Alex Lubotzky once served in the Knesset. Now he’s an Israel Prize winner for math and computer science.
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Alex Lubotzky once served in the Knesset. Now he’s an Israel Prize winner for math and computer science.

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Alex Lubotzky, a father of six who once served in the Knesset, has won the Israel Prize for research in mathematics and computer science.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor is a leading researcher in group theory.

“Lubotzky is one of the most important researchers in the world in group theory, combining the brilliance of a researcher, deep love for the State of Israel and a great human heart,” Israel’s education minister, Naftali Bennett, said in announcing the prize on Monday.

In its announcement, the prize committee said that Lubotzky’s research has “influenced many fields in mathematics and computer science, especially in the area of expansion graphs and their applications.”

“I have received other prizes in my life, but this is a fantastic feeling – the gratitude of the Jewish nation is more significant than international prizes,” Lubotzky said after being notified of the award.

Lubotzky, a resident of Efrat in the West Bank and the son of Holocaust survivors, served in the Knesset for the Third Way party from 1996 to 1999.

He received his bachelor’s degree and his doctorate from Bar-Ilan University, and holds the Maurice and Clara Weil Chair in mathematics at the Einstein Institute of Mathematics of Hebrew University.

The Israel Prize is awarded each year in a special public ceremony on Independence Day.