Robbert Dijkgraaf is the director and the Leon Levy Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. He is a mathematical physicist whose research focuses on the interface between mathematics and particle physics. Dijkgraaf has made significant contributions to string theory as well as the advancement of science education. For his contributions to science, Dijkgraaf was awarded the Spinoza Prize, the highest scientific award in the Netherlands. In 2012, he was named a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
Dijkgraaf served as President (2008–12) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and Co-Chair (2009–17) of the InterAcademy Council. He is a distinguished public policy adviser and passionate advocate for science and the arts. In 2017, Princeton University Press published The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge in which Dijkgraaf and IAS founding Director Abraham Flexner articulate how essential basic research and original thinking are to innovation and societal progress, a belief that has informed the mission of the Institute for nearly ninety years.
Dijkgraff holds degrees from Utrecht University (Ph.D., 1989; M.Sc., 1986; B.Sc., 1982) and is currently Distinguished University Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Amsterdam in addition to his positions at the Institute for Advanced Study.