Yale Mathematician Receives Prestigious Wolf Prize, An International Award from Israel

Laszlo Lovasz, the William K. Lanman Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at Yale University, has been named as a co-recipient of the 1999 Wolf Prize, Israel’s most prestigious international award.

The Wolf Prize is presented each year by the president of Israel for outstanding achievements in science (chemistry, physics, medicine, agriculture and mathematics) and the arts. It is sponsored by the Israel-based Wolf Foundation, which was established in 1975 by diplomat and philanthropist Ricardo Wolf.

During the Wolf Prize’s 20-year history, 17 recipients have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. Israeli President Ezer Weizman will present this year’s award to Lovasz and Princeton professor Elias M. Stein at a reception in Jerusalem in May.

Lovasz has been honored with the Wolf Prize in mathematics for his contributions to combinatorics, the branch of mathematics that deals with such problems as determining the shortest possible route between a number of cities.

A Yale faculty member since 1993, Lovasz is a specialist in discrete mathematics, in particular its application in the theory of algorithms and the theory of computing. In addition to more than 200 research papers and four monographs, he is the author of the books “Geometric Algorithms and Combinatorial Optimization” (with Grotschel and A. Schrijver) and “Matching Theory” (with M.D. Plummer). He is editor-in-chief of the journal Combinatorica and editor of 12 other journals.

Born and educated in Hungary, Lovasz is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and three other academies. He is affiliated with the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics, a program in English for American and Canadian undergraduates. Lovasz’s awards include the George Polya Prize of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Ray D. Fulkerson Prize of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Programming Society, and the Brouwer Medal of the Dutch Mathematical Society.

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