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Marina Ratner 1938-2017

16/07/2017
The Hebrew University and the Israeli mathematical community mourns the loss of Marina Ratner, eminent mathematician and Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 
 
Marina Ratner was a former faculty member of the Hebrew University who taught at its Einstein Institute of Mathematics from 1971 until 1975. This followed her immigration to Israel from the former Soviet Union, where she had been a student of distinguished mathematician Yakov Sinai at Moscow State University. 
 
In 1975, Marina Ratner joined the University of California at Berkeley, rising to the position of Professor of Mathematics in 1982. During the 1980s and 1990s, Ratner developed techniques that enabled her to prove the now-celebrated Ratner rigidity theorems and, in particular, to give a striking proof of the important Raghunathan Conjecture. These landmark theorems are a basic pillar of the theory of homogeneous dynamics, with applicability to a broad spectrum of mathematical disciplines, and have inspired many subsequent developments in the field. Of particular note are the many deep and surprising applications of these rigidity theorems to number theory. 
 
Throughout her life, including the years when Soviet Jews experienced state-sanctioned anti-Semitism, Marina Ratner had been a committed advocate of Israel and the Jewish people, with her personal journey encapsulating some of the key events in contemporary Jewish history. She maintained warm relations with several generations of researchers at the Hebrew University’s Einstein Institute of Mathematics and has been steadfast in her support of Israeli mathematics. 
 
יהי זכרה ברוך 
Marina Ratner 1938-2017
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Hebrew University is #11 Worldwide for Maths, Among Top 100 in 10 Subjects, Says Prestigious Shanghai Ranking

03/07/2017

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the 11th best university in the world for Mathematics, according to the new "Global Ranking of Academic Subjects" for 2017, released by the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, which rates universities worldwide.

As well as its high achievement in Mathematics, the Hebrew University was named in the top 50 in the world in three additional subjects: 39th worldwide in Communication, 40th in Political Sciences, and 46th in Economics.

The Hebrew University was among the top 75 in the world in three other subjects: Veterinary Sciences, Public Administration and Law.

The Hebrew University was among the top 100 in the world in three additional subjects: Agricultural Sciences, Biotechnology and Psychology.

In total, the Hebrew University was ranked in the top 100 worldwide in 10 different subjects; took first place in Israel in 18 subjects (sometimes tied with another institution); and was listed in 32 of the 52 subjects surveyed. The full results are available at http://www.shanghairanking.com/Shanghairanking-Subject-Rankings/index.html.

The Hebrew University's Einstein Institute of Mathematics, known for the exceptional standards of its mathematicians, is named for Albert Einstein -- a founder of the Hebrew University, who gave the university's first scientific lecture on Mount Scopus in 1923. In 2010, Prof. Elon Lindenstrauss at the Einstein Institute of Mathematics won the Fields Medal in Mathematics, regarded as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in that field, for his achievements in the area of measure rigidity in ergodic theory and their applications to number theory.

The Global Ranking of Academic Subjects ranks universities in 52 subjects across five fields: Natural Sciences, Engineering, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences, and Social Sciences. In total, more than 4000 universities were ranked. The list was released by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, which also publishes the annual "Academic Ranking of World Universities" and in 2009 also began to publish rankings by academic subjects.

Universities from the United States took the 32 top positions in 52 subjects, followed by 8 institutions from China (including Hong Kong) and 5 from The Netherlands. The best performing institution was Harvard, taking 15 top positions, followed by MIT, which topped 5 subjects.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel’s leading academic and research institution, is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. Founded in 1918 by visionaries including Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, the Hebrew University is a pluralistic institution where science and knowledge are advanced for the benefit of humankind. For more information, please visit http://new.huji.ac.il/en

 

Hebrew University is #11 Worldwide for Maths, Among Top 100 in 10 Subjects, Says Prestigious Shanghai Ranking
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Mortimer B. Zuckerman Announces Transformative Program to Support Future Generations of American & Israeli Leaders In Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Fields

25/01/2016

American business leader and philanthropist Mortimer Zuckerman announced today the launch of the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program, a transformative initiative designed to support future generations of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math in the United States and Israel and, over time, foster greater collaboration between two of the world’s most advanced scientific research centers.

The Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will give the highest-achieving American post-doctoral researchers and graduate students the ability to collaborate with leading researchers at Israel’s top research institutions — the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; Tel Aviv University; and the Weizmann Institute of Science — which are among the world’s most advanced.  

By providing American graduate students and post-doctoral researchers with exposure to Israel’s renowned cutting-edge research and startup culture, the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will raise a generation of academic, scientific and industry leaders in the United States infused with a unique spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation. The program will simultaneously bolster Israeli research institutions as world-leading centers for cutting edge research by providing Israeli institutions access to large-scale funding needed to develop top-tier research labs, projects and programs.

“At a time when collaboration is essential to advanced scientific research, this program gives the next generations of leading American and Israeli academics the ability to work together on cutting edge research in ways that stand to benefit their fields for years to come,” said Mr. Zuckerman. “The result will help transform not just the work of the scholars involved, but the way the United States and Israel approach collaboration and cooperation across the sciences.”

“Mort’s friendship is demonstrated yet again through this important initiative,” said Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. “Together with the Technion, The Weizmann Institute, The Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University, this project will help bring back home some of Israel’s most brilliant sons and daughters, allow them to advance their own careers here and in so doing contribute to Israel’s growing scientific excellence. It will also enable some of America’s brightest young scientists to conduct their research in Israel.

“New York and Israel share a deep and unparalleled connection – and the Zuckerman Scholars Program is a prime example of how we can keep that relationship strong today and in the future,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “By helping some of America’s best and brightest students work and learn alongside leading researchers in Israel, this program gives us a new model for cooperation and partnership that will ultimately better society as a whole. This is a great way to strengthen the bond between Israel and the Empire State, and I applaud Mort Zuckerman for launching this program today.”

“Science is the only language with no borders or limits; it belongs to all,” said Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “The new Zuckerman initiative will strengthen connections between two important academic communities, North America and Israel, at a critical juncture – that where a new generation of scientists begin their careers, who will develop with roots firmly planted in the best institutions in both regions and will continue throughout their careers as catalysts for collaboration, enriching both Israeli and North American science and advancing knowledge for the benefit of humanity.”

The Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will be supported by funding from Mr. Zuckerman’s foundation to inaugurate the program and ensure that the first class of Zuckerman Scholars will begin with the 2016–2017 academic year. The foundation’s long-term intent is to ensure that the Zuckerman Scholars and the program’s related educational activities continue in perpetuity. In the next twenty years alone, the program intends to provide over $100 million in scholarships and related educational activities that will benefit not only the participating scholars and universities, but the general public as well.

The Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will, over time, help strengthen the U.S.-Israel partnership as Zuckerman Scholars return to the United States after building long-lasting relationships based in mutual collaboration. Israeli academic leaders returning to research institutions in Israel will similarly advance the overarching collaborative effort in science between the two nations as they continue to build bridges with their American colleagues.

The Zuckerman Scholars Program will initiate with the two main tracks: (1) the Postdoctoral Scholars Program, which is open to highest-achieving postdoctoral researchers from the United States to pursue research at leading Israeli research institutions; and (2) Zuckerman Faculty Scholars, which is designed to support Israeli academic leaders by fostering world-class labs, programs and projects at the Israeli institutions.

Additional information on the program, including how to apply, is available through the program’s website at http://zuckerman-scholars.org.

Mortimer B. Zuckerman Announces Transformative Program to Support Future Generations of American & Israeli Leaders In Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Fields
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Mortimer B. Zuckerman honored for $100 Million STEM Initiative

16/01/2017

Donation by Zuckerman Institute will herald unprecedented collaboration between Israel’s major research universities

The President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, honored the American business leader and philanthropist Mortimer B. Zuckerman at the President's Residence in Jerusalem today, for the Zuckerman Institute’s $100 million initiative to provide scholarships to the next generation of STEM leaders in the United States and Israel. 

