Matthew Kennedy awarded CMS 2012 Doctoral Prize

One of the nicest things that happen on math blogs is that people write expository posts on other people’s work. Tim Gowers and Terry Tao have set a fine example in their expositions of the works of Fields Medalists or Abel Prize laureates. These are among the most interesting and important posts out there, I think.

Recently, at the Canadian Mathematical Society’s Winter Meeting, Matthew Kennedy was awarded the CMS 2012 Doctoral Prize (at the meeting several other prizes were awarded by the CMS as you can see on the meeting’s homepage). See here for the media release, and here for a description of the prize and a list of past recipients.

Matt gave a plenary lecture at the CMS meeting surveying (some of) his work. Here are the slides, which are certainly worth looking at (thanks to Matt for allowing me to post them). Note that on the last slide there are photos of two gentlemen with no captions; these are Ken Davidson (on the left, Matt’s PhD supervisor) and Heydar Radjavi (Matt’s undergraduate research supervisor).

In this post I will describe a couple of Matt’s first really big results, one of which didn’t make it into his talk. These are the existence of wandering vectors for (certain) free semigroup algebras, and the reflexitivity of free semigroup algebras. These result appeared in the tour-de-force paper “Wandering vectors and the reflexivity of free semigroup algebras”; here are links to arxiv, mathscinet, and the official version in CrelleRead the rest of this entry »