Emet Prize Laureates

Prof. Saharon Shelah

Hebrew University of Jerusalem
2011 Laureates of Emet Prize

In Category: Exact Sciences
In Field: Mathematics

Mathematical Logic and its applications

Prof. Saharon Shelah

Jury Statement

“One of the world’s preeminent researchers in the area of Mathematical Logic and its applications to various areas of classical mathematics, for his deep understanding and his long-standing and wide-ranging work which has resolved many conjectures and transformed Model Theory.”


Was born in Israel in 1945. His father was the poet Yonatan Ratosh.

He attended Tel Aviv University and was awarded a B.Sc. Cum Laude in 1964, and afterwards he served in the IDF’s Computing Center.

In 1968 he was awarded an M.Sc., also Cum Laude, and two years later he was awarded his Ph.D Summa Cum Laude from the Hebrew University under the supervision of Prof. M. O. Rabin. His thesis was on Categoricity of Classes of Models.

Since 1971 he has been teaching and carrying out research at the Hebrew University. In his research he discovered deep connections between model theory, set theory and combinatorics and he created many powerful techniques which have also been applied to algebraic geometry and number theory. In set theory he proved a large number of impressive results and developed two totally new subfields: the theory of proper forcing and the theory of possible cofinalities (PCF), and proved the consistency of various forcing axioms. He has published close to 1000 papers and solved many open problems in mathematics.

Among his accomplishments: in model theory he developed an area called classification theory, by which he solved Morley’s Problem and proved that Whitehead’s Problem is independent of the axioms.

His research awarded him many prizes, among them the Erdös Prize (1977), the Rothschild Prize (1982), the Karp Prize (1983), the Israel Prize (1998), the Bolyai Prize (2000) and the Wolf Prize (2001). In 1988 he became a Member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Three years later he became a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.