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2021 Michael and Sheila Held Prize Winners Announced

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Nikhil Srivastava, Adam Marcus, and Daniel Spielman

Nikhil Srivastava, Adam Marcus, and Daniel Spielman published a solution to the KadisonSinger problem in 2013.

Adam W. Marcus of EPFL, Daniel Alan Spielman of Yale University, and Nikhil Srivastava of the University of California, Berkeley, will receive the 2021 Michael and Sheila Held Prize, a $100,000 award presented annually to honor research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimization, or related parts of computer science.

Marcus, Spielman, and Srivastava solved longstanding questions on the Kadison-Singer problem and on Ramanujan graphs, and in the process uncovered a deep new connection between linear algebra, geometry of polynomials, and graph theory that has inspired the next generation of theoretical computer scientists. 

Their groundbreaking papers on these questions solved problems that mathematicians had been working on for several decades. Their solution to the Kadison-Singer problem, first posited in 1959, has been hailed as one of the most important developments in mathematics of the past decade.

Their proofs provided new tools to address numerous other problems, which have been embraced by other computer scientists seeking to apply the geometry of polynomials to solve discrete optimization problems.

From National Academy of Sciences 
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