The HLF Portraits: Shing-Tung Yau

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The HLF Portraits: Shing-Tung Yau
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Point (geometry) Group action Multiplication sign Student's t-test Mereology Surface of revolution Graph coloring Connected space Expected value Frequency Mathematics Different (Kate Ryan album) Universe (mathematics) Mathematician Right angle Musical ensemble Family Position operator
Geometry Point (geometry) Statistical hypothesis testing Group action Observational study Multiplication sign Direction (geometry) Water vapor Student's t-test Wave packet Explosion Derivation (linguistics) Goodness of fit Mathematics Natural number Term (mathematics) Different (Kate Ryan album) Energy level Mathematician Symmetric matrix Fiber (mathematics) Social class Physical system Area Process (computing) Gradient Moment (mathematics) Funktionalanalysis Mortality rate Faculty (division) Formal power series Category of being Universe (mathematics) Right angle Family
Statistical hypothesis testing Complex (psychology) Direction (geometry) Multiplication sign Mereology Mathematics Minimal surface Algebra Social class Process (computing) Theory of relativity Stress (mechanics) Physicalism Zeitdilatation Lattice (order) 19 (number) Curvature Order (biology) Linearization Mathematical singularity Right angle Arithmetic progression Directed graph Geometry Point (geometry) Vacuum Computer programming Metrischer Raum Student's t-test Theory Spektrum <Mathematik> Hypothesis Power (physics) Frequency Goodness of fit Term (mathematics) Nichtlineares Gleichungssystem Distribution (mathematics) Standard deviation Physical law Mathematical analysis Algebraic structure Differential geometry Elliptic curve Inversion (music) General relativity Algebraic closure Network topology Physicist Family Local ring
Geometry Point (geometry) Statistical hypothesis testing Color confinement Presentation of a group Metrischer Raum Cone penetration test Multiplication sign Image resolution Insertion loss Student's t-test Mereology Mixture model Mathematics Goodness of fit Velocity Term (mathematics) Natural number Nichtlineares Gleichungssystem Stochastic kernel estimation Monster group Social class Physical system Process (computing) Fields Medal Prisoner's dilemma Moment (mathematics) Mathematical analysis Physicalism Special unitary group Incidence algebra 19 (number) Numerical analysis Faculty (division) Degree (graph theory) Category of being General relativity Network topology Combinatory logic Universe (mathematics) Right angle Family Local ring Fundamental theorem of algebra
Maxima and minima Mortality rate
[Music] so I'd like to begin with the future mathematician as a child okay where is he let's say 8 to a 10 what are his parents like what is his family like you mean repetition - yeah you you at that age Oh me but it depending on timing you know when I was growing up in Hong Kong yeah it's rare different period there now you know we have a large group of rare talented students in Hong Kong at that time no I don't want to do this yet on one family family yeah yeah let's begin with family soon Oh our family left China in 1949 just that after the Revolution well basically the town at the time when accompanies is coming from north yes my father works in Swanton you know is a harbor in South China South China yes so they escaped by fish Punchbowl the whole family moved on and it's a large family yeah we have 10 well later at that point we have smaller family but we have my mother's family at the same time I went together more than 10 people and my father was in international but he did me realize that you took a long time to compare to to maintenance and he fought that within a couple of years the national government would win and come back so they all expect to go back and it's gonna be temporary you were right Reverend so the colors oh he didn't right right so they did people yet so they fought just temporaries but then immediately go into trouble because the money that he brought down was not enough and she start to actually won a farmer a farmer a farm he was an intellectual now he was my partner she thought you could make money I would have found I mean - Megan leaving albeit but she failed miserably you know matter two years he use of ottoman if you got so we're now well actually live in a flat steel but no money and she has to go out to teach in colleges and takes a long time we talked about a couple of positions in those days a professor unless you are teaching in Hong Kong University which is a colonial university only University in Hong Kong otherwise you pay a criminal hour you know that day for an hour you teach what now teach this hour I give you her guitar us and all that so here's Charlie long long way from your mouth was a farming village and to Hong Kong Island a long way to travel about a couple hours one way a painful so I we didn't see him that often but still he has been the most affluent so you know mentor for me because I start to learn about Chinese philosophy and Western philosophy when I was employed by ten yellow my mind father is a great expectation for me he fell then you know the families should be important in interaction well and he told me when I was you know ten yellow I didn't know much about what he taught me actually you know he told talking about all this we feel also what do you think about my father is not have to say he doesn't know man but on the other hand she didn't know a great deal of philosophy philosophy yes she must tell me how mathematics