|Prof He Xuhua, Associate Professor of Mathematics at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) was awarded the prestigious 2013 Morningside Gold Medal of Mathematics. The announcement was made at the opening of the International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians (ICCM) in Taipei, Taiwan. Prof He is the only scholar in Hong Kong receiving this prestigious award this year.
The ICCM is held triennially, and the Morningside Gold Medal of Mathematics is to honor mathematicians of Chinese descent, under the age of forty-five, for their exceptional achievements in mathematics. Both the ICCM and the Morningside Medals of Mathematics are modeled after the renowned older quadrennial International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), and the Fields Medal, a mathematics equivalent of a Nobel Prize.
The Morningside Gold Medal of Mathematics recognizes Prof He’s work in the mathematical area of algebra and number theory concerning Shimura varieties, the latter being geometrical objects, usually of high dimension, whose points parametrize mathematical structures. Earlier use of Shimura varieties includes the spectacular proof in 1994 by Andrew Wiles of the 358-year-old conjecture called Fermat’s Last Theorem. It is the decades-old riddle on the geometry of certain affine Deligne-Lusztig varieties which Prof He’s work has solved and for which he was given the top award.
Prof Tony F Chan, President of HKUST was heartened by the recognition bestowed on Prof He. As a focused elite research university, HKUST is defined by its excellence in education and research and, more importantly, by the critical mass of brilliance who consistently push back the frontiers of knowledge with new insights and discoveries. He was pleased that this prestigious award honored Prof He’s important work in pure mathematics and further reflects the faculty’s academic caliber.
Prof He was deeply honored to have been selected the recipient of the Morningside Gold Medal of Mathematics. As the mother of all sciences, Mathematics has been of fundamental importance to all subjects. He hoped that the establishment of Morningside Medals would encourage more young people to devote themselves to this worthy pursuit and generate breakthroughs.
Prof Nancy Ip, Dean of Science, and Prof Allen Moy, Head of Department of Mathematics congratulated Prof He on the award. They take great pride in the achievements of Prof He, who came to HKUST in 2008 as an Assistant Professor, and whose work has blossomed through his talents and the dynamic research environment at the University. Mathematics along with astronomy are considered the two oldest sciences, and indeed in ancient times the two subjects were one. As old as mathematics is, research in the subject flourishes in the present day, and Mathematics continues to challenge and expand the human mind. The award of the Morningside Gold Medal of Mathematics to Prof He is both a proud shining moment for himself and the University, which epitomizes the ambition of HKUST to be an institution of world-leading research.
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