Alum Solves Baffling Math Problem

Yale computer scientist Dan Spielman (TPS '84), whose recent work has focused on modeling complex online communities like Facebook, took on a side project five years ago.

It was then when a colleague in Jerusalem observed that Dan's research brought to mind the unsolved Kadison-Singer math problem.

According to writer Holly Lauridsen of Yale News, "First posed in 1959, the Kadison-Singer problem asks, at its core, if unique information can be extrapolated from a scenario in which not all features can be observed or measured. The idea is particularly relevant to abstract fields, including quantum physics, operator theory, complex analysis, graph theory, signal processing, and finite-dimensional geometry. In these fields, it is often impossible to quantify every characteristic of a system."

After baffling mathematicians for more than 60 years, Dan and co-authors Adam Marcus and Nikhil Srivastava posted a proof of the Kadison-Singer conjecture.  The three will be awarded the prestigious George Pólya Prize by the Society for Industrial & Applied Mathematics this month. 

Read more in Yale News.