and how science are important in those days and so this part of the large humanists know why rather prize right he also very interesting Confucius and the Chinese fear also great book size will will progress across your life but I think later in the future yeah closer to now you wrote about the connection between what has lost me in that right right so his lessons stayed with you yeah Martin or if you don't have it but also Chinese Lee teacher and Chinese novels and Chinese poems or this has enlarged the scope of my thinking we will you singled out in a way in among the children as somebody he had particular hopes for or was this the whole families enterprise that your brothers and sisters also have this my my family is locked by the time by 1954 we have 10 we have 8 children together excuse and we're we're poor we you know in in the early 1950s we don't have enough to eat not our own education so we've is such a poo poo as it used to be the poverty situation yeah the firmness of many tries who is who should eat more educated more everybody wasn't going to be not it's not possible that time we are neither hungry but nevertheless I think my father has a heart to teach all the children and some of them work harder some that didn't over as how and I will work hard and so is my elder brother so in in life yeah did two of you become intellectuals all they were more than we're free brothers and five sisters okay and I'll be the Beto and my my father fell off on my elder brother but he got sick when she was 12 or so and it was you know gradually becomes very very bad and financial time and there's not quite new years ago so my father football one put effort both my elder brother myself my brother my younger brother was younger so so it did so as much my father died
when I was 14 14 yeah so very and but what you taught me stay in my mind all the way and so as I said he taught me if you'd also be a professor's to hire Eastern style and this large mask off quite a bit because I'm thinking about things water strapped across my students so that was the connecting Lake rehabs workshopping also I'm trying to understand nature he was talking about the grief it also created you know Plato and all these inspiring things I don't understand what she is talking in general but I got a point that nature is very important yes and I'm used to be more absurd attend my formal education begin education was enriched primary school was lousy but then start in you know my second grade is again a better but then is interesting yes still waited to school most of the kids are give me a kiss from the farm yeah they're gonna say farmers they would say farmers I wonder about the best student in in in the school peak of a farmer so anyway I was you know I mean educated together with them and I went on I was doing quite well in my school then the teacher for that I could be leader of a some group of students okay to help them to teach yes how does it work sharing yes so they let me in charge then I learn about seven six five or six students and then I become kinda gangsta because we don't I don't know how to teach and I don't have to take care of them so we we Peter me go to school the teacher let me stay whatever I want to do so we one down the street and wander on the mountains and to all kind of things including I mean going to remark here stealing some hangers and have even you know fish fibers will kiss on on the street and this this sounds very Ben of course but on our hand I do bet I think the answer to not that training because I have to deal with somewhere rough situation yes you fighting against some kids on the street and what I have to deal with snakes for sometimes whatever in the mountains and I did deal with small animals and running around on and I'm meeting some small group more people and have to be tough so my father actually never knew that I was on a street like this and my mother did not know either until before she died so she was very surprised yeah so there's a reporter character that forms your mind well on your father certainly yeah but my father ashes at that time he's thought teaching me philosophy and also Chinese literature and make me to be cite all poems and you know classic classic Chinese I did that at home but during school time I want our premier wonder yeah yeah so I in a way my father father still learning because I ran out of the home I'm fresh I'm doing the homework he gave to me right but he do anything for work for the school right because you have a big life I want to get you at least into high school how does that happen well okay in a very interesting way I feel more or less Fieldays there's a common examinations by their government but you know the faucet go to a public school yeah high school yeah I failed the first level and turns out the second level I barely cared and the second I will do not allow me to tell you the public school automatically instead they give her finance or a for me to if I apply to a private school so I was actually not a bad student although I did learn much and then I decided to apply to a private school who my father and even some people there and and I said the way I had this what for the entrance exam yeah and then I pass so in a funny way I get into one of the best private Christian High School yeah and my tuition was paid by the government and so so I could I could afford to go to their high school and it's one one the best on we're pleased that happens but yes in the way party for because I failed at the level one but life is not a straight path there's no streetcar