World-renowned mathematician and winner of the Fields Medal, Professor Yau Shing-tung, gave a lecture at the Sha Tin Government Secondary School on 27th December 2000 hosted by the

The lecture "Mathematics of the Internet" illustrated the importance of mathematical research and the application of Mathematics in the Internet. It covered the development of the Internet and Modern Mathematics, including Data Compression, network traffic management, Cryptography and Watermarking.

According to Professor Yau, it is no doubt that Hong Kong has the potential to become a leading scientific and high-tech city with its solid financial background and flexible citizens. Yet he pointed out that there were insufficient fund and resources for scientific research in Hong Kong, and he warned the government of the present situation, which, if not being taken care of, "would bring Hong Kong to an end in 10 to 20 years."

Professor Yau also pointed out that local students tend to be inferior in terms of creativity to their contemporaries in the United States. He encouraged local students to expand their horizons by extensive reading.

Brought up in Hong Kong, Professor Yau Shing-tung completed his Bachelor's degree in Mathematics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1969, and obtained his doctorate degree at University of California at Berkeley in 1971, at the age of 22. Professor Yau is the only Chinese being awarded the Fields Medal in recognition of his enormous contribution to solving the Calabi conjecture. He is now a Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Director of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMS) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Professor Yau's lecture drew an audience of about 500 of which mostly were secondary school students, parents and teachers. This was the first Distinguished Scholar Online Lecture hosted by The lecture was broadcasted live on the web while the audience at home joined the Q&A session by posting their questions on the Internet.

Written by: HKEdCity Content Team