Indo-American mathematician Nikhil Srivastava shares math prize

The very original work of Trio solves the famous “paving problem” in operator theory

Indo-American mathematician Nikhil Srivastava, who teaches at the University of California at Berkeley, will share a prestigious mathematics prize with two colleagues for their highly original work that solves the famous “paving problem”.

Srivastava, Adam Marcus and Daniel Spielman will receive the 2022 Ciprian Foias Prize for Outstanding Work in Operator Theory on January 5 at the joint session of the prize at the 2022 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Seattle.

The award recognizes their highly original work which introduced and developed methods for understanding the characteristic polynomial of matrices, according to the American Mathematical Society.

Read: Indian-American mathematician Nikhil Srivastava wins 2014 George Polya Prize (July 11, 2014)

“The trio’s groundbreaking article provided a powerful toolkit with many applications, which solves the famous ’tiling problem’ in operator theory, formulated by Richard Kadison and Isadore Singer in 1959,” he said. stated in a press release.

“Our involvement was the final chapter in an incredible story which we hope will inspire similar solutions to difficult problems in the future,” said Srivastava, Marcus and Spielman upon accepting the award.

“If it hadn’t been for a series of works spanning several decades, we probably would never have heard of the Kadison-Singer problem,” they said.

“We were fortunate to have at our disposal the revolutionary work of Julius Borcea and Petter Brändén and a revolutionary idea of ​​Leonid Gurvits as a source of inspiration. “

“I was a third year student advised by Dan when we started to think of this problem as an outgrowth of an earlier graph sparsification project with Josh Batson,” Srivastava said.

“I remember being amazed the first time we calculated an expected characteristic polynomial in MATLAB and saw that it had real roots.

“We had very slow progress on Kadison-Singer during my post-doctoral years, and I’m grateful to Dan and Adam for keeping us afloat by regularly sending emails with half-baked and sometimes crazy ideas. at this difficult time, “he said.

“Finally, I thank my colleagues at Microsoft Research India for providing a most rewarding and enjoyable work environment during the last year of this project. “

“We [all] are grateful to the award committee and AMS for choosing us for this recognition, ”said Srivastava. “It is humbling to learn that our work has had such an impact worthy of such a price.”

Srivastava, associate professor of mathematics at UC Berkeley, with a double major in mathematics and computer science and a minor in English at Union College.

He received his PhD in Computer Science from Yale in 2010. After post-doctoral studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and Princeton University, Srivastava joined Microsoft Research India in 2012, where he is stayed until 2014 before coming to Berkeley.

Read: Indo-American mathematician Nikhil jointly solves famous 1959 problem (December 4, 2021)

He disliked linear algebra as an undergraduate student, but now works almost entirely on eigenvalue and eigenvector problems in various contexts.

The Ciprian Foias Prize, awarded every three years, was established in 2020 in memory of Ciprian Foias (1933-2020), an influential scholar in operator theory and fluid mechanics.

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