Shiing S. Chern

Shiing S. Chern Winner of Wolf Prize in Mathematics - 1983
Shiing S. Chern


The Mathematics Prize Committee for 1983/4 unanimously concluded that the Wolf Prize in Mathematics be shared jointly by:

Shiing S. Chern
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, California, USA

for outstanding contributions to global differential geometry, which have profoundly influenced all mathematics.

Paul Erdos
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Budapest, Hungary

for his numerous contributions to number theory, combinatorics, probability, set theory, and mathematical analysis, and for personally stimulating mathematicians the world over.

Professor Shiing S. Chern has been the leading figure in global differential geometry. His earlier work on integral geometry, especially on the kinematic formula, was the source of most later work. His ground-breaking discovery of characteristic classes (now known as Chern classes) was the turning point that set global differential geometry on a course of tumultuous development. The field has blossomed under his leadership, and his results, together with those of his numerous students, have influenced the development of topology, algebraic geometry, complex manifolds, and most recently of gauge theories in mathematical physics.

Professor Paul Erdos is one of the most prolific mathematicians of all times. His elementary proof of the prime number theorem (jointly with A. Selbey) came after many a famous mathematician had pronounced such a proof impossible. The field of combinatorics owes its very existence to his work. His ingenious applications of probabilistic methods to existence questions, has enabled him and those who followed him obtain results well beyond explicit computation. His partition calculus in set theory´ (partly in collaboration with R. Rado) has created a new branch of mathematics, at the intersection between mathematical logic and set theory. Two generations of mathematicians world-wide have benefited from his example and stimulation.