Aleksandr Logunov, postdoc at Tel Aviv University and the SPbU Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory named after P. L. Chebyshev, and SPbU graduate Eugenia Malinnikova, professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, won the Clay Institute of Mathematics in 2017.
The Clay Mathematical Institute, USA, is a private non-profit organisation founded in 1998. It is dedicated to increasing and disseminating mathematical knowledge. It established the Clay Research Award considered one of the most prestigious international annual awards in the field of theoretical mathematics.
In 2017, three groups of researchers became winners of this award. One of them includes Aleksandr Logunov, postdoc at Tel Aviv University and the SPbU Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory named after P. L. Chebyshev, and Eugenia Malinnikova, professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Both the scientists are graduates of St Petersburg University. They were students of the outstanding mathematician Viktor Petrovich Khavin. "Professor Khavin dedicated his life to the development of the St Petersburg school of mathematical analysis. Today, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Viktor Petrovich, as well as to the staff of the Department of Mathematical Analysis and the SPbU Chebyshev Laboratory," said Aleksandr Logunov.
The scientists got this award for a series of studies at the intersection of geometry, analysis, and theory of partial differential equations. Aleksandr Logunov and Eugenia Malinnikova introduced a novel geometric combinatorial method to study doubling properties of solutions to elliptic eigenvalue problems.
This has led to the solution of a number of long-standing problems in the field of spectral geometry. In particular, the mathematicians proved able to find the optimal lower bound on the measure of the nodal set of an eigenfunction of the Laplace-Beltrami operator in a compact smooth manifold (Yau and Nadirashvili's conjectures).
The award given to Aleksandr Logunov and Eugenia Malinnikova is one more confirmation of the high level of the SPbU mathematical school of thought. Let us remind you that in 2001 SPbU graduate Stanislav Smirnov, now head of the SPbU Chebyshev laboratory, also won the Clay Research Award for his significant breakthrough in mathematical research.
The award will be presented in September 2017 at the annual Clay Research Conference and Workshops in Oxford.
The SPbU mathematical school of thought has traditionally been a stronghold of the world science. The Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory named after P.L. Chebyshev, the Centre for Genome Bioinformatics, the Centre for Game Theory, the SPbU Computing Centre have been created and are actively developing at the University.
The famous SPbU alumni include the following mathematicians: 1975 Nobel Prize winner Leonid Kantorovich; Fields medalist and Clay Millennium Prize winner Grigory Perelman who was the first to solve the Poincaré conjecture; winner of the Shaw Prize and Poincaré Prize, Max Planck medalist Ludvig Faddeev; Fields medalist Stanislav Smirnov and others.
The Clay Institute is best known for the Millennium Prize Problems stated in 2000. A correct solution to any of the seven problems results in a US $1 million prize being awarded by the institute to the discoverer(s). At present, the only Millennium Prize problem to have been solved is the Poincaré conjecture, which was solved by the Russian mathematician Grigory Perelman, a graduate of SPbU. His discovery was recognised by the international community, but the scientist declined to accept the Clay Institute award.