||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2012)|
|Born||December 1948 (age 64–65)
|Alma mater||University of Latvia
|Doctoral advisor||Shimshon Amitsur|
|Doctoral students||Lev Birbrair
|Known for||Rips machine
Eliyahu Rips, also Ilya Rips (Hebrew: אליהו ריפס; Russian: Илья Рипс; Latvian: Iļja Ripss; born 12 December 1948) is a Latvian-born Israeli mathematician known for his research in geometric group theory. He became known to the general public following his coauthoring a paper on what is popularly known as Bible code, the supposed coded messaging in the Hebrew text of the Torah.
Rips grew up in Latvia (then part of Soviet Union). He was the first high school student from Latvia to participate in the International Mathematical Olympiad. On 9 April 1969, Rips, then a graduate student at the University of Latvia, attempted self-immolation in a protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. After that, he was incarcerated by the Soviet government for two years but, under pressure from Western mathematicians, was allowed to emigrate to Israel in 1972.
After recovering from his wounds and finishing his Ph.D., Rips joined the Department of Mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1975, he completed his PhD in mathematics at Hebrew University. His topic was the dimensional sub-group problem. His dissertation was recognized as being of international interest and he was awarded with the prestigious Aharon Karzir Prize. In 1979, Rips received the Erdős Prize from the Israel Mathematical Society, and was a sectional speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1994.
Since completing his PhD, he has been on the faculty of the Department of Mathematics, at Hebrew University where he holds the position of Professor. His current research interests concentrate on geometric and combinatorial methods in infinite group theory. This includes small cancellation theory and its generalizations, (Gromov) hyperbolic group theory, Bass-Serre theory and the actions of groups on R-trees.
Rips' (mostly unpublished) work on group actions on -trees has been widely influential. The Rips machine, in the hands of Rips and his student Zlil Sela, has proven to be effective in obtaining classification results such as a solution to the isomorphism problem for hyperbolic groups.
The Bible Code controversy
In the late seventies, Rips began looking with the help of a computer for codes in the Torah. In 1994, Rips, together with Doron Witztum and Yoav Rosenberg, published a seminal article in the journal Statistical Science, "Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis", which claimed the discovery of encoded messages in the Hebrew text of Genesis. This, in turn, was the inspiration for the 1997 book The Bible Code by journalist Michael Drosnin. While Rips originally claimed that he agreed with Drosnin's findings, he later distanced himself from his interpretations. Since Drosnin's book, Bible codes have been a subject of controversy, with the claims being criticized by Brendan McKay and others.
- Rips, E. "Group actions on R-trees". preprint.
- Rips, E. (1982). "Subgroups of small cancellation groups". Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society 14 (1): 45–47.
- Rips, E.; Sela, Z. (1994). "Structure and rigidity in hyperbolic groups. I". Geom. Funct. Anal. 4 (3): 337–371.
- Rips, E.; Sela, Z. (1995). "Canonical representatives and equations in hyperbolic groups". Invent. Math. 120 (3): 489–512.
- Rips, E.; Sela, Z. (1997). "Cyclic splittings of finitely presented groups and the canonical JSJ decomposition". Annals of Mathematics. 2 146 (1): 53–109.
- Sapir, Mark V.; Birget, Jean-Camille; Rips, Eliyahu (2002). "Isoperimetric and isodiametric functions of groups". Annals of Mathematics. 2 156 (2): 345–466.
- Birget, J.-C.; Ol'shanskii, A. Yu.; Rips, E.; Sapir, M. V. (2002). "Isoperimetric functions of groups and computational complexity of the word problem". Annals of Mathematics. 2 156 (2): 467–518.
- "Secret Codes In The Bible And The Torah? Investigators YES! - KMPH FOX 26". KMPH-TV. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "Botschaften des Allmächtigen oder zurechtgeschusterte Daten?". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 18 August 2004. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- Begley, Sharon (8 June 1997). "Seek And Ye Shall Find". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- Grūtups, A. (2009). Observators. Rīga: Atēna.