Prof Yang Wang joined the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in August 2014 as the Head of the Department of Mathematics. He becomes the Dean of the School of Science in November 2016.
Prof Wang has gained broad recognition for his strong vision and outstanding leadership skill in HKUST. As the head of Mathematics he is widely credited for instilling a strong Can-Do spirit in the department, for bringing in a strong sense of community and vibrance to the department through a series of sensible changes, and for having quickly recruited some of the best research talents into the department. His unique leadership skill is manifested in his tireless pursuit of reachable goals, his exceptional ability to communicate and inspire, and his relentless belief in the “Small is Beautiful” philosophy that empowers people. Under his leadership the department has shown a deep commitment to research, teaching and serving the university. Jointly with CSE it has created the Big Data Technology MSc program, which is the first of its kind in Hong Kong and is in extremely high demand even in its first year. Recognizing the need for recruiting talents into mathematics, the department has created the S. S. Chern Class for talented students. The department has also completed the novel Project Renaissance, which has turned the public spaces of the department into a gallery of mathematical history and art, and it has garnered visibility internationally in the mathematics community.
Prof Wang is also well known for his energetic and proactive leadership that often reaches beyond the Math Department and School of Science. He is the co-founder of the Big Data for Bio Intelligence (BDBI) Lab at HKUST through a generous donation he had initiated, and is one of the three key members for the establishment of the HKUST Big Data Institute. He spearheaded the effort to build a substantive partnership with the English School Foundation (ESF) that will have lasting benefits to both institutions. Before joining HKUST Prof Wang was department head in Michigan State University (MSU), where he had an equally distinguished leadership tenure. At MSU he was widely lauded for having turned around the department through many of the very same values and skills he has brought to HKUST.
Prof Wang received his BS degree in mathematics from University of Science and Technology of China in 1983, and his PhD degree from Harvard University in 1990 under the supervision of David Mumford. He was a faculty member at Georgia Tech until 2007, before becoming the head of mathematics at MSU. Prof Wang is an internationally respected scholar with wide ranging research interests, having published over 100 research journal papers in both pure and interdisciplinary mathematics, many of which in top journals. He was a Program Director at the National Science Foundation 2006-07. Prof Wang has a strong passion for teaching and serving the community, for which he received several recognitions, including the Pi Mu Epsilon Distinguished Service Award for the creation of and leadership in the Georgia Tech High School Mathematics Competition.