Professor Shlomo Havlin is internationally recognized as one of the world’s top statistical physicists. His exceptional achievements in Statistical Physics and its applications to interdisciplinary science have opened new avenues of research with far-reaching productive consequences.
Professor Havlin pioneered our understanding of anomalous transport in turbid media, which has led to extensive basic research and to applications ranging from diffusion in materials and oil recovery to biomedical diagnosis. He led the way in applying Statistical Physics to biological and climate systems, and co-discovered long-range correlations in nature, as in DNA sequences, in physiological time series such as heartbeats, and in climate fluctuations. The method of detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) that he pioneered is currently the standard approach. It has been applied to hundreds of studies in fields ranging from Biology, Medicine and Physiology to Climatology, Seismology and Economics.
He has broken new ground in our understanding of complex networks and their importance in nature. Professor Havlin was the very first to demonstrate that these networks belong to a new universality class and that new theories, approaches, and models are needed to describe their topology. This finding, described as one of the more remarkable theoretical results to emerge in recent years, demonstrated the immense importance of a field that has shown dramatic growth through its multidisciplinary applications in Computer Science, Mathematics, Biology and Sociology. Professor Havlin has also played a leading role since 2010 in developing the theory of ‘network of networks’– often regarded as ‘the second network revolution’ – by demonstrating that all network properties change when the functioning of nodes in one network is dependent on the functioning of nodes in other networks.
Professor Havlin has been cited for his unusual ability to solve difficult problems and develop new methods, allied with an immense intellectual breadth. At Bar-Ilan University he has established four new centres embracing medical diagnosis, mesoscopics, fractals and neural networks, complex networks and science education.
Professor Havlin was born in Jerusalem in 1942 He graduated from Bar-Ilan and Tel Aviv Universities with Highest Distinction. He has taught at Bar-Ilan University since 1972 and from 1999 to 2001 was Dean of the Faculty of Exact Sciences. He served as President of the Israel Physical Society from 1996 to 1999. During 1978–1979 he was a Royal Society Visiting Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. In 1983–1984 and 1989–1991 he was a Visiting Scientist at National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, and in 1984–1985 and 1991–1992 a Visiting Professor at Boston University. He has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Landau Prize for Outstanding Research in Physics (1988), the Humboldt Award (1992), the Nicholson Medal (2006), the Chaim Weizmann Prize for Exact Sciences (2009) and the American Physical Society’s Lilienfeld Prize for his ‘most outstanding contribution’ to physics (2010).
(Photo by Yoray Liberman)