This year, two Technion faculty members will receive the 2024 Rothschild Prize: Prof. Michael (Miki) Elad and Distinguished Prof. Mordechai (Moti) Segev
The prestigious Rothschild Prize was established by Yad Hanadiv (The Rothschild Foundation) in 1959 to support, encourage, and advance the sciences and humanities in Israel. Each year, it is awarded in recognition of outstanding research in seven disciplines. The festive prize ceremony will take place at the National Library in Jerusalem on September 18, 2024. The following day, there will be a scientific conference during which the laureates will present their achievements and explain their impact.
- Professor Michael (Miki) Elad of the Henry and Marilyn Taub Faculty of Computer Science and the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering will receive the Rothschild Prize in the Engineering category, in recognition of his pioneering contributions to the fields of signal and image processing and machine learning. Prof. Elad’s research has revolutionized the way digital data is treated, through groundbreaking tools and algorithms based on “sparsity” and advanced AI-based techniques. Over the years, his work introduced innovative machine-learning based models that offer dimensionality reduction for data sources and signals, which allows for their efficient processing for tasks such as compression, solving inverse-problems, and more. A unique characteristic of his work is the continuous bridge between deep theoretical and mathematical analysis on the one hand, and real world applications that benefit directly from these contributions on the other hand. Prof. Elad’s work led to the establishment of a new and rich research field that changed the way data is processed and treated, and his contributions inspire numerous researchers all over the world.
- Distinguished Professor Mordechai (Moti) Segev of the Faculty of Physics and the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering will be awarded the Rothschild Prize in the Physics category in recognition of his pioneering contributions to the field of photonics that led to numerous important discoveries. Prof. Segev studies the interaction between light and matter l, focusing on understanding the change that the material undergoes when traversed by light. Prof. Segev, who also received the Israel Prize in 2014 and the EMET Prize in 2019, founded several research fields, which are currently being actively explored by hundreds of worldwide. About 10 years ago, Prof. Segev and his research group pioneered the field of topological photonics, which explores the phenomenon of light that is able to bypass defects and flaws, which it encounters while propagating in a photonic circuit . Later, the team invented the topological insulator laser – a system that enables numerous laser sources on a chip to function as a single powerful source. More recently, Prof. Segev’s group has been exploring light-matter interactions in time-varying materials and Photonic Time-Crystals, launching yet another new research area. Professor Segev is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of the United States. However, above his personal achievements, Prof. Segev is committed to nurturing the next generation of researchers. Among the many students he mentored over the years, 25 are professors in both Israel and around the world, and many more working in the high-tech and defense industries.