Photo, L to R: http://media.huji.ac.il/new/photos/hu170116_zuckerman.jpg - Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund, former president of the Hebrew University, Mortimer B. Zuckerman, and Prof. Asher Cohen, rector of the Hebrew University, at the President's Residence on January 16, 2017 (Photo: Israel Hadari)

Mortimer Zuckerman launched the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program to support future generations of leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in the United States and Israel and, over time, foster greater collaboration between two of the world’s most advanced centers of scientific research.

President Rivlin said: “The essence of science is rules. But maybe the most important rule is that collaboration and modern development can only happen together. As an Israeli, I know that you, Mr. Zuckerman, are one of the great people that has helped us create something that allows Israel to be appreciated all over the world for its education and responsibility. It is a great honor to welcome you at the President's Residence today.”

The Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will give the highest-achieving American post-doctoral researchers and graduate students the ability to collaborate with leading researchers at Israel’s top research institutions – the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; Tel Aviv University; and the Weizmann Institute of Science – which are among the world’s most advanced.

Mr. Zuckerman said: "I was a guest in this country many times and have been fascinated and always moved by the many achievements of Israel. This is a society that knows how to develop and created a state that is absolutely a miracle. I have always admired what the Israelis could achieve in the country that is not rich in natural resources but rich in human resources. It is not oil, not gold or silver, but people who are willing to work hard and sometimes fight hard and I'm an advocate of Israel. I am deeply honored to be here.”

Mr. Zuckerman, Eric J. Gertler and James S. Gertler, Zuckerman Institute Trustees, Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Prof. Joseph Klafter, President, Tel Aviv University, Prof. Peretz Lavie, President, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Prof. Daniel Zajfman, President, Weizmann Institute of Science were in attendance along with a number of Zuckerman Scholars.

Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said: "The Zuckerman STEM initiative will strengthen connections between the academic communities of North America and Israel, and enrich the science and knowledge emerging from both regions for the benefit of people everywhere. As a new generation of scientists begin their careers, this initiative will allow them to develop roots in the best institutions in both regions, and to serve as catalysts for collaboration going forward.

By providing American graduate students and post-doctoral researchers with exposure to Israel’s renowned cutting-edge research and startup culture, the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will raise a generation of academic, scientific and industry leaders in the United States infused with a unique spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Prof. Peretz Lavie, President of Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, said: "Today, Israel is in the front-line of scientific research and Israeli universities are at a stage where they are attracting post-doctoral students from around the world, creating networks and fellowships. The power of this $100 million donation will help create coherent scientific endeavors.  Four leading universities working together is absolutely unprecedented.”

The program will simultaneously bolster Israeli research institutions as world-leading centers for innovative research by providing Israeli institutions access to large-scale funding needed to develop top-tier research labs, projects, and programs.

Prof. Joseph Klafter, President of Tel Aviv University,  said: "Through the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program, creativity will soar, discovery will soar, and the American-Israeli cooperation will soar farther than ever. We are deeply grateful for this vote of confidence in Israel by Mort Zuckerman."

The Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will, over time, help strengthen the US-Israel partnership as Zuckerman Scholars return to the United States after building long-lasting relationships based in mutual collaboration. Israeli academic leaders returning to research institutions in Israel will similarly advance the overarching collaborative effort in science between the two nations as they continue to build bridges with their American colleagues.

Prof. Daniel Zajfman, President of the Weizmann Institute of Science, said: “The Zuckerman program aims at supporting the collaboration of the best minds between Israel and North America. This is one of the better ways to make a major impact in the world of STEM and an efficient way to support the world of science and technology. I can already imagine, in 10 years, the room full of Zuckerman fellows who have gone through this program, the impact of their work in the various Israeli and North America research programs, and the incredible network which will be created among these people."

The first cohort of 14 Zuckerman Scholars began with the 2016–2017 academic year. In the next twenty years alone, the program intends to provide over $100 million in scholarships and related educational activities that will benefit not only the participating scholars and universities, but the public as well.

Mortimer B. Zuckerman honored for $100 Million STEM Initiative
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