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Math gathering

By Zhu Dunhua | China Daily | Updated: 2019-06-26 07:41
Yun Zhiwei (second from left) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is awarded a gold medal by faculty members of Tsinghua University including Shing-Tung Yau (first from right), chairman and co-founder of ICCM. [Photo provided to China Daily]

International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians plays host to the world's foremost number crunchers at Tsinghua University, Zhu Dunhua reports.

Liu Yijun is fascinated by numbers. They speak to him and give order to the world around him. It's why he chose to major in mathematics for his undergraduate studies at Tsinghua University.

However, between June 9 and 14 the main thing he was counting was foreign guests and the digits he was deciphering were flight codes, schedule times and lecture hall numbers. And he loved every minute of it.

Liu was volunteering as a liaison officer at the recent International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians.

Too busy to attend the event-which was held at Tsinghua University-as an audience member, he was still excited to meet the mathematicians and professors from all over the world who came to attend the event, present their research and studies, and interact with their counterparts.

Founded by domestic and overseas Chinese mathematicians, the ICCM has been held every three years since 1998.

"I set my career goal to become a high school math teacher after graduation, but participating in the math congress has sparked my passion to further my education," says Liu, a senior student at the university. "As such, I have decided to obtain a PhD in math, so that I can carry out further research and studies in the field."

The math congress is not only a conference to deliver reports, but also an interactive platform for mathematicians from around the world. Yun Zhiwei from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Zhu Xinwen from the California Institute of Technology each won a gold medal awarded by the congress for their research findings.

More than 1,000 mathematicians from all over the world were invited to attend, and 376 mathematicians delivered reports on geometry, statistics, number theory, artificial intelligence and biomathematics.

The congress offers math practitioners ample opportunity to get the full picture of their counterparts' research and studies through detailed lectures and discussions, according to Chinese-American Shing-Tung Yau, chairman and co-founder of ICCM, who, in 1982 became the first Chinese winner of the Fields Medal prize, the highest award in mathematics.

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