David Mumford, professor at Brown University and Harvard University and co-winner of the 2008 Wolf Foundation Prize in Mathematics, will be donating his prize winnings to Bir Zeit University in Ramallah and Gisha, an Israeli organization advocating Palestinian freedom.
“I am very grateful for the prize, but I believe that Palestinian students should have an opportunity to go elsewhere to acquire an education. Students in the West Bank and Gaza today do not have an opportunity to do that,” the American mathematician said.
The Wolf Foundation awards prizes of $100,000 each year “to outstanding scientists and artists for achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples.”
Mumford received the honors for his work on algebraic surfaces and geometric invariant theory. He shared his prize with Pierre Deligne and Phillip Griffiths of Princeton University.
“Education for people in the occupied territories gives them a future,” he said. “The alternative is chaos.”