About the Department

Background

The Department of Mathematics was formed in September 1991 as a result of the division of the former Department of Applied Mathematics into the Department of Mathematics (MA) and the Department of Applied Statistics and Operational Research (renamed as the Department of Management Sciences). The new Department of Mathematics then became part of the College of Science and Engineering.

The Department has strong mission to provide high quality education in mathematics and conduct first-class research in applied mathematics. We are striving for excellence in both teaching and research in applied mathematical sciences.

Programmes

The Department launched the first BSc degree programme in Computing Mathematics in September 1994, with an intake of 41 students. In 1997, the Department introduced its first postgraduate programme, the MSc in Applied Mathematics. In 2004, the Department launched the joint MSc programme in Mathematics for Finance and Actuarial Science with the University of Paris-Dauphine.

The Department has 26 research students for the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Hong Kong. Our research degree programme is very successful in producing young mathematicians of great potential and earning international recognition.

Faculty

The Department now has 30 faculty members, including five Chair Professors, seven Professors, five Associate Professors, and thirteen Assistant Professors. The Department benefits from increased research strength at all levels among faculty members.

Internationally renowned mathematicians have been recruited to strengthen our research capabilities. Excellent young researchers have been appointed at the level of Associate Professor or Assistant Professor.

For example, Professor Stephen Smale, member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and winner of a Fields Medal (which is the highest achievable honour in mathematics, comparable to a Nobel Prize), a Wolf Prize in Mathematics and a US National Medal of Science, was Distinguished University Professor in the Mathematics Department from 1995 to 2001. He re-joined the University in August 2009 as University Distinguished Professor (Provost's Office).

Professor Roderick S. C. Wong, Vice-President (Development and External Relations) and Chair Professor in the Department, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, former President of the Canadian Applied Mathematics Society and Director of the University's Liu Bie Ju Centre for Mathematical Sciences. Professor Wong is a foreign member of the Academy of Science of Turin (Italy) and a member of the European Academy of Sciences. He is Chevalier dans l'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur.

Professor Philippe G. Ciarlet, a member of the French Academy of Sciences and of seven other academies and winner of a Grand Prize of the French Academy of Sciences and an Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, was a Chair Professor in the Department until August 2011. He joined the Office of the College of Science and Engineering in September 2011 as University Distinguished Professor. Professor Ciarlet is Chevalier dans l'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur.

Chair Professor Felipe Cucker is a foreign member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona.

Research

Research is a major function of the Department, and a considerable amount of emphasis has been placed on this area. The Department's excellent achievements in research are evidenced by its performance in the General Research Fund (GRF) exercises (formerly Competitive Earmarked Research Grant) and the Research Assessment Exercises (RAE). The Department is currently working on 24 GRF research projects funded by Hong Kong Government and 6 City University Strategic Research Grant projects. In all rounds of RAE in 1996, 1999 and 2005, the Department (under cost centre "Mathematics and Statistics") is one of the best mathematics departments among local universities. Our faculty members are serving editorial boards of more than 70 international journals.

The faculty's research interests are wide-ranging in applied mathematics. Apart from being experienced teachers, faculty members are active researchers with a high profile in terms of international reputation, publications and funded research projects. Major areas of their research interests include:

  • Approximation theory
  • Asymptotics and perturbation methods
  • Complexity theory
  • Control and system theory
  • Dynamical systems
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Granular materials
  • Learning theory
  • Mathematical biology
  • Mathematical finance
  • Modelling of new materials
  • Nonlinear elasticity
  • Nonlinear waves
  • Numerical analysis
  • Orthogonal polynomials and special functions
  • Partial differential equations
  • Scientific computation
  • Stochastic analysis and simulation
  • Wave propagation

The above research topics are among the most important ones in applied mathematics.

The Department and the Liu Bie Ju Centre for Mathematical Sciences are very active in organising large-scale international conferences and workshops in applied mathematics. During 2000–2012, 38 such academic events were organised at CityU including seventeen International Conferences, three Industrial Workshops, and five Winter Schools. Colloquia are organised jointly by the Department and the Centre.

Liu Bie Ju Centre for Mathematical Sciences

City University's Liu Bie Ju Centre for Mathematical Sciences is fast becoming a world leader in applied analysis. The Centre has been responsible for the organization of a range of academic events in the area of Applied Mathematics, all of which presented internationally acclaimed mathematicians as invited speakers. The William Benter Prize in Applied Mathematics has been set up by the Centre in honor of Mr William Benter for his dedication and generous support to the enhancement of the University's strength in mathematics.

Research is the Centre's strength and major asset, driven by an impressive collaboration of expertise that is headed by Professor Roderick Wong (Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada) and Professor Philippe G Ciarlet (Member of the French Academy of Sciences), together with a group of highly active and promising young researchers working in the field of Applied Mathematics and other mathematical disciplines.

The research conducted in the Centre is not only of theoretical importance, but also provides practical support to the development of industry and financial sectors. Further, the ongoing research activities of the Centre also provide the potential for increased collaborative research that will bridge the existing gap between pure and applied mathematics.

Last update: 8 January, 2016