Hong Kong Mathematical Society

The Hong Kong Mathematical Society

The main initiative for the creation of the Hong Kong Mathematical Society came from Wong Yung Chow. For autobiographical information about Wong Yung Chow's life up to his becoming a professor, see THIS LINK.

For background concerning the political and social situation which was of great significance in all mathematical activities in this region, see THIS LINK.

Wong Yung Chow made a tour of Southeast Asian countries in the early 1970s. He was keen to see regional mathematical societies formed and discussed that with mathematicians in various countries. He held a meeting in Hong Kong in June 1970 which prepared the way to the founding of the Southeast Asian Mathematical Society in 1972. The inaugural meeting of the Southeast Asian Mathematical Society was held in Singapore in July 1972 and the Society elected Wong Yung Chow as its first president. Preparation to found the Hong Kong Mathematical Society followed although it took a few more years before this aim was finally achieved.

The Hong Kong Mathematical Society was founded in 1979 with Wong Yung Chow elected as its first president. There were four institutional members of the new society: the Chinese University of Hong Kong; the Hong Kong Baptist College; Hong Kong Polytechnic; and the University of Hong Kong. Over the years the number of institutional members has increased to fourteen. The Society website states [1]:-

Today the Society is supported by a great number of mathematicians working in local universities and schools. Our institutional members have increased from 4 to 14 and have included all tertiary institutions in Hong Kong. The other tertiary institutions are City University of Hong Kong, Lingnan University, The Hong Kong Institute of Education and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The Society has been a member of the International Mathematical Union since 1982.
The Society is responsible for editing of the Bulletin of South East Asian Mathematical Society, and in 1997 the Society began to publish its own Bulletin of the Hong Kong Mathematical Society. However only two volumes of the Bulletin have been produced. The Society has two book series, the Hong Kong Mathematical Society Texts in General Education and the Hong Kong Mathematical Society Undergraduate Textbook Series.

Among the major conferences which the Society assisted in organising was the South East Asian Mathematical Society Conference in 1980 and the First Asian Mathematical Conference in 1990. They assisted in organising the First International Conference on Scientific Computing and Partial Differential Equations at the Honk Kong Baptist University, 12-15 December 2002. The Second in this series was held in conjunction with the First East Asian SIAM Symposium at the Honk Kong Baptist University, 12-16 December 2005. Four further conferences in the Scientific Computing and Partial Differential Equations series were held, also in the Honk Kong Baptist University, the Third conference, 8-12 December 2008, the Fourth conference, 5-9 December 2011, the Fifth conference, 8-12 December 2015, and the Sixth conference, 5-8 June 2017.

They also organised the International Mathematical Olympiad in 1994. In fact Hong Kong had quite a record of involvement in the Mathematical Olympiad before that event. In 1974, the Northcote College of Education held the first Hong Kong Inter-school Mathematics Olympiad, which is now known as the Hong Kong Mathematical Olympiad. In 1986, the International Mathematical Olympiad Hong Kong Committee was founded which paved the way for the International Mathematical Olympiad being held in Hong Kong in 1994.

The Hong Kong Mathematical Society has formed links with many other mathematical societies around the work. Perhaps the most significant of these links was the organisation of the American Mathematical Society - Hong Kong Mathematical Society Joint Conference in 2000. This was held at the Lam Woo Conference Centre of Hong Kong Baptist University from 13 to 16 December 2000. There were eight plenary talks, four from the American Mathematical Society and four from the Hong Kong Mathematical Society. There were sixteen special sessions.

In 2002 the International Congress of Mathematicians was held in Beijing, China. The Chinese Mathematical Society wrote to the Hong Kong Mathematical Society in 1996 asking them to support the Chinese Mathematical Society's application to host the International Congress of Mathematicians in Beijing in 2002. The Hong Kong Mathematical Society discussed this at their meeting held at the City University of Hong Kong on 20 September 1996 and agreed that their President, Roderick Wong, should write to the President of the International Congress of Mathematicians, David Mumford, on behalf of the Kong Mathematical Society in support of the application of the Chinese Mathematical Society. Roderick Wong wrote to David Mumford on 28 September 1996 and the beginning of the letter is worth quoting since it gives useful information:-

As president of the Hong Kong Mathematical Society, I am writing to give wholehearted support to the Chinese Mathematical Society's effort to host ICM-2002 in Beijing. This plea has the support of all the Hong Kong Mathematical Society's council members and the Mathematics department heads of all six universities in Hong Kong. Over the past 5-10 years Mathematics staff and researchers from the six universities in Hong Kong have been encouraged to foster links with equivalent institutions in mainland China. As a result of this interaction we are fully aware of the tremendous mathematical development in China and other countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific area. Here in Hong Kong we are now able to attract eminent world-famous mathematicians including holders of Field medals. This has generated numerous visits and lectures by so many outstanding mathematicians. through our strong links with many universities in China, we know that the same is happening there and the interactions between Chinese mathematicians and their international colleagues have been very fruitful both for the Chinese mathematical community and for the international mathematical community.
The Society makes a number of awards: The Hong Kong Mathematical Society Best Thesis Award; and the Hong Kong Mathematical Society Award for Young Scholars.

The Hong Kong Mathematical Society Best Thesis Award

This is to recognise outstanding Ph.D. theses in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics from postgraduate students at a Hong Kong University. The principal supervisor has to be a member of the faculty of a Hong Kong University.

The Hong Kong Mathematical Society Award for Young Scholars

This is to recognise outstanding achievements by young mathematicians working in Hong Kong. The applicant must be of age not exceeding 45, and have done the major part of their work in Hong Kong. The award id judged by a panel of four: two members of the Hong Kong Mathematical Society and two external experts invited by the Hong Kong Mathematical Society.


List of References (3 books/articles)


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