Yeshiva University

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

In this interview, David Zierler, Oral Historian for AIP, interviews Marvin Weinstein, Chief Science Officer of Quantum Insights, and emeritus physicist of SLAC. Weinstein describes the origins of Quantum Insights in partnership with David Horn and the development of a data mining algorithm called Dynamic Quantum Clustering (DQC). He recounts his upbringing in Brooklyn, his early interests in physics, and his undergraduate education at Columbia. He describes the big issues in physics at the time, including the two-neutrino experiment, and he explains his decision to remain at Columbia for his PhD to study under Gerald Feinberg. Weinstein explains how he became a postdoctoral student at the Institute of Advanced Study with the endorsement of T.D. Lee to work with Roger Dashen on K13 lepton decays. He describes his subsequent faculty appointments at Yeshiva University and then NYU, and he discusses the opportunities that led to him joining the theory group at SLAC. Weinstein describes his work on PCAC and the Higgs mechanism, and he explains how DQC originated from his interests in quantum mechanics. He explains his subsequent work in lattice field theory and then core and condensed matter physics, and he describes the changing budgetary environment at SLAC over the course of his career. At the end of the interview, Weinstein conveys optimism that his focus on the health industry will demonstrate that the adoption of DQC and its ability to analyze data will lead to better health outcomes across a spectrum of ailments.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Teleconference
Abstract

Interview with Joel L. Lebowitz, the George William Hill professor of mathematics and physics at Rutgers University and Director of the Center for Mathematical Sciences Research at Rutgers. The interview begins with a brief discussion of how Lebowitz defines mathematical physics, his current interest in statistical mechanics, and his involvement in the Committee of Concerned Scientists. Lebowitz then looks back at his childhood in former Czechoslovakia, now Ukraine, where Yiddish was his first language. He recounts his memories of state-imposed anti-Semitism and his deportation to Auschwitz. Upon being liberated from the camp, Lebowitz describes his journey to the US where he studied math and theoretical physics at Brooklyn College. He talks about his graduate studies at Syracuse University with Peter Bergmann, as well as his post-doctoral position at Yale University with Lars Onsager. Lebowitz recalls his work on topics such as Coulomb forces, the thermodynamic limit, Ising spins, stochastic dynamics and more. He discusses his affiliation with the New York Academy of Sciences, of which he eventually became President, as well as his involvement in human rights issues related to the Refusenik scientists. The interview concludes with Lebowitz’s reflections on the connections between science and morality.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

Interview with Dr. Elliot H. Lieb, professor of physics emeritus and professor of mathematical physics at Princeton University. Lieb opens the interview discussing the primary differences between physical mathematics and mathematical physics, and he outlines how modern mathematical ideas have been used in physics. The interview then looks to the past, to Lieb’s childhood and adolescence in New York City, where his passion for physics began. Lieb discusses his experience as a student at MIT, particularly his political involvement during the McCarthy Era. He also mentions his time working at Yeshiva University, and compares the political sentiment there to that at MIT and other universities around the United States. He talks about the work he was able to do abroad in the United Kingdom, Japan, and Sierra Leone, and about the lessons he learned from each of these experiences. Eventually, Lieb returned to Boston and joined the applied math group at MIT, while also working on the six-vertex ice model. In 1975, Lieb moved to Princeton, where he has collaborated with a number of scientists on a variety of topics and papers, including the 1987 AKLT Model (Affleck, Kennedy, Lieb, and Tasaki). The interview ends with Lieb looking to a future of continued experimentation and collaboration on the subjects that interest him most.