Small Göran Gustafsson Prize 2017 to Kevin Schnelli
Kevin Schnelli at the department of Mathematics has been awarded the small Göran Gustafsson prize 2017 for young researchers at KTH/UU. Congratulations!
In the mathematical description of nature, matrices are used to describe essential properties of physical systems. Large complex systems tend to develop universal patterns that represent their fundamental characteristics, yet the mathematical description of such complex systems is extremely difficult and our understanding of universality phenomena thus advances via the study of simplified models.
In 1955, Eugene Wigner introduced a matrix model describing large quantum systems that can be studied with mathematical rigor. Wigner envisioned that the energy levels of large quantum systems behave in the same way as the eigenvalues of large matrices whose entries are independent random variables, and that the emerging behavior is universal. While we still do not fully understand universality for most realistic models, spectacular progress was made in the last decade in deriving universality for Wigner's random matrices.
Interesting applications yielding a strong link to high dimensional data analysis and to stochastic growth models include the derivation of Tracy-Widom fluctuations of the largest eigenvalues for various random matrix ensembles.
The research of Kevin Schnelli focuses on the understanding of the universality phenomena in more physical models, on connections to quantum physics, integrable probability and the theory of free probability, as well as on applications in mathematical statistics and in random networks.