Relations among tautological classes on the moduli space of stable curves are obtained via the study of Witten's r-spin theory for higher r. In order to calculate the quantum product, a new formula relating the r-spin correlators in genus 0 to the representation theory of sl2 is proven. The Givental-Teleman classification of CohFTs is used at two special semisimple points of the associated Frobenius manifold. At the first semisimple point, the R-matrix is exactly solved in terms of hypergeometric series. As a result, an explicit formula for Witten's r-spin class is obtained (along with tautological relations in higher degrees). As an application, the r=4 relations are used to bound the Betti numbers of the tautological ring of the moduli of nonsingular curves. At the second semisimple point, the form of the R-matrix implies a polynomiality property in r of Witten's r-spin class.
In the Appendix (with F. Janda), a conjecture relating the r=0 limit of Witten's r-spin class to the class of the moduli space of holomorphic differentials is presented.