Avi Wigderson

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Avi Wigderson
Avi Wigderson (London 2012) Cropped.jpg
Wigderson in 2012
Born (1956-09-09) 9 September 1956 (age 66)
Haifa, Israel
Princeton University (Ph.D.)
Known forZig-zag product
AwardsNevanlinna Prize (1994)
Gödel Prize (2009)
Knuth Prize (2019)
Abel Prize (2021)
Scientific career
FieldsTheoretical computer science
InstitutionsInstitute for Advanced Study
ThesisStudies in Computational Complexity (1983)
Doctoral advisorRichard Lipton
Doctoral studentsDorit Aharonov
Ran Raz

Avi Wigderson (Hebrew: אבי ויגדרזון; born 9 September 1956[1]) is an Israeli mathematician and computer scientist. He is the Herbert H. Maass Professor in the school of mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America.[2] His research interests include complexity theory, parallel algorithms, graph theory, cryptography, distributed computing, and neural networks.[3] Wigderson received the Abel Prize in 2021 for his work in theoretical computer science.[4]


Avi Wigderson was born in Haifa, Israel, to Holocaust survivors.[5] Wigderson is a graduate of the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa, and did his undergraduate studies at the Technion in Haifa, Israel, graduating in 1980, and went on to graduate study at Princeton University. He received his PhD in computer science in 1983 after completing a doctoral dissertation, titled "Studies in computational complexity", under the supervision of Richard Lipton.[6][7] After short-term positions at the University of California, Berkeley, the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, he joined the faculty of Hebrew University in 1986. In 1999 he also took a position at the Institute for Advanced Study, and in 2003 he gave up his Hebrew University position to take up full-time residence at the IAS.[3]

Awards and honors[edit]

Wigderson received the Nevanlinna Prize in 1994 for his work on computational complexity.[8] Along with Omer Reingold and Salil Vadhan he won the 2009 Gödel Prize for work on the zig-zag product of graphs, a method of combining smaller graphs to produce larger ones used in the construction of expander graphs.[9] Wigderson was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011.[10] He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2013.[11] He was elected as an ACM Fellow in 2018 for "contributions to theoretical computer science and mathematics".[12] In 2019, Wigderson was awarded the Knuth Prize for his contributions to "the foundations of computer science in areas including randomized computation, cryptography, circuit complexity, proof complexity, parallel computation, and our understanding of fundamental graph properties".[13]

In 2021 Wigderson shared the Abel Prize with László Lovász "for their foundational contributions to theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics, and their leading role in shaping them into central fields of modern mathematics."[14][15][16]


  1. ^ Wigderson, Avi (22 May 2014), Resumé (PDF), retrieved 7 March 2016
  2. ^ "Faculty | IAS School of Mathematics". www.math.ias.edu. 4 August 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b Short biography Archived 12 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine from Wigderson's web site, retrieved 3 May 2010.
  4. ^ "Avi Wigderson GS '83 awarded Abel Prize". The Princetonian. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Avi Wigderson and the Second Golden Era of Theoretical Computing – Ideas | Institute for Advanced Study". www.ias.edu. 16 March 2021. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  6. ^ Wigderson, Avi (1983). Studies in computational complexity.
  7. ^ Avi Wigderson at the Mathematics Genealogy Project.
  8. ^ "HU Professor Wins 'Nobel Prize' Of Computers", The Jerusalem Post, 3 August 1994
  9. ^ Avi Wigderson and Colleagues Honored with 2009 Gödel Prize, Institute for Advanced Study, archived from the original on 28 May 2010, retrieved 3 May 2010
  10. ^ "Avi Wigderson". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  11. ^ National Academy of Sciences Members and Foreign Associates Elected, National Academy of Sciences, 30 April 2013.
  12. ^ 2018 ACM Fellows Honored for Pivotal Achievements that Underpin the Digital Age, Association for Computing Machinery, 5 December 2018
  13. ^ 2019 Knuth prize is Awarded to Avi Wigderson (PDF), ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory, 23 March 2019 In 2021, he was awarded the Abel Prize.
  14. ^ Chang, Kenneth (17 March 2021). "2 Win Abel Prize for Work That Bridged Math and Computer Science". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  15. ^ Hartnett, Kevin (17 March 2021). "Pioneers Linking Math and Computer Science Win the Abel Prize". Quanta Magazine. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  16. ^ Castelvecchi, Davide (17 March 2021). "Abel Prize celebrates union of mathematics and computer science". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-021-00694-9.

External links[edit]