Indian-American mathematician among inaugural US prize winners
Representational Image: iStock
INDIAN-AMERICAN mathematician Nikhil Srivastava, a teacher at University of California, Berkley, has been jointly selected for the inaugural Ciprian Foais Prize in Operator Theory by American Mathematical Society (AMS).
Along with Srivastava, two others who received the award are Adam Marcus and Daniel Spielman. While Marcus holds the chair of Combinatorial Analysis at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, Spielman is Sterling professor of Computer Science, a professor of statistics and data science and professor of mathematics.
The award recognises the individuals’ highly original work which introduced and developed methods for understanding the characteristic polynomial of matrices, namely the iterative sparsification method and the method of interlacing polynomials, according to a media release.
“Together, these ideas provided a powerful toolkit with many applications, notably in the trio’s breakthrough paper “Interlacing families II: mixed characteristic polynomials and the Kadison–Singer problem” (Annals of Mathematics, 2015), which solves the famous “paving problem” in operator theory, formulated by Richard Kadison and Isadore Singer in 1959,” AMS said.
In a joint statement, the three awardees said they wish to accept the award on behalf of those whose work contributed to the resolution of the Kadison–Singer problem.
“Our involvement was the final chapter of an amazing story we hope will inspire similar solutions to difficult problems in the future,” they said.
The prize will be handed over to professor Srivastava and his colleagues on January 5 at the 2022 Joint Mathematics Meeting in Seattle, described as “the largest mathematics gathering in the world”.
For Srivastava, the Ciprian Foias Prize is the third major prize after the George Polya Prize in 2014 and the Michael and Sheila Held Prize earlier this year.