Alexander Lubotzky

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Alexander Lubotzky
Date of birth (1956-06-28) 28 June 1956 (age 58)
Place of birth Tel Aviv, Israel
Knessets 14
Faction represented in Knesset
1996–1999 The Third Way

Professor Alexander Lubotzky (Hebrew: אלכסנדר לובוצקי‎, born 28 June 1956) is an Israeli academic and former politician. A former head of the Mathematics Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he served as a member of the Knesset for The Third Way party between 1996 and 1999.


Born in Tel Aviv, Lubotzky studied mathematics at Bar-Ilan University, gaining a BA and PhD. He worked as a professor of mathematics at the Hebrew University, becoming head of the department. He has been a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Stanford, and the University of Chicago, with visits at Columbia and Yale.

Mathematical career[edit]

Lubotzky holds a Maurice and Clara Weil Chair in mathematics at the Einstein Institute of Mathematics of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is known for contributions to geometric group theory, the study of lattices in Lie groups, representation theory of discrete groups and Kazhdan's property (T), the study of subgroup growth and applications of group theory to combinatorics and computer science (expander graphs).

Lubotzky received the Erdős Prize in 1990.[1]

In 1992 Lubotzky was a recipient of the Sunyer i Balaguer Prize from the Institut d’Estudis Catalans for his book "Discrete Groups Expanding Graphs and Invariant Measures" and again in 2002 with Dan Segal for their book "Subgroup Growth".[2]

Lubotzky was elected a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.[3] In 2006, he got an honorary degree from the University of Chicago for his contribution to Modern mathematics. In 2008 Lubotzky received the European Research Council (ERC) advanced grant for exceptional established research leaders.[4] In 2011 Lubotzky was chosen to be the keynote speaker at the joint meeting of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) in New Orleans. Lubotzky’s keynote address in front of the conference’s 6,000 attendees marked the first time that an Israeli was the keynote speaker at one of these conferences.[5]

Political career[edit]

A founding member of The Third Way in March 1996, he chaired its secretariat and was elected to the Knesset in the May 1996 elections. He served as a member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee; Constitution, Law and Justice Committee; Status of Women Committee and the Science and Technology Committee, and chaired the subcommittee on the Y2K Bug.

As an MK, Prof. Lubotzky was mainly known for his compromise proposals on religious issues and pluralism. He was actively involved in setting up a solution to the conversion bill crisis via the Ne'eman Commission, working to avoid a conflict between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. Prof. Lubotzky also co-drafted a comprehensive proposal for a new covenant for religion-state affairs in Israel with MK Yossi Beilin.

Prior to the 1999 elections he joined the Centre Party, and was placed twelfth on its list.[6] but decided to leave it before the election following a disagreement with the head of the party, and so left political life.

Lubotzky married Yardena (daughter of prof. Murray Roston) in 1980. The couple had six children; the oldest, Asael, was injured severely in the Battle of Bint Jbeil in Lebanon, while serving as an officer in the Israeli Army in the 2006 Lebanon war.


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