Math genius Nikhil Srivastava solves 1959 problem, gets joint Ciprian Foias Prize

Washington, DC: Eminent Indian-American mathematician Nikhil Srivastava, who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, has been jointly selected for the inaugural Ciprian Foias Prize in Operator Theory by the American Mathematical Society (AMS).

Along with Nikhil Srivastava, the two other awardees are Adam Marcus and Daniel Spielman. The award recognizes their highly original work that introduced and developed methods for understanding the characteristic polynomial of matrices, a media release said.

“The trio’s breakthrough paper “Interlacing families II: mixed characteristic polynomials and the Kadison-Singer problem” (Annals of Mathematics, 2015) solves the famous “paving problem” in operator theory, formulated by Richard Kadison and Isadore Singer in 1959,” American Mathematical Society said.

“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 presented to Professor Nikhil Srivastava and his colleagues on January 5 next year at the 2022 Joint Mathematics Meeting in Seattle, described as “the largest mathematics gathering in the world.”

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