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 Events

View our full events calendar for all upcoming events.

The IAIFI Colloquium Series will continue with Boris Hanin on February 10, 2023 at 2:00 pm. Recordings of our hybrid colloquium series are available to view 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.

Lina Necib recognized as a rising star in astronomy by Astronomy magazine: Read Astronomy magazine’s profile on Lina Necib as part of their rising stars in astronomy issue. January, 3, 2023

IAIFI sponsors the Machine Learning and the Physical Sciences workshop: IAIFI was pleased to sponsor the Machine Learning and the Physical Sciences workshop at NeurIPS 2022 and to see many IAIFI researchers present papers. View papers from IAIFI researchers at the workshop. December 3, 2022

Jesse Thaler provides insight on the potential of AI for physics discovery: Read “Will artificial intelligence ever discover new laws of physics?” November 21, 2022

Matt Schwartz publishes editorial on AI interpretability in Nature Physics: Read “Should artificial intelligence be interpretable to humans?” by IAIFI Senior Investigator Matt Schwartz. November 2, 2022

Jesse Thaler named American Physical Society Fellow for 2022: APS honored IAIFI Director and MIT Professor of Physics, Jesse Thaler, was selected as an APS Fellow “for original foundational research contributions, leadership, and mentoring in the area of machine learning for fundamental physics. October 27, 2022

Lina Necib receives 2023 APS Valley Prize: IAIFI Senior Investigator and MIT Assistant Professor of Physics, Lina Necib, was recognized with the 2023 Valley Prize for Dark Matter, which recognizes “an early-career individual for an outstanding contribution to physics that is deemed to have significant potential for a dramatic impact on the field.” Lina was chosen for “the discovery of a massive, previously unknown stellar structure that may have shaped the history of the Milky Way, and the development of groundbreaking new methods to study our Galaxy’s dark matter halo and growth history.” October 17, 2022

IAIFI participates in the 2022 Cambridge Science Festival! IAIFI hosted a robot demonstration and a galaxy zoo demonstration for the Cambridge Science Festival at both an Open Lab event on Thursday, October 6, 2022 and at the Carnival on Sunday, October 9, 2022. Learn more about what we shared. October 9, 2022

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