Monday, 26 May 2008

Recipient of Israeli Math Award Gives Prize Money to Palestinian Academic Interests

NEWS BLOG - May 26, 2008

Jerusalem — An American professor who received a prestigious Israeli mathematics prize on Sunday has donated the $100,000 in prize money to a Palestinian university and a group that works for freedom of movement for Palestinian students.

David Mumford, a mathematics professor at Brown University, was awarded the Wolf Prize by President Shimon Peres in a ceremony at Israel’s Knesset parliament for his groundbreaking theoretical work in algebraic geometry. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Mumford announced that he was donating half the prize to Birzeit University, in the West Bank, and half to Gisha, an Israeli human-rights group that campaigns on behalf of Palestinian students.

Mr. Mumford said that mathematics had been able to flourish around the world because of the frequent interchange between scholars in different countries, and that international exchanges with other scholars had been important in his own career.

“Mathematics in Israel flourishes today on this high international plane. Its lifeblood is the free exchange of ideas with scholars visiting, teaching, learning from each other, traveling everywhere in the world. But this is not so in occupied Palestine, where education struggles to continue and travel is greatly limited,” he said. “Therefore I have decided to donate my part of the Wolf Prize in Mathematics to the cause of helping the university community in occupied Palestine survive and flourish.” —Matthew Kalman

Posted on Monday May 26, 2008 | Permalink |

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