Oh is there a teacher at the this good job at school that influence right there several teachers us and the teachers on mathematics are excellent they know how to inspire me and make me feel this a beautiful subject so when I was in seventh grade eighth grade actually I start to know the beauty of geometry know a symmetric approach and honor I was really fascinated by those works because you know a simple assumes you know a few person was able to derive many interesting patterns in freedoms in geometry you know you you use a word that so many mathematicians use of a historian I am learning the culture and you use a static term you see the beauty of it was what drew me to write write write the Bill W simplicity beauty of you so it's very similar to the poems are rarely in Chinese poems I mean simple but very meaningful which is playing nature to me s and I feel the same thing in mathematics it's not opposites for you it's the same user simply the same so we have to get you educated beyond high school yeah they are beginning to sense that you have a good mind the teachers are responding to you particularly as a good student yeah I did well you did my high school when I was in I mean from from eighth grade or ninety visit what how you met a man so it it's certain that you're going to go to university exact economics my father
died when I was in ninth grade yes and there was a disaster because my family has no hope almost two shewhart and somewhat the rat is were suggesting me not to go on just to go to a farm tool right grace duck Simon but my mother is very deterministic he he felt she felt strong leadership we should go on so she supported every my sisters and you know and I myself look God well I'm started tutor students to make money you know therefore for my life to go on so I insist on doing well but I well for you you know not only screw up and also trying to raise some money gambling you go to university in Hong Kong yeah well I was I mean all my know many of my classmates in high school they're much more well-to-do some of them come to Berkeley is I'm gonna go to the universities I may go or in England vipin are fine yet so the only school I can go through you see Hong Kong and Chinese University of Hong Kong was just established in 1962 I think so I'm guessing it did not have a rich mathematics department where they just start to peel I'm also his rare rich but yes rather Petra in fact but in those days to have a PhD as a faculty is not easy already yes but they start to bring in some and this makes effective a difference for me because one of the teacher come just graduated from Berkeley as a PhD he came and then he started teach in a I guess I'm a against I've you know she's just graduated from Berkeley so it's a cult interaction between teacher and students and which rather understand that you know Chinese teaching usually in Chinese teaching just sit there and listen and ignore this guy cross saref he was teaching in a bacon started she our student to stand up to talk and honor so actually I becomes very active in during the class and he made many mistakes and I helped him to fess up to fix the mistakes and he didn't I didn't mind not only that at the end after a couple of weeks he'd like me to go to his home to help him to prepare for letterbox 104 the class really so in fact we wrote a letter books together so he's really quite an extraordinary person and something open my material from our area so does he begin to have ambitions for you he feels I'm doing well and she start to talk with me about what I can learn yes in in Chinese you he fell or basically know whatever they can teach me in in the university he hoped that I could get your early so that I could go go abroad because to do research if there's not much fun in Hong Kong in those days so he want me to go abroad but the university is West strange he won't they won't allow me to to graduate one year had this fight I finished all the course as well so they did the insist not to do it saref was very capable man when insistent she caught me to a plant Berkeley and she was terrible because he just went over Berkeley when he tell his friends and the mother of the most important person in salsa who is a young faculty in Berkeley he told Berkeley faculty turn this guy from his friend sorrowful in Hong Kong is very good he liked me to come earlier so is this in your own mind now you're 17 18 something a fantasy that you cannot believe where you are now beginning to believe in yourself as a future mathematician I very confident about myself early days actually even when when my father died I determined to be the goose court where every day's my father was a scholar and I felt strongly I would be able to succeed and to do well is only how to do it economically and so forth how can you go to Berkeley in terms of the money possible first of all I I'm really confident about myself I fail you but I want to do it I will be able to do it I do not believe that I could not succeed to do it yes so I try all means to do it right so in the case of Berkeley Saracens got Berkeley Department convinced apparently department who was chaired by Japanese referees in kobayashi and he was a geometer and she worked with SS chair who later became my advisor chan was one I mean one of the public most influential men in Berkeley Department he is a godfather there are we saying and I guess chairman up and my father and decided I would be very good so they they have helped me getting a very good fellowship so I think it was IBM in the end at one of the artists hardly ever give ya