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**Background** / adapted from
"Exponential Growth", the President's Report, 1999/2000

Tradition of Excellence

Almost from the moment of laying the foundation stone for the Einstein Institute of Mathematics during the opening celebrations of the Hebrew University in 1925, the University has been known for the exceptional standards of its mathematicians. Indeed, the Institute's inaugural lecture, given by Institute founder and renowned mathematician Edmund Landau, was the first lecture in advanced math to be delivered in modern Hebrew.Mathematical logic and mathematical analysis, then the preeminent areas in the field, were covered by two of the Institute's first teachers, Avraham Halevi Fraenkel and Michael Fekete. And as the field itself developed, so too the ranks of the Institute and the scope of its activities grew. Over the years, a number of discoveries - some the result of research that crosses the traditional dividing lines within the field - have emanated from the Institute, in areas such as set theory, model theory, algebra, dynamics, and the geometry of high dimensional and infinite dimensional spaces.

Much to its credit, the Institute has contributed to Israel's place in the fifth and highest category by the International Mathematical Union in its ranking of global contributions to mathematical research. Moreover, The high level of Institute participation in the four-yearly International Conference for Mathematics has earned the Institute fifth place among the world's institutes.

One = Three

As the home of a founder of the field of theoretical computer science, it was only natural for computer science to become an important focus of the Institute of Mathematics. In 1970, the Department of Computer Science was established, later to become an independent institute. In addition to their scientific contributions, Institute members identified the first-ever computer virus, while the world's first anti-virus program was developed by one of its students. Further attesting to the University's strength in the computer sciences are several of Israel's billion-dollar high-tech companies, which were started by graduates of the Institute.Similarly, the Institute's reputation for excellence in game theory and mathematical economics has been further enhanced by the University's multidisciplinary Center for Rationality and Interactive Decision Theory where mathematicians enjoy fruitful collaborations with fellow researchers.

Interdisciplinary Vision

In the fields of both mathematics and computer science, there is a growing trend for collaborative research with other disciplines. A number of the younger faculty members at the Institute of Mathematics have earned doctorates in physics and conduct research in related areas such as probability of systems in physics; threshold behavior; fractals and holomorphic dynamics; knots, strings and manifolds; and physics-derived partial differential equations.

Shaul Katz: Berlin roots - Zionist incarnation: The ethos of pure mathematics and the beginnings of the Einstein Institute of Mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.Science in Context17(1/2), 199-234 (2004).

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