The NSF AI Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Interactions (IAIFI)

The NSF AI Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Interactions (IAIFI, pronounced /aɪ-faɪ/) is one of the inaugural NSF AI research institutes. The IAIFI is advancing physics knowledge – from the smallest building blocks of nature to the largest structures in the Universe – and galvanizing AI research innovation. The IAIFI is a collaboration of both physics and AI researchers at MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, and Tufts. Learn more about our research at the Physics/AI intersection and about our IAIFI Fellows program.


IAIFI Fellows: Applications are now open for the 2023–2026 IAIFI Fellowship! We are seeking early-career scientists working at the intersection of Physics and AI to join IAIFI in our third round of the IAIFI Fellowship. Applications are due October 11, 2022. Learn more and apply.

IAIFI Events

View our full events calendar for all upcoming events.

IAIFI at the Cambridge Science Festival! We will host an Open Lab as part of the Cambridge Science Festival on Thursday, October 6, 2022 from 1:00–5:00 pm ET. This will include a galaxy zoo in the MIT Stata Center (outside room 124) and a robot demonstration in Hockfield Court (outside the MIT Stat Center). We will also have a galaxy zoo booth and a robot demonstration at the Carnival on Sunday, October 9, 2022 from 12:00–4:00 pm ET at the Kendall/MIT Open Space. More information

Next IAIFI Colloquium on October 14, 2022 at 2:00 pm ET. Our hybrid colloquium series for Fall 2022 will continue on October 14, 2022 with Daniel Goldman (Dunn Family Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology) at 2:00 pm ET. All colloquia will be streamed live and available to view later on our YouTube channel.


For an archive of IAIFI news, see our news page. To receive periodic announcements about IAIFI-related activities, sign up for our mailing list and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Tracy Slatyer and Jesse Thaler receive Simons Investigator awards: Read more about their work recognized by the program, which supports “outstanding theoretical scientists in their most productive years, when they are establishing creative new research directions, providing leadership to the field, and effectively mentoring junior scientists.” June 24, 2022

Dan Roberts publishes book on deep learning theory: Learn more about the new book The Principles of Deep Learning Theory by IAIFI Affiliate Dan Roberts and his collaborators Sho Yaida and Boris Hanin. May 26, 2022

Serhii Kryhin receives MIT’s Morse/Orloff Research Award: IAIFI Junior Investigator and MIT senior in physics Serhii Kryhin was recognized with the Morse/Orloff Research Award, which is “awarded to a senior of high academic standing in physics who plans to pursue graduate studies in physics.” May 25, 2022

Jesse Thaler joins CACM and AI Institute leaders for virtual panel discussion: Watch the virtual panel discussion hosted by Communications of the ACM on February 1, 2022 to discuss how science and AI are transforming each other, featuring IAIFI Director Jesse Thaler, Anima Anandkumar (NVIDIA Director of ML Research), Vikram Adve (Director, AIFARMS National AI Institute), and Amy McGovern (Director, NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography). March 29, 2022

IAIFI researchers’ model-free reinforcement learning system breaks the record for fastest robotic mini cheetah run recorded: Featured in MIT News and NSF Science Now, IAIFI Fellow Ge Yang, Senior Investigator Pulkit Agrawal, and collaborator Gabriel Margolis trained the robot in simulation under variable conditions, which made it more robust when deployed in the real world—a strategy expected to be relevant for making real-time adjustments in the operation of experiments to maximize the physics reach. March 22, 2022

IAIFI welcomes UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Advanced Computing (AIMLAC): IAIFI hosted 15 AIMLAC students and faculty for an informal workshop March 2 through March 4, 2022, where the two groups shared research and education strategies, and had opportunities for networking. March 4, 2022

Second Round of IAIFI Fellows Announced: The next round of IAIFI Fellows (2022-2025), Denis Boyda, Carolina Cuesta, and Jessie Micallef, will join us later in 2022 and help spark vital interdisciplinary research at the intersection of Physics and AI! January, 28, 2022

IAIFI Senior Investigator Phiala Shanahan receives 2021 Wu-Ki Tung Award for Early Career Research on QCD: Phiala was recognized “for pioneering studies of long-wavelength and nuclear non-perturbative QCD effects in discretized space and time, and for applications of machine learning to lattice field theory.” January 24, 2022

IAIFI Junior Investigator Harold Erbin receives MIT Infinite Expansion Award: Harold was selected as one of the recipients of MIT’s Infinite Expansion Award for 2022 because of his “exemplary service on the IAIFI Early Career and Equity Committee” and being “actively involved in many other IAIFI community building efforts.” January 10, 2022

IAIFI Senior Investigator Pulkit Agrawal and collaborators receive Best Paper Award at Conference on Robot Learning: The paper was chosen for “The sheer scope and variation across objects tested with this method, and the range of different policy architectures and approaches tested.” Read “A System for General In-Hand Object Re-Orientation”, November 12, 2021

IAIFI Senior Investigator Philip Harris establishes NSF-Funded Institute with collaborators: Philip Harris will serve as Deputy Director of the Accelerated AI Algorithms for Data-Driven Discovery (A3D3) Institute, using Artificial Intelligence to accelerate discoveries in physics, astronomy, and neuroscience. October 29, 2021

IAIFI Fellow Siddharth Mishra-Sharma and Senior Investigator Phiala Shanahan interviewed for Nature Careers: Read “How AI is helping the natural sciences”, October 13, 2021

Jesse Thaler argues that particle physicists must go beyond deep learning and design AI capable of deep thinking: Read his opinion piece in the CERN Courier, September 2, 2021

Jesse Thaler interviewed for Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery: Read Jesse Thaler’s interview on Using AI to Drill Down in Physics, July 8, 2021