three thousand dollars per year was a Hickson fellowship so I was very flattered I was able to do you so by the way how's your English at this point right bad very bad still not good so this is not a problem either maybe because mathematics is its own language well the fellowship first of all do not need me to teach so then that helps a lot I have a strong accent and so when I thought still them may not be you see used to eat at writing but later they become more useful but in terms of learning there wasn't gonna be a crowd no no no learning has never any problem for me because in high school we used test books which are English within English oh okay we can read we think this is the advantage of Hong Kong there is English in the world around I wonder is it Claudius type school so I told you before that in a way this is the story of your curiosity right so you've gotten to Berkeley it still seems a miracle to talk about it but there you are in Berkeley you're in the mathematics department from the beginning probably right um how our problem was chosen for you which direction and mathematics begins to be important oh well it's interesting because when I was in Hong Kong many many books but I was not guided karate I think and the libraries rate for so I read all books about myself and and I have their idea that the mathematics which cover more abstract things are important more important right and hero has accumulated in the more pure the better yeah and I was under the impression functional analysis is probably the best subject you know in the whole mathematical this you came you by yourself yeah yeah yeah and so I always thought that death that's my future then I came to Berkeley and I start to know their many many subjects are never you know contact me and I still interest study from morning at 8 a.m. all the way to 5 here non-stop because I am the many something I've never learned before I want to learn yet so I even eat lunch in during class this is the first year yeah for more than eight until nothing as a moment yes woman I learned very extensively and after the first quarter here's a quarter system I decide that father masters is nice and good but it's not something I want to get into so I start to see the beauty of geometry property again beauty yeah right so I start to throw enough of them in fact see I came to Berkeley in 1969 in for
September in fairness September 1st and there many things are to not know about America apart are to be born you see it in December that year there was Christmas time and a lot of people were moving people left yes to go boys go home yes and yes a Christmas holiday well I have nothing to do and I don't enough friends to travel wrong it's not like nowadays a lot cheaper to travel airplane in order everything was just started thinking oh yeah yeah yeah so I stayed alive with all the time nowadays interesting thing is in those days empirically it progressed so many plenty of students graduated to my office so I always used a library as my office I stayed there you know whenever I can in those days there are not too many journals not too many books still even though it's much more than in Hong Kong so I wander around in the library or at home and I'll open the journals and normally with all papers a title is my title and I don't want to send them by still screw I mean just read casually and order I found a very interesting because some other papers try me as if very interesting some of them may be too difficult but I still remember those titles yes and doing there during Christmas season I read a paper which have found them fascinating and this I start to think about the church in those direction they also there was a paper written by Jim you know who probably you know and she was a champion I work very beautifully this paper and I start to to read the references if referred by him in this paper and writes his own paper I understand the whole paper from beginning to end and I have saw the paper and I start to develop more in that I decide by myself so after a couple weeks I've found some interesting talents that I can do yes Michele and it's were also very interesting because this relate to graffiti which is subject are never really good on but I remember some of the work that I learned from my teacher in Hong Kong it was his PhD thesis you know in the case of man an Emmy in a tea I mean I asked is what was subject to you cover in your in your dissertation she mentioned some names and unremembered on so theory undetermined arrived in Berkeley when I need to look at this Jeff Munoz paper and remember the names and I went around to find the names and a front of the relevance of this work my inverter I needed to so so what's very interesting so combining all the experience I was able to finish my fresh paper that way in a way you're educating yourself right at this corner right so there's a subject that I think we're a few people in Berkeley to in geometry nuns and in the first year there was a first quarter I totally cost and he was taught by brain daughter who is now a professor you know in stone bro so so after the first quarter he was teaching the second quarter so I'm going to tell him what I learned when I follow he was very pleased and and he go through what I did he he agreed I wanna see what this looks very interesting and also a good diversion with Tessa yes so she starts to work with me together in a similar direction in the context of geometry in the corners and go freely apart to topology and geometry okay so so we were all something also and your second paper so I associate our brother rather successful the first first time ever this is you you're quite young I believe it I was quite young khadiyah 28 are you required to do with these sisters and undergraduate or no no no so there doesn't have to be a culminating work I said undergraduate I'm graduate student at that point you're already graduated yeah how did that happen well I did not finish Berkeley I mean in the Chinese University of Hong Kong but they admitted me as a graduate student you were admitted describe concern okay so you were 20 we were graduated you've touched differential geometry as a subject you're encouraged yeah but then now if you're a graduate didn't you have to do it thesis well it again we raised only because they're so nice but of course I was first year I did nothing about requirement for feces I did not even past I have not even taken the qualified exam for PhD yeah so after I finish this paper I hope the qualifying sir okay so only after terrorist I will be able to look for teacher so anyway after finish these two papers my teacher Chen was on sabbatical leave I was so I didn't know what she I mean what is interesting in yeah right so only after this in the summer or 19 seventy I look for him and ask him to be my teacher to myself so so he asked me to look into questions in geometry but he doesn't give me any problem he just fought them maybe ice for more first and then somehow this summer he went to Princeton he met his good friend on the way who died on our boat and passed away but anyway he come back from Princeton and he told me Wade said that Lima imposed hypothesis his closest is mature enough to be solved and and then she said you should look into that so he he folded you in there corrector the Maya process and so cuz she's my teacher so I was told to look but yet you use a wonderful phrase mature enough to be solved when it's a problem that sure enough disease itself what does that mean that so much work well I mean a problem could be not not sure because it know where to start to attack it but there enough truth maybe but that's just like intuition yes intuition means that there's something that we can do but you mayn't kind of great difficulty at 19's so this becomes the direction of your thesis no no I want to be barely enough that I I did not touch I never thought touch that problemo I never did all the way until now I never touched it instead I was excited by other problems so I was interesting in geometry metric geometry curvature in order you know first two papers but then I found this dilation is not where rich in the frontier is interesting and and could be good but not as rich as algebraic geometry or complex geometry which I start to learn and I found out where fascinating the rich structure of compress geometry originally so I start to be injured in it and of course Jen is one of the founder of compress geometry right and ironic you know he did not help me to work on those problems determined to where allymeier I process but in any case I start to feel show me about some questions in compressed ROM yes so a lot at the same time I was interesting in Einstein's theory of relativity because it is also to metric and I was reading and taking some class on general
relativity already so I was thinking about what Einstein looked up in the equation I want to encourage us to make sure I understand so at this point Einstein's theory is not proven it's a conjecture my son has written an equation which for Einstein equation yeah Einstein equation was test and it's just basically corner but not completely understood not completely and then you want to solve the equation and the equation is typically solved except a couple there was none and they always have some singularity so space-time has seniority means they're places where physics law of physics do not hope yes and this is where Buddhism too many physicists and I was looking at yet also myself and I think we should look for space-time which is non singular risk where everything can still hold feel or physics so from the point of view of trauma time I thought in terms of geometry now yes the Izod equation basically says that some power culture is equal to metric distribution yes so I said okay let's assume there's no matter at all so vacuum could we still have we're non-trivial closure because I'm sorry equation tells you some part of the culture would be trivial because it no matter but it's only some powerful creature not a whole way yes so I might pressure myself you've just this part of the culture is equal to zero would that mean the whole culture you go zero or not so there's a present whereas myself yes I could solve the problem but then in the in the course of meeting or books in the library I finally pick up a copy on probably doesn't care about relativity and doesn't care about physics in general but he our I a program to write down to construct source and the Whiteside equation not in Lawrence encasement in so called you quit in case we had the power culture could be zero and yet the Foucault attention is not zero so I was really fascinated by that so so I so didn't that somehow and Chen asked me to look at the Maya process right I decide this pop this problem is far more interesting yes so I start to start - well want that problem yourself is that again what goes into the thesis direction or it took so much longer time you're yes I think it was the late 70s before you arrived right sir so but I start to work on this problem anyway yeah anyway and and I start to feel all the kind of references and all kind of foundation knowledge