UC Berkeley math professor among trio named winners of Ciprian Foias First Prize in Operator Theory | Indian of the world

Nikhil Srivastava, Native American Associate Professor of Mathematics at UC Berkeley, is the recipient, along with Adam Marcus and Daniel Spielman, of the 2022 Ciprian Foias Prize in Operator Theory from the American Mathematical Society.

The prize rewards the highly original work of three researchers who have introduced and developed methods for understanding the characteristic polynomial of matrices, namely the iterative sparsification method (also in collaboration with Batson) and the polynomial interlacing method, according to a December 2 press release. .

Together, he adds, these ideas provided a powerful toolkit with many applications, most notably in the trio’s groundbreaking article “Interleaving of Families II: Mixed Characteristic Polynomials and the Kadison-Singer Problem” (Annals of Mathematics , 2015), which solves the famous “ tiling problem ” in operator theory, formulated by Richard Kadison and Isadore Singer in 1959.

Srivastava has a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science and a Minor in English at Union College, advised by Alan Taylor and Peter Heinegg. He got his doctorate. in computer science at Yale in 2010, advised by Spielman.

After postdocs at the Institute for Advanced Study, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and Princeton University, Srivastava joined Microsoft Research India in 2012, where he remained until 2014 before joining UC Berkeley. .

Commenting on the award, Srivastava said in the press release: “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. . I remember being stunned 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 thank Dan and Adam for keeping us afloat by regularly sending emails with half-baked and sometimes crazy ideas during this difficult time.

“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 Awards Committee and AMS for choosing us for this recognition. It is humbling to learn that our work has had such an impact worthy of such a price.

The Ciprian Foias Prize in Operator Theory is awarded for outstanding work in Operator Theory published in a recognized and peer-reviewed venue within the previous six years. The prize, awarded every three years, was created in 2020 in memory of Ciprian Foias (1933-2020) by colleagues and friends. He was an influential researcher in operator theory and fluid mechanics, a generous mentor, and an enthusiastic advocate of the mathematical community.

The 2022 Prize will be presented on January 5 during the joint session of the Prize at the 2022 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Seattle, Wash.

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