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Professor First Ever Israeli to Be Awarded Math ‘Nobel Prize’

August 20, 2010
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Said Netanyahu, “This is a great achievement both for yourself and the State of Israel and we are proud of you.” According to Hebrew University, the Fields Medal is awarded to scholars with excellent potential who have already shown noteworthy achievements in the field. Prof. Alex Lubotzky, a colleague at the Einstein Institute of Mathematics at the Hebrew University, said in the university press release that Lindenstrauss won the Fields Medal for his research “solving some of the most difficult and complex problems in number theory.” Lindenstrauss has won a number of prizes already and joins other award winners from the Einstein Institute of Mathematics.  

Despite working with Princeton and Stanford University in the US, Lindenstrauss has a long history with Hebrew University. Aside from being a professor at the university since 2008, he also earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics, and a master’s degree and PhD in mathematics, at Hebrew University. His father, Prof. Joram Lindenstrauss, also has connections to the school and is a professor emeritus with the Einstein Institute of Mathematics.

The Hebrew University press release said Lubotzky noted that Israel is a solid contributor to mathematical research. Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson said in the release, “Israel is indeed a mathematics ‘power,’ but hadn’t yet won this top Fields Medal until now. The age limit of 40 for winning it is definitely an obstacle for young Israeli researchers who have to begin their academic careers later than others because of their military obligations.”  

Despite that, the press release said Ben-Sasson noted that Lindenstrauss shows that gifted scientists can overcome the delay to their academic career, calling people such as Lindenstrauss Israeli “cultural heroes.”

Posted on August 20, 2010

Source: (By Joshua Spurlock, BFP Israel Mosaic Radio, August 19, 2010)

Photo Credit: Photo by The Hebrew University

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