that I need to know about this problem so in the meanwhile I still give some seminar talks for trench and aspirin and then somehow in the fall of 1970 so September Chan asked me to appreciate what I have done already yes in his seminar so appreciate it was a large crowd come to recently and I think churn probably got some opinion from other people and felt that what I did is enough for Theseus really so he said well one I just graduated we should tell Theseus so that's how that's how it became but I still want to do this problem there I'm learning right on past geometry but at the same time also work on subjects in in minimal surfaces as an owner so one very important thing for me is dealing the first year when I was in Berkeley I had a very good course that I taught from Warren tamale is a public affair one of the best person in non linear elliptic equation and he took the course a many students do not like his cost for some reason I don't understand but I was very interested in these clothes so I hope the course faithfully and actually during the Vietnam War Cambodian poem and period Berkeley has destroyed and many people many letters Croft teaching and so to Portier them no no no cars and geometry no class and I was teaching the taking this course for Mauri Mauri no student come except me Mali is a very interesting classical where traditional gentleman she would teach when I show up so so and I was one to one teaching with him for the whole course fo bukata he tremendously and she start to prepare just for me to all the end the progress according to what I mean and he even come to library to figure out what the best so I learned a great deal from him and during that period account I start to feel nonlinear equation would be a key to many questions in trauma care so at that point I already start to think that I you will be good to see emerge between geometry we have nonlinear analysis in intermediate equations and also we topology your unusual I believe in really being interested in mathematics and physics at the same time this is is this common well normally is coming or not I always wear for anything by the natural phenomena and so actually so I went generous I learned generosity already in Berkeley and then also you know standard physics coffee in Chinese University of Hong Kong right electromagnetism and honor I did reasonable well but still it's not enough for me to really get into the proper money to saw right so the first time I really get into a drawn venture pitching you know research pigeon physics a man that was in 1973 ok not a sarahfey there was a big conference in Stanford Felix conference basically all dramatists from the whole world come into Stanford there's some authors so so that conference was organized by chair and ottoman local professor in step one they invite a physicist one an airman Robert Garros who is a refugees who come to give a talk in Stanford conference so I just graduated not wrong or monastery free I graduated everyone at 22 yeah so I was you know I was invited to give some talks with me and I I think reasonable well already and trained and automated might need to give show talk to talks and I listened to the top by Robert Caro's she start to formulate some rather important problems in general relativity into the language of geometry and I was really fascinated by those crescents so I start to think about those problems and then what we're encouraged that and is that she said this very fundamental Christmas in general relativity you can
solve it using geometry you may be wanting so I take you for granted so I've spent a lot of time talking about yet this is going to be now yeah you know isn't it one of the dinosaur not choose but overall what I'm feeling is that I want to confine technology from analysis nonlinear analysis with topology with geometry and with some inspiration or intuition from physics we want to get rid of the whole subject are we still dealing with pure mathematics pure abstraction or have you well I changed I want summer say I start to feel trauma trees is a real subject and you can be used to solve important problems in equations or in engineer or in physics already so this this problem in general activity is a locally as a problem you know in geometry but more importantly I feel great approach is using nonlinear analysis the way that I'm thinking and this turns out the I to that has a key inside right so in those days you know before 1970 70s yeah most drama turn - not like the concept of nonlinear equation they think this is subject only people in applied mathematics will touch and only engineers would care about any of them but III thought that this is not this a too narrow for Nabil as I said in my when I was young my my father always taught me that I should look my friends globally or something under the Sun should be laying somewhere and I feel this is a very important tool there's no reason that we you don't use you I'm gonna phrase this in in that way and when is the world a larger world of mathematics begin to notice you I mean you have good professors we were taking on serious difficult problems is it through well when I graduate in 1971 yeah Chinese a big famous man and he wrote we're good letters for me and I think many people recognize me as a youngster and you know when I graduated Harvard maybe offer you know made me offer sheets and maybe also check out my office so you're not worried about eating no you're gonna get a good University well actually incident where one said hey bring me over I asked Oh peanut from Trent about what is the best