Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Rips grew up in Latvia (then part of Soviet Union). He was the first high school student from Latvia to participate in the International Mathematical Olympiad. In 1969, Rips (who was a student at the University of Latvia at that time) attempted self-immolation in a protest against Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. After that, he was incarcerated by Soviet government but, under a pressure from Western mathematicians, he was allowed to emigrate to Israel in 1972.
After finishing his Ph.D., Rips joined the Department of Mathematics at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He became well known for his research in group theory. Rips received the Erdös prize from the Israel Mathematical Society in 1979 and was a plenary speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1994.
In 1994, Rips, together with Doron Witztum and Yoav Rosenberg, published an article in the journal Statistical Science which claimed that they have discovered encoded messages in the Hebrew text of the book of Genesis, a part of Bible. In 1997, their discovery was then described in a popular book The Bible Code by journalist Michael Drosnin . Since then, Bible codes have been a subject of much controversy. Other scientists have been mostly skeptical and have pointed out flaws in the study by Rips and his colleagues.
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