Congratulations to Professor Alexander (Sasha) Sodin, who was awarded the 2012 Haim Nessyahu Prize in Mathematics.The Israel Mathematical Union considered six excellent Ph.D. theses which were submitted, all worthy of the prize, and after discussing their stengths and contributions, reached the conclusion that Dr. Sodin's thesis should receive the award.
Dr. Sodin's thesis, Random Matrices with Independent Entries, and Other Topics in Asymptotic Probability Theory, written under the supervision of Professor Vitali Milman at Tel-Aviv University and submitted in June, 2010, deals with the statistical properties of large random matrices and their eigenvalues. The thesis discusses the global distribution of eigenvalues for random and band-random matrices. However, its most important results relate to the "local regime" in the vicinity of a special value. Dr. Sodin introduces here a modification of the classical moment method for studying random matrices, combining it with a combinatorial approach using orthogonal polynomials.
As the examiners of Dr. Sodin's thesis say, "[it] contains impressive new results about random band and sparse matrices. There is more than enough material here for several theses. [...] The results and ideas of this thesis have already had a significant impact on random matrix theory." "Sodin is clearly a powerful and ambitious young mathematician [...] I am very impressed not only by his technical virtuosity, but by his original approach to difficult problems of analysis."
Part of this thesis has been published in the Annals of Mathematics.