MEDIA RELEASE — November 8, 2013

Canadian Mathematical Society

November 8, 2013


Kenneth Davidson and Alex Wright to receive 2013 G. de B. Robinson Award

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce Kenneth Davidson (Waterloo) and Alex Wright (University of Chicago) as the winners of the 2013 G. de B. Robinson Award, for their paper titled “Operator algebras with unique preduals” which appeared in the Canadian Mathematical Bulletin (CMB) (54:3 2011, 411-421;

The G. de B. Robinson Award is named for Gilbert Robinson, the third president of the CMS. Robertson, along with H.S.M. Coxeter, established the Canadian Journal of Mathematics (CJM) and acted as the managing editor for 30 years. The G. de B. Robinson Award is given out to recognize outstanding contributions to the CJM or the Canadian Mathematical Bulletin (CMB).

In their paper, Davidson and Wright show that every free semigroup algebra has an strongly unique Banach space predual. Some dual Banach spaces are the dual of more than one possible predual, while others have a unique norm structure on the predual.

"In the end, elegance and contextual clarity determined the winners of this year's G de B Robinson award,” said Nantel Bergeron, Chair of the CMS Publications Committee. “The introduction of the paper is very well written and explains clearly the context of the problem. Moreover, this short paper has nice proofs that are quite elegant.”

Kenneth Davidson received his B.Math. from the University of Waterloo in 1972, and his doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in 1976. After spending two years as a Moore instructor at M.I.T., he joined the Pure Mathematics Department at the University of Waterloo in 1978. He was promoted to Professor in 1985, and to University Professor in 2007. Davidson has held a Steacie Fellowship 1988--90, was elected FRSC in 1992, and held a Killam Fellowship 1995--97. He was the Director of the Fields Institute from 2001--04. He has served the CMS in many roles including Vice President and Chair of the Nominating, Finance, Publications and International Affairs Committees.

Alex Wright was born and raised in Ontario, and completed his undergraduate work at the University of Waterloo, where he first began working with Kenneth Davidson on a summer research project. Operator algebras with unique preduals was the result of one such summer research project, completed in the summer after Wright’s final year. Wright is now completing his PhD at the University of Chicago under the supervision of Prof. Alex Eskin. Wright’s research has been focused on dynamics on moduli spaces and he aims to graduate this spring.

For more information, please contact:

Terry Gannon and Volker Runde
Canadian Journal of Mathematics
or Jessica St-James
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 722-2662 ext. 728

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.