Chen Jiangong

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Chen Jiangong
Native name 陈建功 (Chén Jiàngōng)
Born 1893
Died 1971
Nationality Chinese
Alma mater Zhejiang Advanced Normal School, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo Academy of Physics, Tohoku Imperial University
Known for Pioneering modern Chinese mathematics, founding the Chen-Su school of mathematics
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Zhejiang Industrial School, National Wuchang University, National Chekiang University, National Taiwan University, Academica Sinica, Fudan University, Hangzhou University

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


Chen was born in Shanying County, Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province during the late Qing dynasty. He studied at the Shanying School and later the Shaoxing Prefecture School. In 1910 he entered the Zhejiang Advanced Normal School, a teacher-training institution which was later merged into National Chekiang University.

Chen later went to Japan to continue his studies. In 1916 he graduated from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he majored in textile technology, and the Tokyo Academy of Physics (now known as the Tokyo University of Science).

After graduating from Tohoku Imperial University in 1923, Chen returned to China and became a lecturer at the Zhejiang Industrial School, which was later merged into National Chekiang University. In 1924 he went to Wuhan, Hubei Province, and became a professor at National Wuchang University (now known as Wuhan University).

In 1926, Chen returned to Tohoku Imperial University to continue his studies in mathematics, completing his Ph.D. in 1929 and becoming the first international student awarded a Ph.D. by a Japanese university.[2] It was during this time that he met his later colleague Su Buqing, a fellow mathematics Ph.D. candidate.

After earning his doctorate, Chen was offered teaching positions at institutions including Peking University and Wuhan University.[2] However, on the invitation of National Chekiang University president Shao Feizhi, Chen returned to Zhejiang University to serve as dean of the Department of Mathematics, a position he held for the next 20 years.

After earning his doctorate in 1931, Su Buqing was invited to join Chen's department and take over his position as department chair, allowing Chen to focus more on research.[2] Their collaboration resulted in the Chen-Su school of mathematics in Hangzhou.[2]

The outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 forced Chen, and much of Zhejiang University, to relocate from Hangzhou. In February 1940, Chen arrived at Zunyi, and then subsequently Meitan, Guizhou Province, where he helped re-establish the colleges of engineering and sciences.

In 1945, after the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Chen was invited by biologist Luo Zongluo (Lo Tsung-lo), who was serving as the 1st president of National Taiwan University (formerly Taihoku Imperial University), as well as the Nationalist government in Nanjing, to travel to Taipei and serve as acting dean of NTU during its reorganization.

In the spring of 1946, Chen returned to mainland China (then still controlled by Nationalist government), where he continued teaching in National Chekiang University and became a researcher in the Mathematics Research Institute at the Academia Sinica. From 1947 to 1948, Chen traveled to the United States to do research at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. He was elected an academician of the Academia Sinica in 1948.

After the Chinese Civil War, Chen remained in Zhejiang, now part of the People's Republic of China.

In 1952, Zhejiang University was dissociated and its colleges of sciences and humanities were merged with Fudan University in Shanghai. Both Chen and Su Buqing moved to Fudan University, where they continued their cooperation and the Chen-Su school of mathematics.[2] While in Shanghai, Chen translated many mathematical works produced in the USSR.

In recognition of his advancements in the field of mathematics, in 1955 Chen was elected an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in its inaugural year.

In 1958, some departments of Zhejiang University were split from the university in order to form Hangzhou University (which eventually merged back into Zhejiang University in 1998). Chen was appointed to vice president of Hangzhou University and moved back to Hangzhou.

Notable students[edit]


  1. ^ Chen's profile in (in Chinese)
  2. ^ a b c d e Parshall, Karen; Rice, Adrian (2002). Mathematics Unbound: The Evolution of an International Mathematical Research Community, 1800-1945. American Mathematical Society. p. 245. ISBN 0-8218-2124-5.