Zu Chongzhi Center to promote innovation, build talent network | Duke Kunshan University

Zu Chongzhi Center to promote innovation, build talent network

November 25, 2019

Students and leading mathematicians attend a seminar organized by the newly launched Zu Chongzhi Center for Mathematics and Computational Science

Duke Kunshan has launched the Zu Chongzhi Center for Mathematics and Computational Science to boost interdisciplinary collaboration and provide a platform for global experts to share cutting-edge research.

Named for the prominent Chinese mathematician Zu Chongzhi (A.D. 429-500), who calculated pi as between 3.1415926 and 3.1415927, the center will promote innovation in key courses and aid undergraduate students in completing related Signature Work projects.

“In this era of rapid development, opportunities and challenges are arising across various fields, such as big data, artificial intelligence, biology and material science. Math and computational science can be applied to many disciplines,” said Jianguo Liu, the center’s co-director.

“The Zu Chongzhi Center was launched to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations, organize international conferences and workshops, and provide research opportunities and mentoring to both undergraduate and graduate students at Duke Kunshan.”

Liu, professor of math and physics at both Duke Kunshan and Duke University and a fellow of the American Mathematical Society, will lead the center with Peter Pickl, a visiting math professor from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany.

Jiaxing Hong, a mathematics professor at Fudan University and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, talks on Alexandrov-Nirenberg surfaces

The center aims to strengthen the research activities at Duke Kunshan not only by organizing workshops and summer camps but also by building a network of talent and supporting training programs to prepare for academic competitions in math and computational sciences.

Scholars from around the world will be invited to promote collaboration and for short-term teaching assignments, while there are also plans to launch a doctoral degree program, Liu said.

More than 30 leading mathematicians attended the center’s opening ceremony on Oct. 31, including Shuxing Chen and Jiaxing Hong, both academicians at the Chinese Academy of Science, and Chongho Chae, a member of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology.

The experts also took part in a four-day workshop on frontier math topics.

Hong, a professor at Fudan University, talked on the latest research into Alexandrov-Nirenberg surfaces, while Shi Jin, director of the Institute of Natural Sciences at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, introduced the application of stochastic methods in machine learning.

Pierre Michel Tarres, co-director of the New York University-East China Normal University Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU Shanghai, presented a research report entitled “Reinforced random walks and statistical physics.”