Hebrew University Professor Awarded Prestigious Mathematics Prize

Elon Lindenstrauss wins Field's Medal, often regarded as the Nobel Prize of mathematics; 'I never imagined I'd win,' Lindenstrauss says.

The International Mathematical Union awarded the prestigious Field's Medal to mathematician and Hebrew University professor Elon Lindenstrauss on Thursday at its quadrennial International Congress of Mathematics in Hyderabad, India.

Hebrew University professor Elon Lindenstrauss
Hebrew University professor Elon LindenstraussSasson Tiram

The Field's Medal, regarded as the Nobel Prize of mathematics, was also awarded to Ngo Bao Chau of Universite Paris-Sud in Orsay, France, Stanislav Smirnov of the University of Geneva, Switzerland and Cedric Villani of the Henri Poincare Institute in Paris.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking with Lindenstrauss Thursday on the win, said the occasion represented "a great achievement both for yourself and the State of Israel and we are proud of you."

Prof. Lindenstrauss reportedly told the PM of his desire to stay at the Hebrew University in spite of the many temptations around the world.

Lindenstrauss, who is related to State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, told Haaretz prior to traveling to India last week that he was surprised to discover he had been selected for the prize. "I knew that I was a candidate but I never imagined I would win," he said.

40-year-old Lindenstrauss is an expert in mathematical dynamics and has applied techniques from this field to other areas, particularly to number theory. "I'm not a number theory person," Elon said, "but I approach this field with my own tools."

Lindenstrauss, the ICM citation says, "has made far-reaching advances in ergodic theory," which studies the statistical behavior of dynamical systems.

 The Field's Medal comes with a cash award of $15,000 Canadian.