The Intellectual Journey of Hua Loo-keng from China to the Institute for Advanced Study: His Correspondence with Hermann Weyl

Jean W. Richard, Abdramane Serme


This paper explores the intellectual journey of the self-taught Chinese mathematician Hua Loo-keng (1910-1985) from Southwest Associated University (Kunming, Yunnan, China) to the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.  The paper seeks to show how during the Sino – Japanese war, a genuine cross-continental mentorship grew between the prolific
German mathematician Hermann Weyl (1885-1955) and the gifted mathematician Hua Loo-keng.  Their correspondence offers a profound understanding of a solidarity-building effort that can exist in the scientific community.  Hermann Weyl had a profound influence on Hua Loo-keng and facilitated his coming to the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.  Hua Loo-keng who left school at the age of fifteen was able to produce considerable work in number theory, algebra, geometry, and complex analysis.  Hermann Weyl had interests that covered wide subfields of mathematics and was also involved in the development of general theory of relativity alongside Albert Einstein.


Hua Loo-keng; Hermann Weyl; Scientific exchange between China and the United States of America; The Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton; Southwest Associated University

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