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Public Lecture: What is Poincare Conjecture?

EPYMT, the Enrichment Programme for Young Mathematics Talents, of the Department of Mathematics of the Chinese University of Hong Kong is organizing a mathematics talk on 20 January, 2005 (Thursday). The talk is intended for students who have a solid foundation in mathematics. The details of the talk are as follows:Date: 20 January 2005 (Thursday)Time: 5:45pm to 7:15pmVenue: Lecture Theatre L2, Science Centre, The Chinese University of Hong KongSpeakers: Prof. Feng LUO (Rutgers University) and Prof. Xiao-Song LIN(University of California, Riverside)Title: What is Poincare Conjecture?Background: Secondary 4 or above, with good understanding of the Additional Mathematics Curriculum


Topology is a branch of modern mathematics that studies the structure of the space. In the world of topology, problems in low dimensions are by no means easier than those in high dimensions. On the contrary, deep problems often remain unsolved for many many years in low dimensional topology. The famous “Poincare conjecture” is among the most well-known ones. It has remained to be one of the most difficult problems in the list of open questions in mathematics, along with the famous “Riemann Hypothesis” and “Fermat Last Theorem” in number theory. “Fermat Last Theorem” was solved in the late 1990s, but the “Poincare conjecture” in 3 dimensions still stood out there far from being solved. A few years ago, the Clay Mathematical Institute even set up an award of US$1,000,000 for anyone who could solve the “Poincare conjecture”. Prof. S.S. Chern, a leading figure in geometry who just passed away, said on the prize presentation ceremony of the Shaw Prize that he wanted to devote his energy in his last years on the “Poincare conjecture”. It is a regret that he couldn’t solve it.

The “Poincare conjecture” was posed by the French mathematical genius Poincare in 1904. In one dimensional or two dimensional space, the conjecture is easy. For the dimension n ≥ 5, the conjecture was also solved in the 1960’s. The famous mathematician Michael Freedman solved the conjecture for the dimension n = 4, and got the renowned Fields Medal in 1982 because of this contribution. What remains now is the conjecture in the dimension n = 3.

Prof. Feng LUO, from Rutgers University, and Prof. Xiao-Song LIN, fromUniversity of California, Riverside, are both visiting the Department ofMathematics of the Chinese University of Hong Kong this semester. They are both brilliant students of Prof. Freedman and pioneers in mathematical research. Therefore they are the best people who should give a talk on “What is Poincare conjecture?” and explain the deep and fascinating mathematical problem. For those of you who are deeply interested in mathematics, if you wish to have a better understanding of the leading mathematical problem that shapes the development of modern mathematics and to share the marvellous insights of topologists, the talk on 20 January is one that you could not afford to miss!

17th January 2005


The Third International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians will be held in Hong Kong

A grand triennial event, The Third International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians will be held in Hong Kong from December 17 to December 22, 2004. Its opening ceremony will be held in Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on December 17.

This conference gathers a lot of renowned Chinese mathematicians to speak on the recent progress of their researches. Besides, there will be some plenary lectures which welcome all interested people. These lectures will be held on December 18 to 22 in The Chinese University of Hong Kong. For more details about the lectures and the conference, please visit the website of the conference.

15 December, 2004


An event which lets you talk to mathematicians face-to-face!

Who says secondary school students cannot join The Third International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians?

There is a special event called ‘Talk with Masters: The Wonders of Math’. It can let secondary students and undergraduates to meet mathematicians face-to-face. Participants can ask mathematicians directly and share their experience and fun in studying mathematics during the event. Even more, they can have a close talk to some mathematicians! Students interested in studying abroad must not miss the event!

Some details of the event are as follows:

Date and time: 18 December, 2004 (Saturday) 5:30p.m.-7:00p.m.

Venue: LT, T.Y. Wong Hall, Ho Sin-Hang Engineering Building, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Audience: Principals, teachers and students in schools and education institutes. People who are interested in pursuing higher degrees in the best overseas universities are also welcome.

Language used in the event: English

Fee and registration: Free of charge, no registration is required. Participants only need to arrive on time.

