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Indian mathematician Nikhil Srivastava, working at the University of California in Berkeley, is among the winners of the Prestigious 2021 Michael and Sheila Held Prize, announced last week by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Adam W Marcus, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne) and Daniel Alan Spielman, Yale University, are the other two winners.
“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,” the NAS said in a statement.
An Indian national, Nikhil was born in New Delhi in November 1983 and has attended educational institutions across the world — Syria, UK, Saudi Arabia, and US — as his father was an Indian Foreign Services officer, who has served as the Indian ambassador to Uganda and Denmark. At present, Nikhil is an associate professor of mathematics at UC Berkeley. The Michael and Sheila Held Prize is presented annually to honour outstanding, innovative, creative and influential research in the area of combinatorial mathematics.
What is the connection between the prize winners and the famous Indian mathematical genius Ramanujan?
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