Director's Letter - 2018 Impact Report

I joined the Institute for Theoretical Physics nearly twenty years ago as a Permanent Member. Then Director David Gross explained why the move to Santa Barbara would enable me to expand my research and career in new directions. As usual with David, he was right.

When I arrived in 1999, Kohn Hall was already the iconic tower building that greets visitors at the east entrance to UC Santa Barbara. In 2004, the facility was expanded--thanks to financial help from Fred Kavli – so as to accommodate the growth in visiting scholars who now come to the re-named Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) to participate in our programs.

Today, Kohn Hall is laced with chalkboards and dynamic community spaces that encourage interactive scientific exchanges. Physicists who visit the KITP to participate in our programs have the opportunity to cross-fertilize ideas and create new networks that continue long after they leave, which is a powerful method for scientific inquiry and discovery.

As a friend of the KITP, you know this well: that the advancement of theoretical physics and all of science depends on human interactions. It all starts with the programs we create in a strong collaboration with the physics community and our Scientific Advisory Board, a group of prominent physicists from across the country. These programs then nucleate the groups of excellent physicists who come for months of interactions in Kohn Hall. Our new Charles T. Munger Physics Residence now allows our visitors to live together, ensuring the impact of their most precious investment at KITP: their time. Our consideration of both the physical and the intellectual environment is what makes the KITP so unique and impactful.

The growth and impact of the Institute cannot be illustrated in a few pages. Nevertheless, we are excited to share some of the progress and meaningful outcomes the KITP has enabled over the past few years, and to recognize the support we receive from UC Santa Barbara, federal granting agencies, private foundations and extraordinary benefactors.

Please come visit us at the KITP. I am confident that you will find the Institute buzzing with inspiration and collaboration. It’s an environment that is as dynamic as space itself.

Thank you for your support and enthusiasm for the KITP. Let’s continue exploring new frontiers together!

Lars Bildsten

Director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics
Gluck Professor of Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara


KITP Impact Report 2018