A group of top mathematicians around the world hosted the International Conference on Scientific Computing, a four-day event in Hong Kong to explore recent developments and new directions in the field. One of the aims of the conference was to promote scientific computing in Hong Kong by providing a forum for participants to exchange ideas and discuss their latest research achievements. It was also held in honor of President Tony F Chan's 60th birthday.
Over 100 first-rate mathematicians and scientists converged to speak at the Conference and exchange insights. Over 30 of them came to Hong Kong for the event from universities and institutes in North America, Europe and Mainland China. Among them are President Chan's fellow academicians, friends, peers and former students at UCLA and HKUST. President Chan has supervised 38 PhD students and 25 post-doctoral fellows. Many of his former students are now professors in world-renowned institutions.
Scientific computing is an active research field with important applications to applied disciplines ranging from engineering, physics, imaging, computer vision to computational biology. Rather than using the two traditional approaches to science which are theories and experiments, scientific computing has been well recognized as the third approach for doing science. For instance, it uses super high-speed computing which facilitates the construction of aircrafts and lessens its reliance on experiments with air movement. Likewise, computing enables virtual surgeries which can be carried out by medical students to practice surgical skills.
Formerly Assistant Director of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate at the US National Science Foundation and Director of the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) at UCLA, President Chan has contributed to research on mathematical image processing, computer vision and computational brain mapping. He is one of the most cited mathematicians.
One of the warmest moments at the event was the congratulatory greetings from mathematics giants. Fields medalist Prof Shing-tung Yau and the Director of IPAM at UCLA Prof Russ Caflisch greeted President Chan through the internet. The Hon Edward Yau, Secretary for the Environment and Prof Lap-chee Tsui, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong also attended.
|Former PhD students of President Chan came to Hong Kong for the conference and presented to him his 'Academic Family Tree'
|Prof Lap-chee Tsui, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong (1st from left) and The Hon Edward Yau, Secretary for the Environment (1st from right) celebrated with President Chan and Mrs Monica Chan
|Printed on the commemorative cups are four important mathematical equations invented by President Chan: Chan SVD, and Rank-Revealing QR which he invented in the 80s. Google search engines had taken these two equations as reference. The other two are Chan-Vese Segmentation invented in 2000 which was cited 3,500 times; and Conformal Brain Mapping jointly invented by President Chan and Prof Shing-tung Yau