Saharon Shelah

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Saharon Shelah
Saharon Shelah.jpg
Saharon Shelah in his office in Rutgers University, September 6, 2005. Photo by Andrzej Rosłanowski.
Born (1945-07-03) July 3, 1945 (age 69)
Jerusalem, British Mandate for Palestine
Residence Jerusalem, Israel
Nationality Israel
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Hebrew University, Rutgers University
Alma mater Hebrew University
Doctoral advisor Michael O. Rabin
Doctoral students Uri Abraham, Shai Ben-David, Rami Grossberg, Menachem Kojman, Mati Rubin
Known for Mathematical logic, model theory, set theory
Notable awards Wolf Prize, Israel Prize, Erdős Prize

Saharon Shelah (Hebrew: שהרן שלח‎) is an Israeli mathematician. He is a professor of mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Rutgers University in New Jersey.


Shelah was born in Jerusalem on July 3, 1945. He is the son of the Israeli poet and political activist Yonatan Ratosh.[1] He received his PhD in 1969 from the Hebrew University.[2]

Shelah is married to Yael,[1] and has three children.[3]

Academic career[edit]

Shelah is one of the most prolific contemporary mathematicians. As of 2012, he has published around 1000 mathematical papers (together with over 220 co-authors). His main interests lie in mathematical logic, model theory in particular, and in axiomatic set theory.

In model theory, he developed the classification theory, which led him to a solution of Morley's problem. In set theory, he discovered the notion of proper forcing, an important tool in iterated forcing arguments. With PCF theory, he showed that in spite of the undecidability of the most basic questions of cardinal arithmetic (such as the continuum hypothesis), there are still highly nontrivial ZFC theorems about cardinal exponentiation. Shelah constructed a Kurosh monster, an uncountable group for which every proper subgroup is countable. He showed that Whitehead's problem is independent of ZFC. He gave the first primitive recursive upper bound to van der Waerden's numbers V(C,N). He extended Arrow's impossibility theorem on voting systems.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b (Hebrew) Shelah, Saharon (2001-04-05). "זיכרונותיו של בן" [Memoirs of a Son]. Haaretz. "כשעמדתי להציג לפני חברתי יעל (עתה רעייתי) את בני משפחתי...הפרופ' שהרן שלח מן האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים, בנו של יונתן רטוש..." 
  2. ^ Saharon Shelah at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ (Hungarian) Réka, Szász (March 2001). "Harc a matematikával és a titkárnőkkel". Magyar Tudományos. "Hungarian: A gyerekei mivel foglalkoznak? A nagyobbik fiam zeneelméletet tanul, a lányom történelmet, a kisebbik fiam pedig biológiát. (What are your children doing? My oldest son is learning the theory of music, my daughter history, my youngest son biology.)" 
  4. ^ "Erdos Prize Website". 
  5. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site – Recipients in 1998 (in Hebrew)". 
  6. ^ "Laudation of Shelah on the occasion of winning the Bolyai Prize (in Hungarian)". 
  7. ^ "The Wolf Foundation Prize in Mathematics". Wolf Foundation. 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  8. ^ "EMET Prize". 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  9. ^
  10. ^

External links[edit]