Robert J. Aumann: Noble Prize
in Economics Recipient-2005
by Seymour “Sy” Brody
Robert J. Aumann is an American and Israeli Orthodox Jewish citizen recipient of the Noble Prize in Economics, 2005, which he shared with Thomas C. Schelling for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis.
He was born on June 8, 1930, in Frankfort am Main, Germany. His family left Germany for the United States two weeks before the Kristallnacht riots.
His father was a textile merchant whose family lived in Germany for hundreds of years. His father was a decorated soldier in the German Army in World War I. His mother grew up in London and received a B.A. degree from University College, in London.
They lived in New York City where he attended The Rabbi Joseph Yeshiva High School. Aumann graduated from the City College of New York, in 1950, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. He then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and received his Master of Science degree in Mathematics, 1952, and his Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1955.
In 1953, he met Esther Schlesinger, an Israeli woman visiting friends and relatives in the United States. They got married in 1955. He took a position as an instructor in Mathematics at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. They had five children, nineteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His oldest son, Schlomo, was in the Israeli Defense Force and was killed in “Lebanon War” in 1982. His wife, Esther, died of ovarian cancer after forty-four years of marriage, in 1998. He married her widowed sister, Batya Cohn, a week before he received the Noble Prize.
Aumann is currently a professor at Hebrew University and a visiting professor at State University of New York, in Stony Brook.
He has received many awards and has held many prestigious positions:
● Associate Editor, Journal of Economic Theory, 1974-1979
● Associate Editor, Journal of European Mathematical Society, 2000-
● Mathematics of Operations Game Theory Editor.1975-1979
● Associate Editor of Econometrica, 1975-1978
● Games and Economic Behavior Advisory Board. 1989-
● Advisory Board of the Journal of Mathematical Economics
● Advisory Board of the Journal of Game Theory, 1999-2003
● American Economic Association, 1993
● Econometric Society, 1966, Executive Committee, 1982-1985
● Naval Academy of Sciences, 1985
● American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1974
● Nobel Prize for Economics, 2005
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