Visiting Professor F. Hirzebruch To
Speak at Chern Symposium

This year's Chern Visiting Professor, Frederich Hirzebruch, will be the featured speaker March 5, 6 and 7 at the third annual symposium held in honor of Professor Emeritus Shiing-Shen Chern, one of the century's great geometers.

Hirzebruch is professor emeritus at Bonn University in Bonn, Germany, and served as director of the Max Planck Institute of Mathematics in Bonn from 1980 until his retirement in 1995.

To begin the symposium, Chern will discuss "Projective Geometry" Thursday, March 5, at 2 p.m. Hirzebruch will follow at 4:10 p.m., speaking on "Why Do I Like Chern Classes?" This opening pair of lectures will be held in Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center.

Cosponsored by the Department of Mathematics and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, the symposium continues Friday, March 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the institute, 1000 Centennial Dr., above Lawrence Hall of Science. It continues Saturday, March 7, in 10 Evans from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For a complete schedule of symposium speakers, consult the institute's website at

The Chern Visiting Professorship, begun in 1996, honors the Berkeley professor emeritus widely regarded as the greatest geometer of his generation. For more than six decades, S.S. Chern has been a leader in the field of differential geometry and has made central contributions to such diverse areas as web geometry, integral geometry, complex manifolds, minimal submanifolds and characteristic classes.

Born in 1911 in the provincial town of Kashing, China, he completed his doctorate in 1936 in Hamburg. Back home in China, he earned renown for introducing modern mathematics to China and training a new generation of Chinese mathematicians.

Chern taught at the University of Chicago from 1949 until 1960, when he came to Berkeley. He has directed nearly 50 doctoral theses in China and the United States.

"Chern's belief in young people and his encouragement of them had a lot to do with the spectacular growth of geometry in the second half of this century," mathematician Blaine Lawson has said. "It is not easy to find a geometer who was not for some period of time either a student or a post-doctoral fellow in the orbit of Chern.

When he retired from Berkeley in 1979, a five-day international symposium, attended by many of the world's most distinguished contributors to geometry, was held in his honor.

Hirzebruch's Chern Lecture Schedule

As Chern Visiting Professor, Frederich Hirzebruch will give eight lectures over four weeks' time, each held from 2 to 3 p.m. in 60 Evans:

· March 9, 11 and 13: three lectures suitable for non specialists, entitled "From Riemann-Roch to Elliptic Genera I."

· March 16 and 18: two lectures on "Singularities and Algebraic Surfaces."

· March 30 and April 1: two lectures under the title "From Riemann-Roch to Elliptic Genera II."

· April 6: A lecture addressing singularities and algebraic surfaces, entitled "Line Arrangements in the Projective Plane and Algebraic Surfaces-Revisited."

For more information consult the math department's web site at



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