ISSN 0032-9460, Problems of Information Transmission, 2008, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 395–398.
Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2008.
Original Russian Text
the Editorial Board, 2008, published in Problemy Peredachi Informatsii, 2008, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 120–124.
The International Dobrushin Prize
Roland L’vovich Dobrushin (July 20, 1929–November 12, 1995) was an outstanding 20th-century
mathematician. His most important scientiﬁc contributions are in probability theory, statistical
mechanics, and information theory. He also made signiﬁcant contributions to mathematical and
computer linguistics. Dobrushin was a great teacher and research director, particularly well known
for his support of young mathematicians. He was one of the founders of Moscow Independent
University. He created a laboratory at the Institute for Information Transmission Problems, which
now bears his name. The Dobrushin Laboratory became known throughout the world for its staﬀ
of outstanding mathematicians including three Fields Medal laureates.
Recently, the International Dobrushin Foundation was established by a true admirer of his talent.
The foundation, funded by a private endowment, is launching the International Dobrushin Prize.
The International Dobrushin Prize is awarded to outstanding researchers for the totality of their
work in the domains of Dobrushin’s research interests, including probability theory, information
theory, statistical physics, and mathematical and computer linguistics.
The prize committee accepts nominations from any researcher or a group of researchers. Nom-
inations should be sent electronically before May 10 to email@example.com and should include a
list of the candidate’s signiﬁcant publications, a brief summary of several of the candidate’s most
important publications, and a list of three (or more) experts who can evaluate the nomination.
The Prize is awarded annually on July 20, Dobrushin’s birth date. The winner receives a
diploma and the equivalent of 3000 US dollars and is invited to present a lecture at the Institute
for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.
The prize committee is independent of any organizations and is specially convoked on this
occasion. A member of the committee cannot be a nominee.
The decision is based on recommendations by independent experts. The list of the nominees is
kept conﬁdential and is not published.
The ﬁrst laureate of the Dobrushin Prize was Prof. Robert Adol’fovich Minlos, the head of the
Dobrushin Laboratory of the Institute for Information Transmission Problems.
The prize ceremony was held on July 22, 2008, at a seminar of the institute dedicated to the
ROBERT MINLOS’ LECTURE
There were three epochs in the scientiﬁc life of Roland Dobrushin: Markov chains, information
theory, and statistical physics. I will only talk about the last one, which was the longest and the
most important. It was started by a discussion I had with him in the spring of 1962. Dobrushin
was complaining that he is bored by probability theory and by the lack of good problems there,
that information theory is essentially ﬁnished, so he was looking for a good mathematical problem
with physical meaning. I then told him about two such problems. The ﬁrst one was statistical
physics; physicists of course already knew everything there, but from the mathematical point of
view there was only one rigorous statement, the Van Hove theorem on the existence of the free
energy limit, so it was a good idea to understand this ﬁeld on the level of mathematical rigor. The