Edward Witten is Charles Simonyi Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study. His work has helped to bridge the gap between mathematics and physics, and he has made important contributions to both fields. He is the only physicist to have won the Fields Medal, one of the highest honors in mathematics, and he has played a leading role in developing string theory.
In the 1980s, he played an influential role in showing how to derive semirealistic models of particle physics from string theory, and in the 1990s, his work on duality and the strong coupling behavior of string theory had a major impact. He is also known for numerous results concerning quantum field theory and the Standard Model of particle physics, sometimes using string theory methods. He has been awarded a significant number of prizes throughout the world, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences.