The Ninth International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians (ICCM) opened on Sunday in Nanjing, capital city of east China's Jiangsu Province.
The six-day congress invited renowned mathematicians from around the world to discuss the current development and future direction of pure and applied mathematics.
Professor Shing-Tung Yau, co-founder and president of ICCM, addressed the forum. He said that Chinese mathematicians have actually had few opportunities to show their abilities in the past 30 or 40 years, and they are often discriminated against.
"That's why we need to get together and have strong leadership," the professor said. "So that mathematicians around the world can see our achievements in both basic and applied mathematics."
Among all the events, the ICCM awards often attract the most attention because they are the top honor for Chinese mathematicians.
This year, the ICCM Gold Medal of Mathematics, recognized as the highest achievement for Chinese mathematicians, went to Ding Jian from Peking University for solving several long-standing problems in probability and mathematical physics.
The ICCM Silver Medal of Mathematics was given to five mathematicians: Miao Shuang from Wuhan University, Wu Hao from Tsinghua University, Eric T. Chung from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Yu-Wei Fan from Tsinghua University, and Chen Gao from University of Science and Technology of China.
The mathematics awards are presented to honor Chinese mathematicians under the age of 45 for making outstanding achievements in basic and applied mathematics or making outstanding contributions to the development of mathematics. And this year's youngest recipient is only 28 years old.
The Chern Prize, established to honor exceptional contributions to mathematical research or public service activities, went to Chin-Lung Wang from National Taiwan University and Ngaiming Mok from Hong Kong University.
The ICCM International cooperation award went to Leon Simon from Stanford University for his strong support of the Chinese mathematical community throughout his career.
Speaking of international cooperation, Yau said in a news conference after the opening ceremony that in recent years, many Chinese scholars and students have been falsely accused or even sanctioned, which created barriers for international cooperation in scientific research.
"We think this would be government actions rather than the wishes of scholars," Yau said. "So it's important that we maintain friendly exchanges with scholars in other countries, say the U.S. and European countries."
The ICCM presented the Mathematics Contribution Award for the first time. The first honor was given to Lo Yang (Yang Le) from the Chinese Academy of Sciences for his brilliant academic achievements and important contributions to the advancement of Chinese mathematics, as well as his outstanding leadership and extensive influence.
Apart from bringing together mathematicians from around the world for discussion, the ICCM also aims to find and nurture young talents in the field.
ICCM president speaks about China's development in mathematics
China Mathematics Development: One-on-one interview with first winner of ICCM Mathematics Contribution Award