Noga Alon wins 2022 Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences

Written by
Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications
June 15, 2022

The 2022 Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences was awarded in equal shares to mathematicians Noga Alon of Princeton University and Ehud Hrushovski of Oxford, "for their remarkable contributions to discrete mathematics and model theory with interaction notably with algebraic geometry, topology and computer sciences." 

Awarded by the Hong Kong-based Shaw Foundation, the Shaw Prize honors recent breakthroughs by researchers in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, and life science and medicine.

Alon, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics, works in the broad area of discrete mathematics. "He has introduced new methods and achieved fundamental results which entirely shaped the field," the award citation stated.

"The massive mathematical oeuvre of Noga Alon (he has published well over 600 research papers) attests to the breathtaking creativity and originality of his ideas," said Assaf Naor, a Princeton professor of mathematics. "His works include paradigm-shifting and area-creating contributions, and he developed methods that have become an essential part of the toolkit that one must use when studying issues in combinatorics and related fields."

In addition to his Princeton professorship, Alon is the Baumritter Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Computer Science at Tel Aviv University. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1983 and had visiting positions in various research institutes including MIT, Harvard, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, IBM Almaden Research Center, Bell Laboratories, Bellcore and Microsoft Research (Redmond and Israel). He joined Tel Aviv University in 1985, served as the head of the School of Mathematical Sciences in 1999-2000 and moved to Princeton in 2018. He has supervised more than 20 Ph.D. students. He serves on the editorial boards of more than a dozen international technical journals and has given invited lectures in many conferences, including plenary addresses in the 1996 European Congress of Mathematics and in the 2002 International Congress of Mathematicians. 

Among many other honors, Alon is an ACM Fellow and an AMS Fellow, a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and of the Academia Europaea, and an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He received the Erdös Prize, the Feher Prize, the Polya Prize, the Bruno Memorial Award, the Landau Prize, the Gödel Prize, the Israel Prize, the EMET Prize, the Dijkstra Prize, the Nerode Prize, the Paris Kanellakis Award, the Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition and an honorary doctorate from ETH Zurich and from the University of Waterloo.

Ehud Hrushovski, with whom Alon shares the prize, is currently the Merton Professor of Mathematical Logic, University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom. Early in his career, he was an instructor (1987–1988) and a visiting assistant professor (1988–1989) at Princeton.

The Shaw Prize, established by media mogul and philanthropist Run Run Shaw in 2002, carries a monetary award of $1.2 million. Other Princeton faculty who have received the Shaw Prize include: János Kollár, the Donner Professor of Science and professor of mathematics, who won the 2017 Shaw Prize in mathematics; Bonnie Bassler, the Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology and chair of the Department of Molecular Biology, who won the 2015 Shaw Prize in life science and medicine; Lyman Page, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Physics, and David Spergel, the Charles A. Young Professor of Astronomy on the Class of 1897 Foundation, Emeritus, who shared the 2010 Shaw Prize in astronomy; and P. James Peebles, the Albert Einstein Professor of Science, Emeritus, and professor of physics, emeritus, who won the 2004 Shaw Prize in astronomy.