MEDIA RELEASE — May 28, 2012

Canadian Mathematical Society

May 28, 2012


Matthew Kennedy to Receive CMS 2012 Doctoral Prize

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce Matthew Kennedy as the recipient of the 2012 Doctoral Prize. Kennedy will receive his award and present a lecture at the 2012 CMS Winter Meeting in Montreal.

The CMS Doctoral Prize is awarded annually to a Canadian doctoral student who has demonstrated outstanding performance in the area of mathematical research.

“Research completed by doctoral students is crucial to the advancement of the field of mathematics,” said Jacques Hurtubise, CMS President. “Through his doctoral research on free semigroup algebras, Matthew Kennedy has shown that he is truly deserving of this award.”

Matt Kennedy's thesis provides a detailed structure theorem for an important class of linear operators, namely row isometries, which can be used to generate families of wavelets used for data compression. The structure theorem sheds new light on this area of application.

“Matt Kennedy is the strongest student that I have supervised,” said Kenneth Davidson (University of Waterloo), Kennedy’s PhD thesis supervisor. “He does deep, hard analysis. This is someone who is going to have a big impact on the field.”

The research Kennedy completed in his doctoral studies is related to an important class of algebras and operators. In his thesis entitled “Free semigroup algebras and the structure of an isometric tuple” he made great strides towards completing the structure theory of free semi-group algebras, in particular fully resolving three questions that have been recognized to be of central importance to this project for at least a decade. Furthermore, he generalized the classical Lebesgue-von Neumann-Wold decomposition of Hilbert space isometries to the situation of isometric n-tuples.

Aside from his thesis research, Kennedy also collaborated with University of Waterloo mathematician Alexandru Nica. Together, the pair considered deformations of C algebras, making the first significant progress in 20 years on a major open problem in the area which resulted in the publication “Exactness of the Fock space representation of the q-commutation relations" that appeared in Communications in Mathematical Physics.

“While working with Matt on the q-commutation relations I was able to fully appreciate his talent and determination to get results – a continuous spinning of the problem in his mind, while looking for new angles to attack it,” Nica said.

Kennedy completed the majority of his studies at the University of Waterloo, where he graduated in 2011 with his PhD in Pure Mathematics. He currently holds a tenure-track position at Carleton University; a position not commonly offered to an applicant before they have completed many years of postdoctoral experience.

For more information, please contact:

Jessica St-James
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 722-2662 ext. 728
or Lia Bronsard
Chair, CMS Research Committee
McMaster University
905-525-9140 ext. 23418

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

The CMS is the main national organization whose goal is to promote and advance the discovery, learning, and application of mathematics. The Society's activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including: scientific meetings, research publications, and the promotion of excellence in mathematics education at all levels. The CMS annually sponsors mathematics awards and prizes that recognize outstanding achievements.