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Nov. 22, 2022

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.
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"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 annually.

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.”