Su was born in Pingyang County, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province in 1902, wih parental roots in Quanzhou, Fujian. After Su finished high school at Wenzhou High School, he graduated from Tohoku Imperial University in Japan in 1927 and received his Ph.D. from the University in 1931. He returned to China after his study in Japan, first served as a professor and dean at Zhejiang University (he established the well-known Chen-Su School with Chen Jiangong), and later as a professor and president and honorary president of Fudan University. He was honorary chairman of the Chinese Mathematical Society and elected to Academia Sinica and Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1948 and 1955 respectively. Together with Hua Luogeng, they were the most influential figures in mathematical society of modern China.
Praised commonly in mathematical field as the "first geometer in the orient", Su was engaged in research, teaching and education in differential geometry and computational geometry. In his early years, he made excellent contributions to affine differential geometry and projective differential geometry. He obtained extraordinary achievements in general space differential geometry, conjugating net theory in higher-dimensional space and computer aided geometry design.
- "Su Buqing, CAS Member and Mathematician, Passes Away" (Press release). Chinese Academy of Sciences. March 19, 2003. Retrieved 2008-05-09.