David Kazhdan

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David Kazhdan
David Kazhdan.jpg
Born (1946-06-20) 20 June 1946 (age 69)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Nationality Israeli
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Harvard University
Alma mater Moscow State University
Doctoral advisor Alexandre Kirillov
Doctoral students Michael Finkelberg
Alexander Polishchuk
Karl Rumelhart
Tomer Schlank
Du Nguyen
Misha Verbitsky
Vladimir Voevodsky
Known for Kazhdan–Lusztig polynomial
Kazhdan–Margulis theorem
Kazhdan's property (T)

David Kazhdan (Hebrew: דוד קשדן‎) or Každan, Kazhdan, formerly named Dmitry Aleksandrovich Kazhdan (until he left the Soviet Union; Russian: Дми́трий Александро́вич Кажда́н), is a Soviet and Israeli mathematician known for work in representation theory.


Kazhdan was born on 20 June 1946 in Moscow, USSR.[1] His father is Alexander Kazhdan. He earned a doctorate under Alexandre Kirillov in 1969 and was a member of Israel Gelfand's school of mathematics. He is Jewish, and emigrated from the Soviet Union to take a position at Harvard University in 1975. He changed his name from Dmitri Aleksandrovich to David and became an Orthodox Jew around that time.

In 2002 he immigrated to Israel and is now a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as well as a professor emeritus at Harvard.

On October 6, 2013, Kazhdan was critically injured in a car accident while riding a bicycle in Jerusalem.[2]

Kazhdan has four children. His son, Eli Kazhdan, was general director of Natan Sharansky's Yisrael BaAliyah political party (now merged with Likud).


He is known for collaboration with Israel Gelfand, Victor Kac, George Lusztig (on the Kazhdan–Lusztig conjecture on Verma modules), with Grigory Margulis (Kazhdan–Margulis theorem), with Yuval Flicker and S. J. Patterson on the representations of metaplectic groups. Kazhdan's property (T) is now an aspect of representation theory.

Kazhdan held a MacArthur Fellowship from 1990 to 1995. One of his students was Vladimir Voevodsky, a recipient of the Fields Medal, a prize for young mathematicians of outstanding reputation. Since 1990, Kazhdan has been a member of United States National Academy of Sciences. Since 2006, Kazhdan has been a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences. In 2008 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2012, he was awarded the Israel Prize, the country's highest academic honor, for mathematics and computer science.[3]


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