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Milman graduated with a B.A. from the University of Moscow in 1967. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Tel Aviv in 1975 after an interlude of several years as researcher at the Institute of Chemical Physics and then Solid State Physics in Moscow.
Pierre Milman won a two-year Connaught Transformative Research Grant in the 1996 competition within the Faculty of Arts and Science of the University of Toronto (that year awarded also to the Nobel Prize laureate John Polani, usually only one awarded per year). In 1997, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was awarded a Killam Research Fellowship in 2002, and the Jeffery–Williams Prize in 2005.