Shiing-Shen Chern (1911-2004) was one of the leading differential geometers of the twentieth century. In 1946, he founded the Mathematical Institute of Academia Sinica in Shanghai, which was later moved to Nanking. In 1981, he founded the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) at Berkeley and acted as the director until 1984. In 1985, he founded the Nankai Institute of Mathematics in Tianjin. He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1975; the Wolf Prize in mathematics in 1984; and the Shaw Prize in mathematical sciences in 2004.Chern's works span all the classic fields of differential geometry: the Chern-Simons theory; the Chern-Weil theory, linking curvature invariants to characteristic classes; Chern classes; and other areas such as projective differential geometry and webs that are mathematically rich but currently have a lower profile. He also published work in integral geometry, value distribution theory of holomorphic functions, and minimal submanifolds.Inspired by Chern and his work, former colleagues, students and friends - themselves highly regarded mathematicians in their own right - come together to honor and celebrate Chern's huge contributions.
The volume, organized by Phillip Griffiths of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), contains contributions by Michael Atiyah (University of Edinburgh), C-M Bai (Nankai), Robert Bryant (Duke University), Kung-Ching Chang (Peking University), Jeff Cheeger (New York University), Simon K Donaldson (Imperial College), Helene Esnault (Universitat Duisburg-Essen), Mo-Lin Ge (Nankai), Mark Green (University of California at Los Angeles), Phillip Griffiths (Institute for Advanced Study), F Reese Harvey (Rice University), Alain Henaut (Universite Bordeaux 1), Niky Kamran (McGill University), Bruce Kleiner (Yale), H Blaine Lawson, Jr (Suny at Stony Brook), Yiming Long (Nankai), Xiaonan Ma (UMR 7640 du CNRS), Luc Pirio (IRMAR, France), Graeme Segal (Oxford), Gang Tian (MIT), Jean-Marie Trepreau (Institut de Mathematiques de Jussieu), Jeff Viaclovsky (MIT), Wei Wang (Nankai), Wentsun Wu (Chinese Academy of Sciences), C N Yang (Tsinghua), Tan Zhang (Murray State University), Weiping Zhang (Nankai) and others.