25 October 2016

Alunma awarded 2016 Sastra Ramanujan Prize

By Development and Alumni Relations Team

KaisaDr Kaisa Matomäki (PhD Mathematics 2009), has been awarded the prestigious 2016 SASTRA Ramanujan prize.  She shares this accolade with her Russian-born Canadian collaborator Dr Maksym Radziwill.

The SASTRA prize is worth $10,000 and has been awarded annually since 2005 by SASTRA University (India) in honour of Srinivasa Ramanujan, the Indian mathematical genius whose short life was dramatized in the recent film ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons.  The prize is presented to mathematicians no older than 32 (the age at which Ramanujan died) who have already made outstanding contributions to areas of mathematics connected with Ramanujan.

Previous winners comprise some of the most talented mathematicians of the new generation including one Fields Medallist (the mathematical equivalent of a Nobel Prize). The awards ceremony will take place at the International Conference on Number Theory at SASTRA university in December this year.

Kaisa graduated with a Masters from Turku University (Finland) in 2005 and studied at Royal Holloway from 2005-2008.  Glyn Harman, Emeritus Professor in the Mathematics department at Royal Holloway, was Kaisa’s PhD supervisor and comments,

“I am thrilled that Kaisa is getting the recognition she deserves for her exceptional ability.  She combines a rare mix of creative flair and penetrating analysis to solve exceedingly difficult problems in number theory.”

Much of Kaisa’s work deals with patterns that occur in strings of consecutive integers.  Although computers can check such patterns up to the limits of their ability, pure mathematicians want to know if such patterns persist indefinitely.  The methods used to investigate such problems are extremely deep and complex and take researchers into strange new worlds where patterns in whole numbers correspond to how well or badly mathematical functions behave.  The citation for the 2016 prize especially notes such a result proved by Kaisa and Maksym which is already being used by other leading researchers to remove some of the barriers to understanding patterns in integers which have captivated mathematicians for centuries.

Kaisa is currently an Academy Research Fellow at Turku University where she continues to pursue cutting edge research in number theory.

For more details please see here