Welcome to the Institute for Theoretical Studies
"This freedom is a powerful incentive to do the best we can."
Pierre Deligne, Abel prize laureate 2013, referring to the freedom to follow one's own curiosity in research
Theoretical, curiosity-driven research leads to some of the highest achievements of human intellect and is the hallmark of excellence at academic institutions. It is in an environment of freedom in research that the best ideas in the most unexpected places arise, and these ideas are the seed for further progress and eventually applications that shape the future: as O.W. Wendell put it, "Descartes from his desk commanded the future more than Napoleon from his throne."
Since 1 June 2013, ETH Zurich has an interdisciplinary institute dedicated to research in mathematics, theoretical physics and theoretical computer science. Thanks to this initiative, the lively research community of ETH Zurich in these areas gets the opportunity to collaborate in Zurich with Senior Fellows of the ETH-ITS, international top scientists spending their sabbaticals at the Institute and to recruit talented young postdocs as Junior Fellows of the ETH-ITS, dedicating their time to research in topics they choose.
The commitment to freedom in fundamental theoretical research on which the Institute is based is uncommon these days and we are grateful to the Walter Haefner Foundation and Dr. Max Rössler, who share this vision and made this idea possible by their generous donation.