January 25, 2012: Israel’s Minister of Education Gideon Saar has announced that the 2012 Israel Prize for Mathematics and Computer Science will go to Prof. David Kazhdan of the Hebrew University's Einstein Institute of Mathematics. Kazhdan will receive the prize for his important contributions to group theory research.
Established in 1953, the Israel Prize is awarded to Israeli citizens or organizations that have displayed excellence in their field or contributed significantly to Israeli culture.
The awards committee, headed by computer scientist and Israel Prize recipient Prof. Michael Rabin, called Prof. Kazhdan "one of the world's leading mathematicians in recent decades" and noted his important contributions to group theory, a cornerstone of mathematics with applications in fields such as physics, quantum theory and computer science.
Prof. Kazhdan will receive the award on April 26 at an Israel Independence Day ceremony in Jerusalem attended by Israel's president, prime minister, Supreme Court president and other national leaders.
Prof. Kazhdan has been a professor of mathematics at the Einstein Institute of Mathematics since 2002. Born in Moscow in 1946, he studied and conducted research at Moscow University. In 1975, he moved to the United States where he taught at Harvard University. Professor Kazhdan held a MacArthur Fellowship from 1990 to 1995, was appointed to the American Academy of Sciences in 1990, was made a Fellow of the Israeli National Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 2006, became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009, and won the Rothschild Prize in Mathematics in 2010.
The Einstein Institute of Mathematics is part of the Hebrew University's Faculty of Science, which encompasses research institutes and teaching departments in the major fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, life sciences and earth sciences, together with a Science Teaching Unit and the Benin School of Engineering and Computer Science. Faculty members have won the Israel Prize, Nobel Prize, Fields Medal, Fermat Prize in Mathematics, Turing Award, Wolf Prize and Rothschild Prize, among others.Source: Dept. Media Relations, Hebrew University