Renowned HKU mathematician Professor Ngaiming MOK receives the 2022 Tan Kah Kee Science Award in Mathematics & Physics

Distinguished scholar Professor Ngaiming MOK, Edmund and Peggy Tse Professor in Mathematics and Chair of Mathematics at The University of Hong Kong (HKU), is presented the 2022 Tan Kah Kee Science Award in Mathematics & Physics in recognition of his exceptional accomplishments in promoting the development of mathematical research of the Chinese nation. Professor Mok is the first Hong Kong scholar who receives the award (counting all fields), and this is the third signature accolade he has earned this year.

Professor Ngaiming MOK

Professor Mok extends his heartfelt gratitude to Tan Kah Kee Science Award Foundation and the Selection Committee. ‘As is well-known, the renown philanthropist and educator Mr Tan Kah Kee contributed significantly to the development of modern China, and the Tan Kah Kee Science Award under the Chinese Academy of Sciences symbolises efforts to strengthen China through science and education.  I am greatly honoured by being awarded the Tan Kah Kee Science Award, especially as the first scientist from Hong Kong in all disciplines to be bestowed the prestigious award.  It does not only recognise my scientific contributions in complex differential geometry, but also the role of complex differential geometry in pure mathematics through its many applications to other central areas of mathematics including algebraic geometry and arithmetic geometry.  The Award also highlights the potentials of complex differential geometry in the further development of pure mathematics in China and it gives me immense encouragement to strive to break new grounds in that direction,’ said Professor Mok.

Dean of HKU Science Professor Qiang ZHOU congratulated Professor Mok on his achievements, and thanked him for his outstanding and tireless contributions to mathematical science over the years. ‘To many budding scientists, Professor Mok has always been an exemplar to look up to – he strives to explore the frontiers of mathematics and probe its unknown with all his heart and devotion. There are too many things going on in our lives and people easily become distracted. Professor Mok and his achievements teach us one important lesson – major scientific breakthroughs can only be made by those who are willing to settle down, concentrate and devote 100% of their efforts. With this new award, Professor Mok is a truly inspiring scholar to our colleagues and students in the Faculty,’ said Professor Zhou.

Professor Mok is a top-notch mathematician specialising in Several Complex Variables, Complex Differential Geometry and Algebraic Geometry. He is well-known in the mathematical community for his global perspective on Pure Mathematics and for having solved a series of important conjectures and problems using a combination of analytic, algebraic and geometric methods. Professor Mok has received many distinctions and awards (see the biography of Professor Mok).

About Tan Kah Kee Science Awards
The Tan Kah Kee Science Awards, which are established to honour prominent Chinese scientists who have made outstanding achievements in science and technology, are presented in six broad fields, namely mathematics and physics, chemistry, life sciences, earth sciences, information technical sciences and technological sciences. The Awards are conferred every two years, and are subject to a rigorous selection process by specialist panels. Along with a certificate and a gold medal, awardees of the Tan Kah Kee Science Awards also receive RMB 1 million each to support their research.

Biography of Professor Ngaiming Mok
Professor Mok was a graduate of St. Paul’s Co-educational College in 1975. He obtained his PhD at Stanford University in 1980 and embarked on his teaching and research career at Princeton University. Subsequently, he was Professor at Columbia University and University of Paris, before returning to Hong Kong in 1994 to take up a Chaired Professorship in the Department of Mathematics at HKU.

Professor Mok is recognised worldwide for his research achievements. The prestigious awards he received include the Sloan Fellowship Award (US), Presidential Young Investigator Award (US), Croucher Award 1998 (Hong Kong), State Natural Science Award (Class II) 2007 (China), the Bergman Prize of the American Mathematical Society 2009, the Future Science Prize in Mathematics and Computer Science 2022 (considered by many as the ‘China’s Nobel Prize’), and the Chern Prize 2022 presented by International Consortium of Chinese Mathematicians (ICCM). Professor Mok served on the Editorial Board of the flagship mathematical journal Inventiones Mathematicae from 2002 to 2014. He served as a member of the Fields Medal Committee for the world’s prestigious International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in 2010, and was a core member for the subject panels of Algebraic and Complex Geometry in ICM 2006, and in Analysis and its Applications in ICM 2014. As Director of the Institute of Mathematical Research at HKU, Professor Mok also strives at providing a platform where researchers in Mathematics can freely exchange their research ideas, and create an ambience that facilitates cross-fertilisation between different fields of Mathematics. He was elected a Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Mathematics and Physics) in 2015, and later a Member of the Hong Kong Academy of Sciences in 2017.