Israel’s Wolf Prize winners named


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Seven scientists and an architect were named recipients of Israel’s prestigious 2013 Wolf Prizes.

The $100,000 prizes, which will be presented in May by Israeli President Shimon Peres during a special Knesset session, were announced Wednesday in Jerusalem by Gideon Saar, Israel’s minister of education and the Wolf Foundation’s council chair. The prizes are awarded annually in physics, mathematics, agriculture and chemistry, and in the arts in a rotation of disciplines.

Eduardo Souto de Mouro from Portugal was awarded the prize for architecture for "showing how buildings can philosophically and experientially engage with the natural world, and for his exceptional skills as a designer," the prize committee said.

The prize for mathematics was awarded to Professor George Mostow of Yale University for his fundamental and pioneering contribution to geometry and Lie group theory. He will share the prize with Professor Michael Artin of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was recognized for his fundamental contributions to algebraic geometry, both commutative and non-commutative.

Professor Robert Langer of MIT was awarded the chemistry prize for his work in polymer chemistry that the committee said has had a "profound impact on medicine, particularly in the areas of drug delivery and tissue engineering."

The award for physics went to Professor Peter Zoller of Innsbruck University in Austria for his work in quantum information processing, quantum optics and the physics of quantum gases. He will share the award with ProfessorJuan Ignacio Cirac of the Max Plank Institute of Germany, who was recognized for the same work.

The prize for agriculture was awarded to Professors Joachim Messing of Rutgers University and Jared Diamond of the University of California, Los Angeles. Messing was recognized for innovations in recombinant DNA cloning that revolutionized agriculture and deciphering the genetic codes of crop plants. Diamond was named for pioneering theories of crop domestication, the rise of agriculture and its influences on the development and demise of human societies, as well as its impact on the ecology of the environment.

More than 33 Wolf Prize recipients have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.

The Israel-based Wolf Foundation was established by the late German-born inventor, diplomat and philanthropist Dr. Ricardo Wolf, who served as the Cuban ambassador to Israel from 1961 to 1973.

Recommended from JTA