CSL professor contributes to mathematical discovery
A recent mathematical “discovery” that has garnered a lot of media attention has its roots in related research done by a professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
According to a story that first appeared in Quanta Magazine, an elegant formula connecting eigenvalues/eigenvectors was identified by nuclear physicists, who contacted UCLA’s Terrence Tao, one of the most highly regarded mathematicians in the world. (Eigenvalues/eigenvectors are used in linear algebra and are useful in reducing “noise” in data.) The group wrote a paper on the subject, generating buzz in the field.
The formula, however, had previously appeared in a different context (random matrix theory) in a work by Peter Forrester and Jiyuan Zhang. But before that, one of CSL’s own faculty touched on the solution.
From Quanta Magazine: "In an email to Quanta, Forrester explained that the formula first appeared in yet another form in a 2001 paper by Yuliy Baryshnikov, a mathematician now at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose work Forrester and Zhang had built on. These mathematicians hadn’t described the objects in their identity as eigenvectors, but rather as terms for calculating eigenvalues of certain minor matrices that arose in their problem."
Read the full story here.