Short biography

Robbert Dijkgraaf is Director and Leon Levy Professor of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.  The Institute is one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry and exists to encourage and support fundamental research in the sciences and humanities. 


Dijkgraaf is a mathematical physicist who has made significant contributions to string theory and to the advancement of science education.  His research focuses on the interface between mathematics and particle physics.  In addition to finding surprising and deep connections between matrix models, topological string theory and supersymmetric quantum field theory, Dijkgraaf has developed precise formulas for the counting of bound states that explain the entropy of certain black holes. 


He is Past President (2008–12) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and Co-Chair (since 2009) of the InterAcademy Council, the global alliance of academies of sciences advising the United Nations and other international organizations.


Dijkgraaf is a distinguished public policy adviser and passionate advocate for science and the arts. Many of his activities––which have included frequent appearances on television, a monthly newspaper column in NRC Handelsblad, several books for general audiences, and the launch of the science education website––are at the interface between science and society.  For his contributions to science and his leadership and outreach in science education and public policy, Dijkgraaf was awarded the Spinoza Prize, the highest scientific award in the Netherlands, in 2003. 
He was named a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion in 2012 and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.



Utrecht University, Ph.D. 1989; Princeton University, Research Associate 1989–91; University of Amsterdam, Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics, Professor 1992–2004, Distinguished University Professor of Mathematical Physics 2005–; Institute for Advanced Study, Member 1991–92, Visitor 2002, Director 2012–; Academia Europaea, Member; American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Member; American Philosophical Society, Member; American Mathematical Society, Fellow; Netherlands Physical Society, Honorary Member; Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Member (President 2008–12); Royal Netherlands Chemical Society, Honorary Member; Royal Society of Edinburgh, Honorary Fellow; Second Innovation Platform (chaired by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands), Member 2007–10; InterAcademy Council, Co-Chair 2009–; Netherlands Physical Society, Physica Prize 2002; Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, Spinoza Prize 2003; Comenius Prize 2012; Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion 2012




website IAS

Robbert Dijkgraaf,
Photograph by Andrea Kane