Noncommutative Analysis

Category: Complex variables

Seminar talk by Hartz: How can you compute the multiplier norm?

Happy new year!

Next Thursday, January 7th, 2021, Michael Hartz will speak in our Operator Algebras and Operator Theory seminar.

Title: How can you compute the multiplier norm?

Time: 15:30-16:30

Zoom link: Email me.


Multipliers of reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces arise in various contexts in operator theory and complex analysis. A basic example is the Hardy space H^2, whose multiplier algebra is H^\infty, the algebra of bounded holomorphic functions. In particular, the norm of a multiplier on H^2 is the pointwise supremum norm. 

For general reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces, the multiplier norm can be computed by testing positivity of n \times n matrices analogous to the classical Pick matrix. For H^2, n=1 suffices. I will talk about when it suffices to consider matrices of bounded size n. Moreover, I will explain how this problem is related to subhomogeneity of operator algebras.

This is joint work with Alexandru Aleman, John McCarthy and Stefan Richter

Three classification results in the theory of weighted hardy spaces in the ball – summary of summer project

Last month we had the Math Research Week here at the Technion, and I promised in a previous post to update if there would be any interesting results (see that post for background on the problems). Well, there are! I am writing this short post just to update as promised on the interesting results.

The two excellent students that worked with us – Danny Ofek and Gilad Sofer – got some nice results. They almost solved to a large extent the main problems mentioned in my earlier post. See this poster for a concise summary of the main results:

Danny and Gilad summarized their results in the following paper. Just take a look. They have some new results that I thought were true, they have some new results that I didn’t guess were true, and they also have some new and simplified proofs for a couple of known results. Their work fits in the long term research project to discover how the structure of Hilbert function spaces and their multiplier algebras encodes the underlying structures, and especially the geometry of sets in the unit disc or the unit ball. More on that soon!

Summer project 2020 – Hilbert function spaces of analytic functions in a complex variable

In the week of September 6-11 the Math Department at the Technion will again host the “Math Research Week“, or what we refer to as the the “summer projects week”. As in previous years, I will be offering a project, and this year, with the help of Ran Kiri and Satish Pandey, it will be a project on Hilbert function spaces. See here for the abstract. The purpose of this post is to collect my thoughts and my plans for this project.

Read the rest of this entry »

The disc trick (and some other cute moves)

This post is about a chain of little tricks that I discovered with collaborators and used in several papers. It is just a collection of simple moves that lets you deduce the existence of a zero preserving map of a certain class between two gauge invariant spaces, given the existence of a map from that class (things will be very clear soon, I hope). These tricks were later used by some other people, who applied it in different settings.

I am writing this post as notes for my upcoming Pizza & Beer seminar talk. The section at the end of the notes contains references and links to papers where this was used.

Read the rest of this entry »

One of the most outrageous open problems in operator/matrix theory is solved!

I want to report on a very exciting development in operator/matrix theory: the von Neumann inequality for 3 \times 3 matrices has been shown to hold true. I learned this from a recent paper (with the irresistible title) “The von Neumann inequality for 3 \times 3 matrices“, posted on the arxiv by Greg Knese. In this paper, Knese explains how the solution of this outstanding open problem follows from results in a paper by Lukasz Kosinski, “The three point Nevanlinna-Pick problem in the polydisc” that appeared on the arxiv about a half a year ago. Beautifully, and not surprisingly, the solution of this operator/matrix theoretic problem follows from deep new facts in complex function theory in several variables.

To recall the problem, let us denote \|A\| the operator norm of a matrix A, and for every polynomial p in d variables we denote by \|p\|_\infty the supremum norm

\|p\|_\infty = \sup_{|z_i|\leq 1} |p(z_1, \ldots, z_d)|.

A matrix A is said to be a contraction (or contractive) if \|A\| \leq 1.

We say that d commuting contractions A_1, \ldots, A_d satisfy von Neumann’s inequality if 

(*)  \|p(A_1,\ldots, A_d)\| \leq \|p\|_\infty

for every polynomial p in d variables.

It was known since the 1960s that (*) holds when d \leq 2. Moreover, it was known that for d \geq 3, there are counter examples, consisting of d contractive 4 \times 4 matrices that do not satisfy von Neumann’s inequality. On the other hand, it was known that (*) holds for any d if the matrices A_1, \ldots, A_d are of size 2 \times 2. Thus, the only missing piece of information was whether or not von Neumann’s inequality holds or not for three or more contractive 3 \times 3 matrices. To stress the point: it was not known whether or not von Neumann’s inequality holds for three three-by-three matrices. The problem in this form has been open for 15 years  – but the problem is much older: in 1974 Kaiser and Varopoulos came up with a 5 \times 5 counter-example, and since then both the 3 \times 3  and the 4 \times 4 cases were open until Holbrook in 2001 found a 4 \times 4 counter example. You have to agree that this is outrageous, perhaps even ridiculous, I mean, three 3 \times 3 matrices, come on!

In Knese’s paper this story and the positive solution to the problem is explained very clearly and succinctly, and is recommended reading for any operator theorist. One has to take on faith the paper of Kosinski which, as Knese stresses, is where the major new technical advance has been made (though one should not over-stress this fact, because tying things together, the way Knese has done, requires a deep understanding of this problem and of the various ingredients). To understand Kosinki’s paper would require a greater investment of time, but it appears that the paper has already been accepted for publication, so I am quite confident and happy to see this problem go down.