Emet Prize Laureates

Prof. Joseph Bernstein

2016 Laureates of Emet Prize

In Category: Exact Sciences
In Field: Mathematics

Joseph Bernstein

Jury Statement

“The Emet Prize is awarded to Prof. Joseph Bernstein for his research, which displays a virtuoso and revolutionary integration of diverse tools from the fields of algebra, analysis and geometry, and an understanding of wide-ranging mathematical phenomena.”


Prof. Joseph Bernstein was born in Moscow in 1945. At the age of 18 he began his studies in mathematics at Moscow State University, and received his Ph.D. in 1972 under the guidance of Prof. Israel Gelfand. In 1981, he left Russia, and a year later was appointed Full Professor at Harvard University. In 1993 he immigrated to Israel and was appointed Full Professor at the School of Mathematical Sciences at Tel Aviv University. In October 2014 he became Professor Emeritus and has since continued his research. Over the years he has been Visiting Professor and Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics, at the Israel Institute of Advanced Studies, at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and at Mathematics departments at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Maryland. 

While pursuing his doctoral studies, he began to publish many research papers together with colleagues. During this time and subsequently, he developed new, original and significant terminology and scientific tools that have made his research findings to be considered milestones in representation theory. His scientific achievements with Prof. Andrei Zelevinsky in the field of representations of p-adic groups are still considered to be groundbreaking. His research together with Prof. Alexander Beilinson proved, among other things, the hypothesis put forth by Kazhdan and Lusztig, and established a theorem in the field of geometric representation theory. He has published over 70 papers in the field of representation theory, algebraic geometry and number theory. While at Tel Aviv University, he cultivated numerous students who have themselves become leading researchers in the field.

His work has earned him awards, including the annual award of the Mathematics Society in Moscow and the Israel Prize for Mathematics. He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the United States National Academy of Sciences and an honorary Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.