60 Facts About Shiing-Shen Chern


Shiing-Shen Chern made fundamental contributions to differential geometry and topology.


Shiing-Shen Chern has been called the "father of modern differential geometry" and is widely regarded as a leader in geometry and one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century, winning numerous awards and recognition including the Wolf Prize and the inaugural Shaw Prize.


Shiing-Shen Chern graduated from Xiushui Middle School and subsequently moved to Tianjin in 1922 to accompany his father.


In 1926, after spending four years in Tianjin, Shiing-Shen Chern graduated from Fulun High School.


At age 15, Shiing-Shen Chern entered the Faculty of Sciences of the Nankai University in Tianjin and was interested in physics, but not so much the laboratory, so he studied mathematics instead.


Shiing-Shen Chern graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1930.


At Nankai, Shiing-Shen Chern's mentor was mathematician Jiang Lifu, and Shiing-Shen Chern was heavily influenced by Chinese physicist Rao Yutai, considered to be one of the founding fathers of modern Chinese informatics.


Shiing-Shen Chern went to Beijing to work at the Tsinghua University Department of Mathematics as a teaching assistant.


Shiing-Shen Chern studied projective differential geometry under Sun Guangyuan, a University of Chicago-trained geometer and logician who was from Zhejiang.


Sun is another mentor of Shiing-Shen Chern who is considered a founder of modern Chinese mathematics.


In 1932, Shiing-Shen Chern published his first research article in the Tsinghua University Journal.


In 1934, Shiing-Shen Chern received a scholarship to study in the United States at Princeton and Harvard, but at the time he wanted to study geometry and Europe was the center for the maths and sciences.


Shiing-Shen Chern studied with the well-known Austrian geometer Wilhelm Blaschke.


Co-funded by Tsinghua and the Chinese Foundation of Culture and Education, Shiing-Shen Chern went to continue his study in mathematics in Germany with a scholarship.


Shiing-Shen Chern studied at the University of Hamburg and worked under Blaschke's guidance first on the geometry of webs then on the Cartan-Kahler theory and invariant theory.


Shiing-Shen Chern had a three-year scholarship but finished his degree very quickly in two years.


Shiing-Shen Chern wrote his thesis in German, and it was titled Eine Invariantentheorie der Dreigewebe aus -dimensionalen Mannigfaltigkeiten im.


Shiing-Shen Chern was tempted by what he called the "organizational beauty" of Artin's algebra, but in the end, he decided to go to France in September 1936.


Shiing-Shen Chern spent one year at the Sorbonne in Paris.


Shiing-Shen Chern knew all these papers on simple Lie groups, Lie algebras, all by heart.


Shiing-Shen Chern was promoted to professor of mathematics at Tsinghua.


In 1939, Shiing-Shen Chern married Shih-Ning Cheng, and the couple had two children, Paul and May.


The war prevented Shiing-Shen Chern from having regular contacts with the outside mathematical community.


Shiing-Shen Chern wrote to Cartan about his situation, to which Cartan sent him a box of his reprints.


Shiing-Shen Chern spent a considerable amount of time pondering over Cartan's papers and published despite relative isolation.


In July 1943, Shiing-Shen Chern went to the United States, and worked at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton on characteristic classes in differential geometry.


Shiing-Shen Chern returned to Shanghai in 1945 to help found the Institute of Mathematics of the Academia Sinica.


In 1948, Shiing-Shen Chern was elected one of the first academicians of the Academia Sinica.


Shiing-Shen Chern was the youngest academician elected.


Shiing-Shen Chern delivered his address on the Differential Geometry of Fiber Bundles.


In 1960 Shiing-Shen Chern moved to the University of California, Berkeley.


Shiing-Shen Chern worked and stayed there until he became an emeritus professor in 1979.


In 1961, Shiing-Shen Chern became a naturalized citizen of the United States.


In 1964, Shiing-Shen Chern was a vice-president of American Mathematical Society.


Shiing-Shen Chern was largely responsible in making the US a leading research hub in the field, but he remained modest about his achievements, preferring to say that he is a man of 'small problems' rather than 'big views.


Shiing-Shen Chern was admired and respected by Chinese leaders Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Jiang Zemin.


Shiing-Shen Chern founded the Nankai Institute for Mathematics at his alma mater Nankai in Tianjin.


Shiing-Shen Chern was treated as a rock star and cultural icon in China.


Shiing-Shen Chern has said that back then the main obstruent to the growth of math in China is the low pay, which is important considering that after the cultural revolution many families were impoverished.


In 1999, Shiing-Shen Chern moved from Berkeley back to Tianjin, China permanently until his death.


Shiing-Shen Chern was a director and advisor of the Center of Mathematical Sciences at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, Zhejiang.


Shiing-Shen Chern died of heart failure at Tianjin Medical University General Hospital in 2004 at age 93.


Yang has said that Shiing-Shen Chern is on par with Euclid, Gauss, Riemann, Cartan.


Shiing-Shen Chern's work extended over all the classic fields of differential geometry as well as more modern ones including general relativity, invariant theory, characteristic classes, cohomology theory, Morse theory, Fiber bundles, Sheaf theory, Cartan's theory of differential forms, etc.


Shiing-Shen Chern's work included areas currently-fashionable, perennial, foundational, and nascent:.


Shiing-Shen Chern was a follower of Elie Cartan, working on the 'theory of equivalence' in his time in China from 1937 to 1943, in relative isolation.


Shiing-Shen Chern used the moving frame method with success only matched by its inventor; he preferred in complex manifold theory to stay with the geometry, rather than follow the potential theory.


Shiing-Shen Chern was known for unifying geometric and topological methods to prove stunning new results.


Shiing-Shen Chern received numerous honors and awards in his life, including:.


Shiing-Shen Chern liked to play contract bridge, Go, read Wuxia-literature of Jin Yong and had an interest in Chinese philosophy and history.


In 1975, Chen Ning Yang and Shiing-Shen Chern found out that their research in non-abelian gauge theory and Fiber bundle describe the same theoretical structure, which showed a surprising connection between physics and mathematics.


In 1979 a Shiing-Shen Chern Symposium offered him a honorary song in tribute:.


Shiing-Shen Chern has received a more homegrown honor, the dream-turned-reality of an appreciative student of 30 years ago, who grew up in the Bay Area.


Jean-Pierre Serre of the College de France was the Shiing-Shen Chern Visiting Professor for 1999.


Shiing-Shen Chern has 43 students, including Fields medalist Shing-Tung Yau, Nobel Prize winner Chen-Ning Yang; and over 1000 descendants.


Shiing-Shen Chern's surname is a common Chinese surname which is usually spelled Chen.


The unusual spelling "Shiing-Shen Chern" is a transliteration in the old Gwoyeu Romatzyh romanization for Mandarin Chinese used in the early twentieth-century China.


The silent r in "Shiing-Shen Chern" indicates a second-tone syllable, written "Chen" in pinyin but in practice often written by non-Chinese without the tonal mark.


In GR the spelling of his given name "Shiing-Shen Chern" indicates a third tone for Shiing and a first tone for Shen, which are equivalent to the syllables "Xingshen" in pinyin.


In English, Shiing-Shen Chern pronounced his name "Churn", and this pronunciation is universally accepted among English-speaking mathematicians and physicists.