For more details, please visit the website of the event or related news from HKEdcity.

15 December, 2004


Mathematical Database is one of the 50 finalists of “The Ten Healthy Websites Contest”!

Jointed organized by Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority and the Salvation Army, “The Ten Healthy Websites Contest” begins again. Thanks for our visitors’ support, Mathematical Database is included in the shortlist of 50 finalists.

If you also recognize our effort, we kindly invite you to visit the website for “The Ten Healthy Websites Contest 2004” (www.tenhealthywebsites.gov.hk) to vote for us and recommend Mathematical Database to your schoolmates and friends. (You may click here to visit the voting area directly. The vote can be submitted after filling in suitable information. The name on the list for Mathematical Database is “http://mathdb.org”.)

Thanks very much for your support again! We will try our best to build our website!

1 December 2004


Renowned Chinese mathematician Prof. Shiing-shen Chern passed away

A great Chinese mathematician, who is a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, passed away tonight (3 Dec 2004) in Tianjin. He lived for 93 years.

Prof. Chern was born in Jiaxing, Zhejiang on 26 Oct 1911. He entered Nankai University when he was 15. It marked the start of his magnificent journey in mathematics. After his graduation, he earned his MPhil degree in mathematics in Tsing Hua University with researches in differential geometry. He was the first Chinese MPhil graduate in mathematics. Having finished his studies in Tsing Hua, he went to University of Hamburg to further his studies. It was just a little more than a year for Chern to receive his D.Sc degree. When he was 32, he entered Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton to continue his researches in differential geometry. His contribution to the foundation of differential geometry was remarkable. His studies covered a large area of topics. Some of the examples are the theory of Chern characteristic classes in fibre spaces. Not only are his researches significant in geometry, but also important in physics.

He has been awarded many prizes, including National Medal of Science of the United States, Wolf Prize and Shaw Prize. He was a very important mathematician in the 20th century.

3 December 2004


Public Lecture: Points and Lines

The Department of Mathematics of the University of Hong Kong will be organizing a general mathematics talk for students in Form 3 or above in the afternoon of 4 December 2004 (Sat). The talk will be delivered by Prof. Siu Man Keung, Head of the Department of Mathematics, and the title of the talk is “Points and Lines”. For details, please refer to the following poster:

14 November 2004


Public Lecture: Soap Bubbles, Soap Films and Geometry

The Department of Mathematics of the Chinese University of Hong Kong will be organizing a “New Wave Mathematics” lecture for students in Form 5 or above in the morning of 20 November, 2004 (Sat). The talk will be delivered by Dr. Cheung Leung Fu of the Department of Mathematics, and the title of the talk is “Soap Bubbles, Soap Films and Geometry”. For details, please refer to the following webpage:

10 November 2004


Public Lecture: Finding Mathematics in Genes and Diseases

The Faculty of Science and the Department of Mathematics of the University of Hong Kong will organise a public lecture entitled “Finding Mathematics in Genes and Diseases” by Professor Leung Ming-Ying next Friday (11/6). More information can be found in the following poster:

2nd June, 2004


Hang Lung Mathematics Award Press Release

In order to encourage the development of mathematics in Hong Kong, The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (IMS) launched Hang Lung Mathematics Award in December. This prize is launched by IMS, with the joint participation of HKEDCITY and supported by the departments of mathematics in universities in Hong Kong.Hang Lung Mathematics Award is a prize for a project research competition while it is open for secondary school students. Students in the same school can choose a suitable mathematical topic for their research and finish their project under the supervision of a teacher. The eight schools with the best projects will be awarded with Gold, Silver, Bronze and five merit prizes.

The press release of this prize will be held together with The Seminar on Effective Use of Information Technology in Mathematics on 27 Mar 2004. Prof. S. T. Yau and Prof. K. S. Lau from Department of Mathematics of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and S. L. Ma, a director of HKEDCITY will introduce the prize in detail at that time.

The details of the press release are as followsDate and time: 27 Mar 2004 (Saturday) 2 – 4 PMVenue: Pui Ching Middle School (20, Pui Chng Road, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon)Fee of registration: Free

Registration method: Please go to http://www.hkedcity.net/resources/mathsFor more details of this prize, please take a look at http://www.hkedcity.net/article/special/morningside/.

