Nikhil Srivastava, an Indian Math whiz, recently solved a very complicated 62-year-old problem for which he received a prestigious prize in the United States

Nikhil Srivastava, an Indian math whiz, and two others have just resolved a 62-year-old puzzle. Their work has been recognized with a prestigious award in the United States. Let’s say you’ve been working on a math problem for decades and then you and your colleagues haven’t been capable of resolving it. A computer scientist comes up with a concept, partners up with a mathematician as well as a data scientist, and discovers a solution five years later.

What would your reaction be?

This is perhaps another gratifying feather in the crown of an incredible decade of Indians earning international news. This is due to the fact that Nikhil Srivastava solved an issue that had been unanswered since 1959. The American Mathematical Society has unanimously picked eminent Indian-American researcher Nikhil Srivastava for the first Ciprian Foias Prize for Operator Theory (AMS). Nikhil and his pals (the other recipients) issued a joint statement saying they would receive the prize on behalf of those whose efforts led to the solutions of the 1959 Kadison-Singer conundrum.

Who Have Been the Winner in this Competition?

Prof Nikhil Srivastava is no stranger to major honors. In 2014, he received the George Polya Prize, and then in 2021, he will get the Michael as well as Shiela Held Prize. The Ciprian Foias Prize is indeed the third biggest honor he has received. Adam Marcus along with Daniel Spielman, two of his buddies, has helped him with this project. At the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Adam Marcus holds the Chair of Combinatorial Analysis.


The prize is given to recognize their “very innovative work” that used particular approaches to break down the knowledge of matrices. These ideas have resulted in a toolkit that is likely to have a variety of uses in the future. That is significant since many of the world’s greatest mathematicians have been unable to solve it for the past 50 years. They also released novel Ramanujan graph constructs that depicted sparsely, linked data networks, plus their work has shown a stunning new deep relationship among graph theory, polynomials, and linear algebra.

The Ciprian Prize would be given out in January 2022 during the Joint Mathematics Meeting in Seattle, which would be the world’s biggest assembly of mathematicians. It was established in 2020 in honor of Ciprian Foias, a prominent figure in the fields of Operator Theory as well as Fluid Mechanics. The existing prize pool is valued at USD 5,000.


Consider a math problem in the shape of a large ball. This ball, which itself is made up of numerous compartments, many of which are easy and others that are difficult, was designed for mathematicians to solve. Except for one component, the problem was mostly addressed by mathematicians. And for the last 50 years, now this part remained unsolved. Nikhil, Daniel as well as Adam each contributed their own set of tools to address this one issue that mathematicians had previously overlooked.


The original challenge that Kadison as well as Singer posed perhaps is: If one needed to know about the current of a quantum system, will indeed knowing everything about its subsystems assist them to comprehend it? If so, to what degree? The notion of matrices was really a practical implementation of this principle. The question “Could matrices be subdivided into more depth as well as simplified?” is equal to “Could matrices be deconstructed into more depth as well as simplified?” If so, how much will it cost?

This problem had several applications in a variety of domains, including engineering, mathematics, and quantum physics, to name a few. If someone could figure out the solution, they’d have solved the largest challenge these professions were facing and, ideally, develop better means to advance. The solution to this Kadison conundrum would be that the replies were sometimes NO. Experts in arithmetic, on the other hand, were not so convinced in other cases.


When worldwide mathematicians were occupied with their issues and were unable to address questions related to the Kadison-Singer problem, computer scientist Adam began working on his difficulty. His issue was comparable to mine, yet it was different. Adam started attempting to limit the number of connections together in a computer network so that it could function as well as before. This would aid in data compression and computing efficiency.

Wrapping Up

After more consideration, this appeared to be extremely similar to a friend’s math issue, commonly known as the Kadison-Singer problem. Once Adam Marcus discovered he could resolve the mathematics and computer science challenge by working together, he teamed up with the other two experts, Nikhil Srivastava as well as Daniel Spielman, to tackle the problem.

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