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Kannan Soundararajan

Kannan Soundararajan

Indian mathematician
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Indian mathematician
Countries United States of America India
Occupations Mathematician Educator
Gender male
Birth 27 December 1973 (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)
Education University of Michigan, Princeton University
Kannan Soundararajan
The details

Kannan Soundararajan is a mathematician and a professor of mathematics at Stanford University. Before moving to Stanford in 2006, he was a faculty member at University of Michigan where he pursued his undergraduate studies. His main research interest is in analytic number theory, particularly in the subfields of automorphic L-functions, and multiplicative number theory.

Early life

Soundararajan grew up in Chennai and was a student at Padma Seshadri High School in Nungambakkam in Madras (now Chennai), India. In 1989, he attended the prestigious Research Science Institute. He represented India at the International Mathematical Olympiad in 1991 and won a Silver Medal.


Soundararajan joined the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1991 for undergraduate studies, and graduated with highest honours in 1995. Soundararajan won the inaugural Morgan Prize in 1995 for his work in analytic number theory whilst an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, where he later served as professor. He joined Princeton University in 1995 and did his Ph.D under the guidance of Professor Peter Sarnak. As a graduate student at Princeton, he held a prestigious Sloan Foundation Fellowship.


After his Ph.D. he received the first five-year fellowship from the American Institute of Mathematics, and held positions at Princeton University, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Michigan. He moved to Stanford University in 2006 where he is currently a Professor of Mathematics and the Director of the Mathematics Research Center (MRC) at Stanford.


He proved a conjecture of Ron Graham in combinatorial number theory jointly with Ramachandran Balasubramanian. He made important contributions in settling the arithmetic Quantum Unique Ergodicity conjecture for Maass wave forms and modular forms.


He received the Salem Prize in 2003 "for contributions to the area of Dirichlet L-functions and related character sums". In 2005, he won the $10,000 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize, shared with Manjul Bhargava, awarded by SASTRA in Thanjavur, India, for his outstanding contributions to number theory. In 2011, he was awarded the Infosys science foundation prize 2011. He was awarded the Ostrowski prize in 2011, shared with lb Madsen and David Preiss, for a cornucopia of fundamental results in the last five years to go along with his brilliant earlier work.

He gave an invited talk at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2010, on the topic of "Number Theory".

Personal life

Soundararajan resides in Palo Alto, California with his wife and one son.

Selected publications

  • R. Holowinsky and K. Soundararajan, "Mass equidistribution for Hecke eigenforms," arXiv:0809.1636v1
  • K. Soundararajan, "Nonvanishing of quadratic Dirichlet L-functions at s=1/2" arXiv:math/9902163v2
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