Chen Jiangong

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Chen Jiangong (simplified Chinese: 陈建功; traditional Chinese: 陳建功; pinyin: Chén Jiàngōng) (1893-1971), or Jian-Gong Chen, was a renowned Chinese educator, mathematician and a pioneer of modernizing Chinese mathematics [1]. He was the dean of Department of Mathematics, National Chekiang University (Zhejiang University), and an academician of Academica Sinica (1948 election) and Chinese Academy of Sciences (1955 election).

Biography[edit]

Born in Qing Dynasty Guangxu Era in Shanying County, Shaoxing Fu (now Shaoxing City), Zhejiang Province, Chen studied in Shanying School and later in Shaoxing Prefecture School. 1910, he entered Zhejiang Advanced Normal School (a higher education institute of training teachers, later it was merged into Zhejiang University).

He went to Japan to continue his study. 1916, he graduated from Tokyo Institute of Technology (majored in textile technology) and Tokyo Academy of Physics (the predecessor of Tokyo University of Science).

1923, he graduated from Tohoku University, he then went back to China, became a lecture in Zhejaing Industrial School (later immerged into National Chekiang University). 1924, he went to Wuhan, Hubei Province, and became a professor in National Wuchang University (now Wuhan University). 1926, he went back to Tohoku University, continued his study in mathematics there, and completed his PhD in 1929. In Japan he met his later colleague Su Buqing.

1929, he went back to Zhejiang, invited by the president Shao Feizhi, he started serving as the director of the Department of Mathematics, National Chekiang University, for 20 years. 1931, due to Chen's strong advice, Su Buqing was invited to join with the department. They cooperated very well and set up the famous Chen-Su School in modern Chinese mathematics history. 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out, he and his whole department had to move out of Hangzhou. Feb 1940, they arrived at Zunyi then Meitan, Guizhou Province, and he started resetting up colleges of engineering and sciences.

1945, the Japanese army was defeated, invited both by the biologist Luo Zongluo (or Lo Tsung-lo, 1st president of National Taiwan University) and the Nanjing Nationalist Government, he was sent to Taipei, to handle and rearrange the university (Taihoku Imperial University) there (acting dean). Spring 1946, he returned to mainland China, continued teaching in National Chekiang University, and became a research in Academia Sinica Mathematics Research Institute. 1947-1948, he did one-year research in the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA. After the Chinese Civil War, he remained in Zhejiang.

1952, Zhejiang University was dissociated and its colleges of sciences and humanism (arts) were distributed to Fudan University in Shanghai. Both Chen and Su Buqing had to move to Shanghai. In Shanghai, he translated many mathematical works from the USSR.

1958, some departments of Zhejiang University were split out again and formed a new university - Hangzhou University (1998, it jointed into Zhejiang University again). Chen was pointed to be the vice president of the university and moved back to Hangzhou.

Notable students[edit]

References[edit]