30th March, 2004


Huge prime factors of RSA-576 found!

Recently, Federal Bureau for Security in Information Technology (German Bundesamt fur Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik, abbreviated as BIS) in Germany successfully factorized a huge composite number which has 174 digits in its decimal representation. This result was verified by RSA Security on 5 Dec 2003. Therefore, BIS was awarded with a prize of US$10000 by RSA Security. The composite number factorized by BIS is named as RSA-576. It is 1881 9881292060 7963838697 2394616504 3980716356 3379417382 7007633564 2298885971 5234665485 3190606065 0474304531 7388011303 3967161996 9232120573 4031879550 6569962213 0516875930 7650257059. It is a product of two 87-digit primes. The two primes are 3980750 8642406493 7397125500 5503864911 9906436234 2526708406 3851895759 4638895726 1768583317 and 4727721 4610743530 2536223071 9730482246 3291469530 2097116459 8521711305 2071125636 3590397527.

These mathematicians factorized RSA-576 with Lattice Sieve and Line Sieve methods. RSA is a public encryption key depending on the complexity of factorization of huge composite numbers. Many information transfers in the Internet are using RSA technology. If a huge composite number cannot be factorized in a short period of time, RSA technology can be very secure. In order to test the security of RSA technology, RSA Security, the company which manages this technology, publicizes 8 huge composite numbers for mathematicians to factorize. These composite numbers are products of 2 huge primes, so it is very difficult to factorize them. RSA-576 is the smallest one among them, while other 7 primes have 193 to 617 digits. RSA-576 was so named because it has 576 digits in its binary representation.

If you want to share the prizes from RSA Security, study more on cryptography to factorize the 7 remaining primes!

22th February, 2004


Poincare conjecture solved

After many years of research, the mathematician Grigory Perelman from the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg published his proof of the Poincare conjecture. Formulated by French mathematician Henri Poincare in 1904, the Poincare Conjecture is a central question in topology, the study of the geometrical properties of objects that do not change when the object is stretched, twisted or shrunk.

Perelman has just given a series of lectures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explaining why Poincare’s conjecture was correct. His rigorous proof earned recognition among the audience and other mathematicians.

If his proof is published in a refereed research journal, Perelman could be eligible for a $1 million prize sponsored by the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for solving what the institute identifies as one of the seven most important unsolved mathematics problems of the millennium.

23rd April, 2003


HKMO Heats

Jointly organised by the Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) and the Department of Mathematics of the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd), the Heats of the 21st Hong Kong Mathematics Olympiad (HKMO) was held this morning. Over 200 schools particpated in the competition and the heats were held in four different venues, namely, Clementi Secondary School, Queen Elizabeth School, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School and Fanling Government Secondary School.

Each school can nominate six students at Secondary 4 or below for the contest. The 40 schools with the highest marks will enter the Finals. The Final Event will be held at HKIEd on 27th March.

Question papers of past HKMOs are available at http://its8.ied.edu.hk/math/hkmo.htm

17th January, 2004


Renowned Chinese mathematician

passed away

Mr Su Buqing, an outstanding Chinese mathematician, educator and famous social activist; and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, passed away in Shanghai at 16:45, 17th March 2003 owing to diseases at the age of 101.

As a famous Chinese mathematician, Su was born in 1902 in Pingyang of the Zhejiang Province of China. He studied in Japan in the early years, and obtained a Doctor of Science degree in the Graduate School of the Tohoku University of Japan in 1931. For many years he was engaged in the teaching and research of differential geometry. He had been the Head of the Department of Mathematics of the Zhejiang University, Vice Chancellor of the Fudan University, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Honorary Vice Chancellor of the Fudan University.

2nd April, 2003


MD born on Day of Pi


After more than one year’s preparation, Mathematical Database (MD, in short name) will be published on 1st February, 2003. It is a web page designed by a group of philomaths. Hope you appreciate our work and visit this web continuously in the future.

1st February, 2003