UCLA mathematics professor Chandrashekhar (Shekhar) Khare has been elected a 2012 fellow of Britain's prestigious Royal Society in recognition of his scientific excellence.
Fellowship in the Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, is granted to those who have made substantial contributions to research and advancing understanding in their field of science, medicine or engineering. It is one of the highest honors a scientist can receive.
The Royal Society's citation reads, in part: "Shekhar Khare is an extremely original mathematician studying the relationship between Galois representations and modular forms. His forte is finding ingenious but relatively simple new ideas. Most spectacularly he and (Jean-Pierre) Wintenberger proved Serre's conjecture on the modularity of mod p Galois representations, a conjecture that was widely considered completely out of reach."
Khare and Wintenberger were awarded the 2011 Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Number Theory by the American Mathematical Society for their proof of Serre's modularity conjecture. The conjecture was first proposed in 1973 by Fields Medalist Jean-Pierre Serre and has had an important impact on number theory. In 2004, Khare and Wintenberger astonished the mathematical community when they found a remarkable strategy to attack Serre's conjecture. The Cole Prize, the most eminent prize in number theory, is awarded every three years.
The solution of the conjecture made headlines in number theory and has been the subject of conferences in the United States, France, India, Japan and elsewhere.
The Royal Society has been at the forefront of research since its founding in 1660. Each year, the society applies a rigorous peer-review process to elect a maximum of 44 new fellows who are citizens of the United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries or Ireland (as well as eight foreign members) from more than 700 candidates who are proposed by the current fellowship. Fellowship is a lifetime honor.