place to go now it's an interesting thing I was rather I to this thing out of my family's to poor and when I was a stupid year student I said half my money back home you know to help them financially and hovered over my ves job with fourteen fourteen thousand five hundred dollars I still remember yeah the Shearwater university offer all the same but into the velocity of a one-year job post off with 6,400 so I went to talk with my teacher trap yeah well I got this all of us what do you advise I'll tell him exactly how much they offer me Jen said that well you know instead of a monster that has trained many equals young students I mean young PhDs yes and many people change after went there they went there any magician in the whole life Sampson at least spend one year there so you should go there so I did not activate him so I desire okay so are we good there is it turns out a bigger offer yeah so so I call me money offered in the Institute and property with EES and harvest offer is buffalo sorry then what incident could offer me so I was my I do this thing I think that's okay we don't need that much money and 6400 ours is more than three thousand dollars which I've been kid getting from fairy so that's why not right so so that's what I did and I went there for one we're where do you again just because it's such a rich life in little time right where do you land that works for you in terms of the work you want to do well I met I rent a stone boat after well first I learn a lot from that year in the answer to you I've many good friends that has been always very important for me for example I met she change who was a student here and here was a faculty in the Institute who are learned and also therefore L and Ron is very important medicines they helped me to think about mathematics in general and enterin Istanbul and run metric geometry from people dear Jim Simons was a chairman at that time and I learned something from usual he was a very quickly automata and but the major change was in Stanford what of Sherman who was reading my paper who found them fascinating she asked me to come to visit Stanford so I decided to go to visit stepfather but I should have I should also say it's not completely our mathematics because I was dating my girlfriend California there's always what always affecting yes so I meant so it's closer to my girlfriend yeah yeah but no India and Stella doesn't much of German yeah but they are very good in equations defend equation on in the equation so right there as I said we have this conference which I attained then I learned this problem from local kernels yes but most importantly as in stand for Leon Simon who was my calling as Yahoo chick T just finished and then I made my student mixture sophie of us were there and we talked extensively I start to fill up my knowledge about nonlinear equations and so I learned something from more if I start enough I started learn from my friends and Vikram who was in a way my student mr. Simon but in fact n she is equal to us with with Rita mayor of things together and you're an interesting combination you know somebody who can work in isolation right and somebody who works with colleagues quite well well in fact collaboration is rather than being in your life I'm gonna ask that very general quite right how is it because I've read about you and it will actually wonder at the degree that you collaborate and you collaborate around the world Riley so as food is a starting point we're not well I call Evan Lawson s I told you we're beginning when I was a student I got some idea I told him and he provide some ID everywhere together we call I cleverly Lawson share with humps but this time is more expensive because we the other most very young and she she conscious I went to his courses and that she'll tell him what I know about geometry she told me what she knows about nonlinear equations I learned a very basic way what what she taught in the classes and I have work with Richard she was single and we we have to get at the anatomy so you know you know you know they tell me when to seminars when it causes and after that we went out to dinner we after that we come back we also discuss wings at yet I'm gonna ask you again maybe even a volver question the issue of credit when when the great inside cone yeah the published yes piece in mathematics it seems to me that yes a number of names become attacks right maybe it's not even a problem of competition what that could be there many people fall because of that yeah so I think what we had to be a generality to each other because
sometimes in this paper you give more credit you contribute more in the art of paper you contribute less less I mean so even though I mean you know maybe in a long term I think people should be happy but on and sometimes people fight on small credits before they is extremely important and loss of some big insight on other things I think or ever isn't always useful and I believed it I mean is there a moment and again this might be a sentimental question yes of Eureka as I say where as you have a new pet so many moments that are breakthroughs right right but you know mathematics accessory.great difficult and deep mathematics it is Tom I mean when I saw the problem conjecture takes me six years and many Stevens takers aren't to develop some new ideas yes right now I look back it's trivial to solve but another before you you you say you economy so before you go for many t2 we don't know what to do and finally you reach it but answer actually say the same thing about general relativity it's a you know everything