Santa Fe Institute

Ulam Series Summary

Ulam Connection

The Stanislaw M. Ulam Memorial Lectures are given at the Santa Fe Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. These annual invited lectures, sponsored jointly by the Institute and Addison-Wesley Publishers, are dedicated to the memory of Stanislaw Ulam, a great mathematician from the now legendary Polish School Mathematics. Ulam came to the Institute for Advanced Study in 1935, worked at Harvard, the University of Wisconsin, and much later at the University of Colorado. Most importantly, he joined the Los Alamos National Laboratory in its founding year and was an intellectual force and inspiration at Los Alamos from 1944 until his death in 1984, fostering a perhaps uniquely intense interaction between mathematics and science.

Upon his passing, his wife Françoise donated his entire book collection to the SFI Library.

Past Lecturers

2015Jennifer Dunne “The Web of Life and the Ecological Human”
Part One: The Hidden Order of Complex Ecosystems
Part Two: The Ecological Human
2014Jerry Sabloff “Seeing the Future in Our Past: Why Archaeology Matters”
Part One: How Insights from Archaeology Might Help Shape our Future
Part Two: The Ancient Maya & Modern Archaeology's Populous Focus
2013Stephanie Forrest “Complexity and the Biology of Computation”
Part One: Software Engineering: Evolving Computer Programs
Part Two: The Complex Science of Cyberdefense: Computer Immunology
Part Three: Modeling Computer Networks from Chips to the Internet
2012Robert May “The Many Faces of Complexity”
Part One: Beauty and Truth: Their Intersection in Mathematics and Science
Part Two: Toward Tomorrow’s World
Part Three: Stability and Complexity in Financial Systems
2011David Krakauer Cognitive Ubiquity: The Evolution of Intelligence on Earth
Part One: The Adversarial Quartet
Part Two: Invasion of the Inferential Cell
Part Three: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
2010Mark Newman “Our Small World: How Networks of People and Information Shape Our World”
Part I: The Connected World
Part II: What Networks Can Tell us About the World
Part III: Using Networks to Make Predictions
2009Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith, Mark Pagel, and Daniel Shrag “Ulam Lectures honoring Murray Gell-Mann 80th Birthday”
Lecture I: The Search for the Nature of Matter
Lecture II: The Rise of the Speaking Machine-Human Language Evolution
Lecture III: Twilight of the Anthropocene: The Fate of Civilization in the Face of Environmental Destruction
2008Samuel Bowles “A Cooperative Species—How We Got to Be Both Nasty and Nice”
Part I: A Cooperative Species (or are we just afraid someone may be looking?)
Part II: Parochialism, and War: Rambo Meets Mother Teresa
Part III: Machiavelli’s Mistake: Why Policies Designed for “Wicked Men” Fail
2007Dan Schrag “Ancient Perspectives on Future Climate”
2006Nina Federoff
Lecture I: How Plants See, Feel, and Smell: The Perceptual Apparatus of the Plant Kingdom
Lecture II: The Jumping Genome: Changing Ideas about Heredity and Evolution
Lecture III: Genetically Modified Foods: Monsters or Miracles?
2005Marcus Feldman “Molecules, Machines, and Mathematics: Issues in Biological and Social Evolutionary Theory”
2004Henry Wright "Raising Civilization"
2003Dick Lewontin "Coevolution of Organism and Environment"
Lecture I: What is Evolutionary Theory?
Lecture II: The Organism as Subject and Object of Evolution
Lecture III: Does Culture Evolve
2002J. Doyne Farmer "Propagation and Purpose"
2001Geoffrey West "The Scale of the tree of Life from Molecules and Cells to Whales and Ecosystems"
2000Chuck Stevens "The Brain as a Complex System"
1999Murray Gell-Mann "The Regular and the Random"
1998W. Brian Arthur "The New Economy"
1997Melanie Mitchell "The Past and Future of the Sciences of Complexity"
1996Simon Levin "Fragile Dominion: Complexity and the Commons"
1995Alan S. Perelson "The Warriers Within: How Your Immune System Combats Disease"
1994John H. Holland "Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity"