leaders have been presented with dozens of awards acknowledging their accomplishments.

In addition to providing a facility for mathematical and scientific exploration, IHES offers researchers an environment that nurtures discussion and an ongoing exchange of ideas among the visiting researchers. For more than sixty years it has served as a leading fixture of France’s rich mathematics culture and history.

Friends of IHES 2021 Gala Celebrates Women in Math and Science

Friends of IHES will be holding its 2021 gala at the Lotte New York Palace in New York, NY on November 16, 2021 from 6pm - 10pm. This year’s theme will be “Women in Fundamental Research.”

The Guest of Honor at this year’s event is Marilyn Simons, co-founder with her husband James Simons of the Simons Foundation. Founded in 1994, the Simons Foundation funds research and educational programs in mathematics, physics, and life sciences globally. Marilyn serves as a board member for many scientific institutions, including the American National Museum of Mathematics, and has been awarded the Carnegie Medal for Philanthropy.

At the gala, Marilyn will be awarded the French Legion of Honour, the highest French order of merit.

The gala honors the important strides that have been made in the STEM fields in regards to women’s empowerment, and acknowledges that women remain largely underrepresented, calling for greater recognition and support of women in mathematics and science.

Also featured at the gala will be Master of Ceremonies Gioia De Cari, an actress, singer, playwright, and self-described “recovering mathematician” who addresses her experience as a woman working in the male-dominated STEM fields in her award-winning one-woman play “Truth Values.” She graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley before earning a Master of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Special guests at the event will include the French Ambassador to the US and the French Consul (NYC).

Celebrated Philanthropist Marilyn Simons Takes on Leadership Role

In 2022, Marilyn Simons will become co-president of Friends of IHES along with her husband, Jim Simons. In addition to the 25m€ the Simons Foundation has given to IHES over the past two decades, the Simons have just pledged an additional 25m€ to support the institute over the next ten years.

History of IHES

IHES was created by Léon Motchane, a businessman with a passion for mathematics who wanted to offer exceptional mathematicians and theoretical physicists a center for uninterrupted focus on their curiosity-driven research. Taking inspiration from the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, since its inception IHES has been devoted to theoretical sciences: mathematics, physics, and their interactions.

From its beginnings, IHES was a global organization, bringing together great minds from around the world. Researchers — both permanent and invited — come to IHES from far-away nations, creating a center for the advancement of math and science that is without boundaries.

Download the IHES One Pager.

PRESS RELEASE Friends of IHES 2021 Gala to Honor Women in Fundamental Research

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