The Israel Prize in Physics and Chemistry for 2018 will be awarded to Bar-Ilan University Prof. Shlomo Havlin, Education Minister Naftali Bennett has announced.
Upon the announcement the Prize Committee wrote, "Prof. Shlomo Havlin is one of the pioneers of a number of fields in statistical physics and its implications for complex systems in different areas. Prof. Havlin deals with the application of knowledge in physics to the broadest disciplines such as social networks, technological networks, economic networks, physiological systems and DNA function.
Of all Israeli scientists, Prof. Havlin is the most cited by scientists around the world. He devotes his time and energies to guide young scientists and graduate students and contributes greatly to the creation of scientific ties between the State of Israel and the world."
"We are proud of Prof. Havlin's immense achievements in advancing science and his tremendous contribution to increasing Bar-Ilan University's standing in Israel and around the world," wrote University Rector Prof. Miri Faust in a letter to faculty and staff.
Prof. Havlin, of the Department of Physics, has published 11 books and over 800 articles in leading scientific journals over the past forty-eightyears. His scholarly work has triggered several new fields of research and has been cited over? ?73,000 times.
In a 1992 article published in Nature, he and his collaborators discovered specific patterns in DNA sequences. These patterns later led to the understanding of the function of non-coding DNA segments that were previously considered non-functional.
In 2000, Prof. Havlin, together with his former students, Prof. Reuven Cohen and Prof. Daniel ben-Avraham, developed the first mathematical theory for evaluating the stability of complex networks such as the Internet. The study was published in Physical Review Letters and represented a breakthrough in the understanding of complex networks and, in particular, in applying physics tools to network science.
Prof. Havlin's research since 2000 has produced groundbreaking new mathematical methods in network science which have led to extensive interdisciplinary research in the field. In 2010, together with colleagues, he published a theoretical framework in Nature which paved the way for understanding and predicting the effects of the interaction between networks. For this breakthrough, Prof. Havlin received the American Physical Society's prestigious Lilienfeld Prize which is awarded for "a most outstanding contribution to physics."
In addition to the Lilienfeld Prize, Prof. Havlin is the recipient of numerous awards and citations, among them the Landau Prize for Outstanding Research, the Humboldt Award (Germany), the Nicholson Medal from the American Physical Society, the Chaim Weizmann Prize for Exact Sciences, and in 2014 the Rothschild Prize in Physical and Chemical Sciences. Most recently he was awarded the "Order of the Star of Italy", one of Italy's highest civilian honors. This award, given by the Italian President, is conferred upon those who performed outstanding scientific achievements as well as acquired special merit in the promotion of relations and cooperation between Italy and other countries. It was presented to him by the Ambassador of Italy, H.E. Francesco Maria Talo'.
Prof. Havlin was born in Jerusalem in 1942. He graduated from Bar-Ilan and Tel Aviv Universities with Highest Distinction. He began his academic career at Bar-Ilan University in 1972 and became a full professor in 1984. He served as Chairman of the Department of Physics from 1984-88 and Dean of the Faculty of Exact Sciences from 1999-2001. During his sabbaticals he was a Visiting Scientist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a Visiting Professor at Boston University.
Prof. Havlin has served as President of the Israel Physical Society, Director of the Minerva Center for Mesoscopics, Fractals and Neural Networks at Bar-Ilan, Head of the Israel Science Foundation National Excellence Center for Complex Networks, and in many more capacities. He continues to publish new research and to guide young researchers in many institutes all over the world.
The Israel Prize will be awarded to Prof. Havlin on Israel's 70th Independence Day on April 19, 2018.