The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (U-M or U of M) is a coeducational public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Karen DeGroot and Gerald DeGroot were doctoral candidates at the university when they established the DHARMA Initiative in 1970 with funding from the Hanso Foundation. (Swan Orientation film)

The DHARMA Initiative was headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Daniel Faraday worked there from 1974 to 1977. ("The Variable") It has not been established if the DHARMA Initiative was headquartered at the university.

Other references[]

  • In the July 5, 2006 DJ Dan podcast, a listener by the name of Anthony called in to say that his grandmother had joined a cult called the "KARMA Imperative" while attending the university. According to Anthony, she was taken to an unknown location in the South Pacific in the early 1970s (called the "flame" or the "fire") and was never heard from again.
  • In the Dharma booth video shown at Comic Con 2008, Dr. Pierre Chang said he is the professor of theoretical astrophysics from the University of Michigan.
  • Enrico Fermi's famous equation was on Daniel's chalkboard in "The Constant". In 1933 Enrico Fermi taught a course in quantum electrodymanics at the University of Michigan. His celebrated article "Review of Modern Physics" was based on this course. [1]
  • When discussing about what to do with the prisoner (Sayid), Radzinsky suggested to contact Ann Arbor. ("He's Our You")
  • Pierre Chang told Miles that the scientists that came to the Island on the submarine were from Ann Arbor. ("Some Like It Hoth")


The University of Michigan is widely regarded in academia as a leader in quantitative methods in social science, focused around the Institute for Social Research (ISR). [2] The thrust of the "Michigan approach" is to look for empirical, quantifiable approaches to understanding social and psychological phenomena that were hitherto studied using more "soft" techniques.

At the time of the Dharma Initiative's founding, the University of Michigan had a number of significant defense research efforts housed at the Willow Run Laboratories. These classified projects were spun off in 1972 to the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM), which subsequently had a long and profitable history as an innovator in radar and other forms of remote sensing technologies in which mathematics and mathematicians played an essential role. ERIM's assets were sold and the organization essentially went out of business only a few years after the Purge.

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