Prof. David Kazhdan becomes first Israeli to win the Shaw Prize

Prof. David Kazhdan is one of the great luminaries of the representation theory, his originality and knowledge are incomprehensible.

David Kazhdan (photo credit: THE DAVID KAZHDAN FAMILY)
David Kazhdan
Prof. David Kazhdan of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has received the distinguished Shaw Prize on his contributions to the field of mathematics, the first Israeli to ever win the prize.
Kazhdan is one of two recipients to win the prize; he shared the Shaw Prize of $1.2 million with another researcher from the University of Chicago, Alexander Beilinson. They won the prize for their “huge influence on and profound contributions to representation theory, as well as many other areas of mathematics.”
The Shaw Prize honors individuals who have recently achieved distinguished and significant advances in the fields of astronomy, life science and medicine, and mathematical sciences.
"This is a great honor for me. Of course, I was very happy when I heard, and I'm more than happy to receive the award. But I didn't do anything, I've just engaged in math my whole life – and not for my own sake. I feel as though I'm in the good company of scholars and mathematicians who have received the award thus far," said Kazhdan.
Kazhdan currently serves as a member of the National Academy of Israel and of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.
In 2016, the professor received the EMET Prize for Art, Science and Culture, an Israeli prize awarded annually for excellence in academic and profession achievements; the Rothschild Prize in 2010, an Israeli prize designed to support the advancement of science and the humanities in Israel; and received the MacArthur Fellowship in 1990.
Kazhdan has been a professor of mathematics in the Hebrew University's Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences since he immigrated to Israel in 2004 from the US, where he worked as a professor at Harvard University, a position he gained after emigrating from the Soviet Union in 1975.
"Prof. David Kazhdan is one of the great luminaries of the representation theory, his originality and knowledge are incomprehensible. He managed to leave a mark on many areas that don't naturally relate to the representation theory, for example the Kazhdan (T) Property which he developed before he even turned 20," said Alexander Lubotzky, Israel Prize laureate in Mathematics and president of the Mathematics Association at the Hebrew University.
The Kazhdan (T) Property, which was developed in 1965, is widely used in the representation theory. Kazhdan is also known for his collaboration with Israel Gelfand, Victor Kac, and Geroge Lusztig on the Kazhdan-Lusztic conjecture on Verma modules, as well as for his collaboration with Grigory Margulis on the Kazhdan-Margulis theorem. 
"At the time he developed the Kazdan (T) Property, it was an amazing and original idea that simultaneously solved two problems in the representation theory. But that was only the beginning. That idea only grew and became widely used in many ares of mathematics, including computer sciences. Certain media networks are being built today based on the feverish idea that came to the mind of young Russian conspirator over 50 years ago," Lubotzky added.