Interdisciplinary Integration ---The Pursuit of the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics of HIT


In this warm spring, the campus of HIT is full of vigor and vitality, with trees sprouting and flowers blooming. At that time, the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics and the School of Mathematics jointly organized the mathematics academician forum. Academician YUAN Yaxiang (vice president of China Association for Science and Technology, president of International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics), an internationally renowned mathematician, led the first lecture on the forum and delivered a wonderful report on “Big Data and Optimization” to the teachers and students of HIT online.

“Academician Yuan’s lecture is very beneficial, with strong pertinence and guidance. It makes me deeply feel the brilliance and charm of mathematics, and let me know the importance of mathematics in big data and other aspects. As a student majoring in mathematics, I once again realized the important role of mathematics in promoting the development of science and technology.” Said FANG Yuzhou, a 2018 PhD student in the school of mathematics of HIT.

This is the first report of a series of academic activities for the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics of HIT and the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the doctoral program in mathematics.


Inauguration Ceremony of the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics

Interdisciplinary Integration

In daily life, we can get timely information from all over the world through TV and the Internet. When we turn on our phones, the shopping APPs will display thousands of notifications based on different characteristics and different people. There are complex mathematical algorithms behind these messages and notifications. In addition, there are also many mathematical problems in urban construction and social development, such as weather prediction, pollution prevention, traffic planning... And these are the integration of mathematics and different disciplines. As a basic science, mathematics is becoming more and more important, affecting and changing our life.

According to the 14th Five-Year Plan and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035, we must maintain the central role of innovation in China’s overall modernization drive, and make self-reliance and self-improvement in science and technology the strategic underpinning of development. A new blueprint of innovation leading the development of science and technology is gradually unfolding.

“Technological innovation requires original theoretical research based on basic disciplines such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. During the visit to Tsinghua University, President XI Jinping emphasized that first-class universities are the main force of basic research and the source of major scientific and technological breakthroughs. How to provide theoretical support for major scientific breakthroughs is both a major challenge and a rare opportunity for all of us in mathematics.” XU Quanhua, President of the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics of HIT, said.

In order to further support the construction of science disciplines, take more effective measures to promote the interdisciplinary integration of science and engineering, and build a world-class university and world-class disciplines, HIT established the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics in 2016.


Photo of a lecture given by XU Quanhua, President of the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics

The establishment of the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics aims to strengthen the construction of the science disciplines, give play to the leading effect of world-class scholars, promote the integration of the science disciplines and frontier fields, and improve the teaching and research level of the discipline of mathematics in HIT. It can form the collaborative advantage of science disciplines in HIT as soon as possible, and build a high-level mathematical talent training base.

Since its establishment, the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics has developed Applied Mathematics with interdisciplinary and integration characteristics based on basic mathematics and combined with the requirements of engineering discipline construction in HIT. And it is committed to promoting the development of mathematics and the interdisciplinary research of mathematics and physics, computer science, engineering and other fields, which will eventually form a development mode of mutual promotion of basic research and applied research.

Gathering of global talents

To build the communication platform between mathematics discipline and application field is inseparable from talents. Since the establishment of the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics, XU Quanhua, together with WU Boying, the executive dean of the School of Mathematics, has led the teachers to actively introduce and promote talents from inside and outside through academic exchange meetings and talent promotion meetings.

“We are carrying out a unified plan of “one university, three campuses”, to give full play to the role of the Special Zone of the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics, to create a pleasant, comfortable, harmonious and progressive working environment. To provide all researchers with an effective platform for career development, so that everyone can find their own way and position for development.” XU Quanhua said.

Professor WU Baozhu, winner of the Fields Medal, is the first international top mathematics master to join the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics. After the establishment of the institute, XU Quanhua invited WU Baozhu to join HIT as a professor, and he hoped that WU Baozhu could give advice on the construction of HIT mathematics discipline, explore new research direction and effective talent training mechanism. Wu Baozhu readily agreed.