seems we're so comfortable when you're in the top then when you see the light it's obvious it's obvious oh and any any idiot would have solved it maybe not every idea so so basically that's what it is and yeah and talking people give you some intuition so it isn't that guy who told you may not even know yeah you can grab insights from a conversation with you why you don't even know that you have keys yes you can do a crudo pig talks you got some insight from what they say and you know written papers give you some insight so all these things accumulate yes things five or six years yes suddenly you come together you come together so this you cannot say there's one moment you leak up and sometimes many movements put together that happens to me all the time either I don't feel any different from any problem I'm going to now ask another hard question and that is the you said it happens to you now so the the the sentimental view that in mathematics the great ideas come before you're 30 or 40 the Fields Medal you know concept what do you think about that because a professional would restrict it's not only recommended I'm a theoretical physics also for younger people do you feel that this is people getting deeply oh that now not yeah you know this is ready for before 30 but now I think 40 or even 50 is probably not that hard so the first I have it on after 15 that decays but you know you can still do something but not as good as before and you can recognize your genius and others too well you can mean intuition which could be good but you may not be able carry out when you're getting older ingenious I mean not eNOS I mean when you're young you can focus you can keep on working on some problem for a long time which most older people cannot do well said yeah again because we are racing against a long life and rich life um where are you happily really permanently established in terms of a university are you because you go to quite a few places yes you are my you know I was very happy in Stanford for example I was where I just have a difficult feeling for me when I left Stanford but pizza is excellent race easy to parts that they are right there so I feel also very quickly and easy to perversity and but during those years is it were was 13 years my wife does every job there and more or less because a family problem IIT must stay in situ for once ok so I left in Geneva once at the awareness and echo I actually was able to peel San Diego Department to be one of the best in the matter couple yes but it in jail in intervention more authority and unfortunately the colleagues in general doesn't feel in a similar way and to look for a department of Excellence in the world and they feel there's some quality even ask why does y'all think the research is so important and but that's my life I mean excellence in research is always found that just my life you use the word excellence of course it'll be natural in your life but as we come to the end yeah you've done so many things but what do you think about the prospects of excellence in mathematics in China you have you have been a supporter of Johnny's intellectual life you know get return to China for a moment at the end of this and your commitment to a mathematical education there so assuming everything goes smoothly and no trouble come out for channel warm yeah system changing Honor I believe that present-day situation China is where similar to the late 19th century Omega night late 19th century I make our most scientific women come from graduate student who went from America to Europe to Germany to France to okay by the beginning of 20th century they start to have their own right the university system really begins right where I begin so you know for example in Harvard GD Birkhoff was a freshman who actually did a quick well not very well in America without going to Europe at all right there was a fundamental change yes amazing mathematics community I think and I believe China is facing the same kind of opportunity now me there be sending students to Europe and to America a lot in America and enough students compared and now he is mature enough that stuff they would be able to produce their own maybe next five to ten years they are able to do something similar to what GD perkupp did I think there will be faced trenches and in China and they will establish themselves I think as a great country in front of a new research again as an outsider to all this process I know that very often people spill speak of the dilemma the Chinese tradition of education to this day and you had correct me is this again this rote learning this the professor speaks you were referring to that before the professor usually speaks then listen so this is not seem to be helpful in but yes changing because many of the students coming back from America is changing them like like the the fellow who influenced you for everybody right right right they're going back and they're getting more and more and Suzanne is richer and richer now and they are able to invest money into fundamental research into things that they may not see to be absolutely useful at the beginning that's that's very important to allow research that is now obviously uses alright so so I think gradually they're changing than that so I I feel right now the present days of Chinese society with you Airmen is very close to the beginning of the 20th century of America so for America a matter of 20 30 years becomes one another quick to great test yes and I believe unless things change China would behave like that that's the last word thank you very much