Emergence of novel traits across scales is of the most fascinating and least understood phenomenon in nature. To explore this concept we choose to study it atone of its extremes. Ant colonies have evolved for 150M years to provide one of the most extravagant manifestations of emergence. In these colonies, sensation and decision making are concentrated at the level of the individuals but will and goals exist at the collective scale. Moreover, this system provides direct experimental access to these two relevant scales of organization. Our main experimental strategy is to probe the functional whole at its most impressive and at the same time precisely measure the dynamics of the parts. We then use modeling and theoretical concepts to connect these two levels and study the emergence of collective structures, motions, regulation, and cognition in the ant colony.