Appointment ceremony for Professor WU Baozhu, winner of the Fields Medal

After coming to HIT, WU Baozhu enjoys communicating with teachers and students and sharing his views on mathematics and scientific research. He has given special reports in many academic activities such as “Number Theory, Algebra and Combinatorics” forum for young scholars and a series of academic discussion classes held by the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics. He had in-depth exchanges with teachers and students of mathematics about how to do academic research well. Based on his own scientific research experience, he discussed the importance of mathematical research and theoretical innovation, and put forward many constructive suggestions on how to develop mathematical discipline and train young mathematical talents.

In a coincidence, Dr. LIU Chunhui, who graduated from the University of Paris in France, and Dr. DONG Zhijie, who graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, attended a discussion class held by WU Baozhu at HIT. Under the influence and recommendation of WU Baozhu, they decided to join the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics of HIT.

“What attracts me most about the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics of HIT is that it can be in line with international standards, respect the characteristics of mathematics itself, and it also does not take the “Five First (score first, promotion first, diploma first, thesis first and title first)” as its standard, and build a scientific talent evaluation system. Here, I can concentrate on research without any distractions. For those of us who study mathematics, the most important thing is that we can concentrate on our research for a few hours every day, which is very important to our work.” LIU Chunhui told the reporters.


Professor WU Baozhu is having a discussion with the students

Since its establishment, the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics has always adhered to the concept of cultivating talents with the career, gathering talents with the environment and motivating talents with the mechanism. We will create a favorable environment for talent growth, and form an incentive and guarantee mechanism that gives priority to efficiency, gives consideration to fairness, and highlights performance and ability. In terms of examination and promotion standards, we should adhere to the principle of “breaking the Five First” and combine the characteristics of mathematics to build a scientific talent evaluation system that makes outstanding talents stand out, so as to improve teachers’ enthusiasm for scientific research and work initiative.

In the past five years, the Institute has made gratifying achievements in the introduction of talents, discipline construction and scientific research. At present, the Institute has 17 scientific research personnel, including 6 high-level talents, 3 associate professors, 8 postdoctoral teachers, 9 double employees in the School of Mathematics and 2 international lecturers; Over the years, the institute has actively assisted the overall development of mathematics discipline in HIT, and the approval rate of national talents, funds and other projects for mathematics discipline has been significantly improved. In 2020, mathematics discipline has been approved 4 national youth talent projects and 1 key project of The National Natural Science Foundation of China. The latter presented the first time that mathematics discipline of HIT has been approved to preside over the key project of The National Natural Science Foundation of China. The Institute has formed advantages in the fields of modern analysis, Number Theory, Algebra and Combinatorics, probability statistics, mathematical physics, etc. it has become the outstanding academic fields of HIT and enjoying a good reputation in the academic community at home and abroad. 

Committed to original innovation

Mathematics plays an increasingly important role in the fields of high-tech, major projects, public security, especially artificial intelligence. There is a broader and deeper development opportunity for Mathematics itself .

In the construction of “double first-class” university, HIT needs the science discipline represented by mathematics to provide basic theoretical support for the further development of engineering, and needs the interdisciplinary development of science and technology to promote the rapid improvement of science discipline. In the report of the 13th Convention of CPC Representatives, HIT put forward that during the “14th Five-year-plan” period, we should adhere to the construction concept of “strengthening the excellent characteristics”, insist on carrying forward the engineering and strengthening science to promote the development of cross disciplines; Strengthen the basic position of science, implement the “strengthening plan” of science, aim at the world-class development of mathematics, physics and chemistry, and build the biology according to the international frontier; Persistently strengthen basic research, strengthen the substantial support of basic research for technology and engineering.


Seminar on discipline construction of the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics

“In the next step, the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics will develop the foundation, give play to its characteristics, put the improvement of original innovation ability in a more prominent position, carry out basic research, and pay attention to the combination of applied research related to the national economy and people’s livelihood, and drive the research of basic theory of engineering." Xu Quanhua said to reporters.


The development of mathematics in HIT is based on the characteristics of spaceflight and has the foundation of interdisciplinary research. With the deepening of the interview, the reporter learned that although the research team of HIT Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics has different research directions and focuses, their core goals are all to solve the problems that restrict development and promote major technological innovation. How to continue to integrate superior resources to carry out more in-depth application research? The future prospects are broad and the the Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics of HIT has a promising future.