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Nankai Symposium on Mathematical Dialogues

Celebrating 110th anniversary of the birth of Prof. S.S. Chern

2-13 August 2021

Chern Institute of Mathematics, Nankai University,Tianjin, China (via Zoom)

A special public lecture on 7th Aug given by Professor Sir Roger Penrose, FRS, Nobel Laureate in Physicson the occasion of his 90th birthday.

The Chern Institute of Mathematics is one of the premium research centres for mathematics. It is named after Prof. S.S. Chern, one of the greatest and most influential mathematicians of the 20th century (there are many key concepts in geometry that bear his name, such as Chern Classes and Chern-Weil Theory, etc). Prof. Chern was an undergraduate alumnus of Nankai University, China in the early 1900s and spent the last years of his life there as Distinguished Professor, after many years as the Director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) at UC Berkeley.

A strong proponent for the dialogue between various branches of mathematics and theoretical physics, Professor Chern had always wished for a regular international symposium in this subject. The background picture of this website is a copy of the mural in the entrance to the Chern Institute: a Mathematical Dialogue between Prof. Chern and Prof. C.-N. Yang (Nobel Laureate 1957), another famous alumnus of Nankai. The conversations between Professor Chern and Yang played an important role in the interactions between modern physics and modern mathematics.

When Prof. Chern passed away in 2004, and the Mathematical Institute at Nankai was renamed the Chern Institute, the then director of the Mathematical Physics group, Professor M.-L. Ge had many conversations with the current director Professor C.-M. Bai to launch such a series of conferences. Professor Y.-H. He, whose field of expertise is in the interface between geometry, mathematical physics and machine-learning, joined Nankai University as Chang-Jiang Chair in 2010 whilst holding his main appointments at The London Institute, Royal Institution of Great Britain; City, University of London; & Merton College, Oxford University. The position allowed him to spend 1-2 months each year in Nankai, this was seen as an opportunity by Professors Ge and Bai to initiate this series.

In 2017, the inaugural “Nankai Symposium in Physics, Geometry and Number Theory” was held in Aug at the Chern Institute, organised by Professor Ge, Bai and He. Over 50 participants from more than 10 countries stayed in the Chern Institute for a week, interacted extensively and gave many interesting talks ranging from gauge theories to string compactifications, from modular forms to complex geometry. Several participants also contributed to the book “Topology & Physics”, CN Yang, ML Ge, YH He, Ed (WS 2019), which has recently been voted by Book Authority as “one of the top 100 influential books on QFT of all time”. The symposium was a definite success, so much so that there were ideas of extending it beyond dialogues between mathematical physicists and geometers/number theorists.

The funding for the 2nd Symposium had long been secured. Due to the global pandemic, it was inevitably delayed. However, by kind permission of the Chern Institute, it will now be held online in Aug of 2021 and the dialogues will include all areas theoretical physics, mathematics and more.


Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 860 0078 4421 / Passcode: sschern

*note zoom security requires attendees to be logged into a zoom account for meeting access*

The event is finished.


Aug 02 - 13


10:45 am - 7:00 pm