2017 Gent Laureate

The William Kingdon CLIFFORD Prize

The Laureate 2017 --- ICCA11 Gent


David Kimsey of Newcastle University (UK) has been selected as the recipient of the third W.K. Clifford Prize, for his outstanding mathematical research achievements in the field of quaternionic analysis with applications in quantum mechanics.


He received his Ph.D. from Drexel University with a thesis titled “Matrix-valued moment problems” (supervisor H. Woerdeman). During two postdocs his interest subsequently moved to quaternionic analysis. Spectral theory for normal operators on a quaternionic Hilbert space is a delicate and technical subject due to the noncommutativity of the quaternions. In particular, the proper notion of spectrum is not immediately obvious and turns out to be given by the recently discovered S-spectrum. Based on this notion, David Kimsey (in collaboration with Alpay and Colombo) produced a completely rigorous analogue of the spectral theorem for bounded and unbounded normal operators on a quaternionic Hilbert space. This spectral theorem is a crucial tool to formulate the axioms of quaternionic quantum mechanics and as such closed a problem formulated by Birkhoff and von Neumann in 1936.


The solution to this longstanding open problem in itself would already warrant awarding the prize to David Kimsey. However, through various collaborations, he also initiated the study of moment problems, free analysis and interpolation in the context of quaternions.


The W.K. Clifford Prize was presented to David Kimsey at the ICCA11 conference at Gent, 07-11 August 2017.

William Kingdon Clifford (1845-1879)

The Laureates

2011 Weimar

Hendrik De Bie

Ghent University - Belgium


2014 Tartu

David Eelbode

University of Antwerp - Belgium


2017 Gent

David Kimsey

Newcastle University - UK


The 2017 Jury



E. Bayro-Corrochano

CINVESTAV, Guadalajara, Mexico


H. De Schepper

Ghent University, Belgium


L. Dorst

University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands


D. Eelbode

University of Antwerp, Belgium


K. Gürlebeck

Bauhaus Universität, Weimar, Germany


N. Marchuk

Steklov Mathematical Institute RAS, Russia


T. Qian

University of Macau, China


I. Sabadini

Politecnico di Milano, Italy


V. Soucek

Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic


S. Staples

Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, USA


J. Tolksdorf

Max Planck Inst. for Math. in the Sci., Leipzig


Secretary: H. De Bie

Ghent University, Belgium


Former Jury members

R. Ablamovicz

V. Abramov

P. Anglès

F. Brackx

R. Da Rocha

H. De Bie

D. Hildenbrand

E. Hitzer

J. Lasenby

W. A. Rodrigues