Reinventing Discovery

The world's greatest scientific challenges can't be met by individual scientists, laboratories, or departments. The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery is an experiment in interdisciplinarity, combining the best minds in new teams with powerful tools that transcend the boundaries of departments and fields.


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Innovations in the research process help us solve the biggest problems with a new approach to science:

Targeted Expertise
Convening experts from emerging fields
Training & Teaching
Cultivating interdisciplinary skills and language
Town Halls & Forums
Gathering diverse ideas and people
Tackling Challenges
Addressing ambitious Grand Challenges

Expertise at WID

WID researchers make fundamental discoveries at the intersections of disciplines to solve problems that require an interdisciplinary approach.

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Stories of Discovery

Research, outreach, and initiatives at WID embody the Wisconsin Idea — reaching beyond the walls of the institute and the UW campus and into the lives of citizens across the state, country, and world.


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Power Tools: New Math Model Optimizes Energy
Discovery Fellow Jim Luedtke, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializes in stochastic and integer optimization, a natural fit for power systems.
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BADGRS Fosters Supportive Community Through Student-Led Discussions
Brilliant and Diverse Graduate Research Scholars (BADGRS), founded by graduate students at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID), is a discussion space for grad students, postdocs, and other trainees. They want to destigmatize conversations about mental health.
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Should We Alter the Human Genome? Let Democracy Decide
WID’s Krishanu Saha and colleagues J. Benjamin Hurlbut and Sheila Jasanoff write in Scientific American about germ line editing and the need for more scientific and moral clarity.
Read More "Should We Alter the Human Genome? Let Democracy Decide"

Grand Challenges

Discovery Hubs

WID’s hubs act as integrators for the campus community, generating new ideas that nucleate new collaborative research projects. The hubs make use of WID expertise to provide services that assist other researchers in applying specialized tools to a range of problems extending far beyond the scope of WID’s programs. Explore WID’s Hubs: