The European Research Council,
one of the most prestigious grant-making institutions in the world, has awarded
BGU's Dr. Yair Hartman (pictured below) an ERC Starting Grant.
"A central theme of my research deals with the following surprising
phenomenon: Apparently, some non-random properties can be verified by studying
random processes," explains Dr. Hartman.
"For example, say we want to study some underground network. We can
imagine a passenger beginning their journey at some specific station. At each
step, they randomly pick some neighboring station to travel to, and so on. In
that way, our passengers will continue forever on their random journey in the
underground. Quite surprisingly, studying this random journey of the passenger
makes us understand algebraic and geometric properties of the network, which
are completely non-random!” he says.
"My research plan is to apply this idea - of studying deterministic
structures using random walks - in the context of Operator Algebras. Operator
Algebras is a mathematical theory related to the mathematical formalism of
Quantum Physics. There are several fundamental problems in this theory that the
mathematical community has been trying to solve for several decades without
success. Hopefully, this new perspective and the probabilistic tools will open
the door to solving some of these problems," he concludes.
Dr. Hartman is a member of the Department of Mathematics.
ERC Starting Grants are highly competitive and offer 1.5 million euros over
five years. Only about 10 early career mathematicians are awarded such grants
This grant follows another ERC Starting Grant to Prof. Jennifer Oser and an ERC
Synergy Grant to a consortium including Prof. Ehud Meron.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture,
Education and Youth, said: “We are proud that we are empowering younger
researchers to follow their curiosity. These new ERC laureates bring a
remarkable wealth of scientific ideas, they will certainly further our
knowledge and some already have practical applications in sight. I wish them
all the best of luck with their explorations.”
President of the European Research Council Prof. Maria Leptin said: “It is a
pleasure to see this new group of bright minds at the start of their careers,
set to take their research to new heights. I cannot emphasise enough that
Europe as a whole - both at national and at EU level - has to continue to back
and empower its promising talent. We must encourage young researchers who are
led by sheer curiosity to go after their most ambitious scientific ideas.
Investing in them and their frontier research is investing in our future.”