Professor Feng Luo, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, responds to the New Yorker article
October, 2006Dear Mr. Cooper:
I am writing you regard the New Yorker article of August 28 by S. Nasar and D. Gruber. I found the article's treatment of Prof. Yau's contributions to developing mathematics in China out of fact and unacceptable. It is well-known to all of us that Yau has worked tirelessly for so many years to help rebuild mathematics in China. As a mathematician he is very creative and productive. He has helped to train generations of mathematicians in China. He has now collaborations with a number of young scholars in China. He also tries to create opportunities for much more people in China to work in a better environment. I believe that he has conducted himself with great honor and integrity throughout his efforts to the development of mathematics in China.
Prof. Yau has spent tremendous amount of time to reenergize mathematics in centers such as Beijing, Hangzhou, Taiwan and Hong Kong where he helped to created several mathematical institutes. He has provided his genuine help for the institutes through advising scientific programs, fund raising, building library and recruiting talented students. He has brought prominent scientists around the world to China to help promote and energize mathematical activities at those institutes, and he has reached out to generations of young mathematicians throughout China and encouraged them to pursue their passions. His working style is down to the earth. For example he has helped to set up two scholarships in Zhejiang University and the University of Science and Technology of China. Many of those students benefited from Prof. Yau's program are now studying mathematics in China and in US.
Prof. Yau has spent much time in raising fund for mathematics in China and he himself has donated several millions of RMB to mathematical institutions in China. However he himself has not accepted any allowances. He flies to China several times every year and he paid tickets all by himself. He offers his help without any personal financial gain.
As recognition Prof. Yau was awarded the international cooperation prize in China in 2004 which is the highest honor for contributions to developing sciences in China for international scientists. It is hard to overestimate Prof. Yau's contribution in helping developing mathematics in the largest developing country. I all appreciate it very much, I believe most mathematicians in China agree as well, of Prof. Yau's fruitful and productive efforts to the development of mathematics in China.
You may use this letter in the court in supporting Professor Yau's case.
Professor of Mathematics
New Brunswick, NJ 08854