Professor Zhang Yitang is a world-renowned mathematician working in the area of number theory, and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Professor Zhang holds a BS and an MS, both in Mathematics, from Peking University. He was granted a full postgraduate scholarship at Purdue University in the US and was conferred his PhD in 1991. He joined the University of New Hampshire as Lecturer in 1999, was appointed Professor in 2014, before joining the University of California in 2016.
In 2013, the preeminent journal Annals of Mathematics published his breakthrough results in the quest to understand one of mathematics’ oldest problems, the twin primes conjecture, which states that there are infinitely many pairs of primes that differ by two. Despite many efforts at proving this conjecture, mathematicians were not able to rule out the possibility that the gaps between primes continue to expand, eventually exceeding any particular bound. Professor Zhang’s work shows that there are infinitely many consecutive primes, or pairs of primes, closer than seventy million. He had proved a landmark theorem in the distribution of prime numbers and solved a problem that had been open for more than 150 years.
Professor Zhang was awarded the 2013 Morningside Special Achievement Award in Mathematics, the 2013 Ostrowski Prize, the 2014 Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Number Theory, the 2014 Rolf Schock Prize in Mathematics, and the 2016 QiuShi Distinguished Scientist Prize. He was a recipient of the 2014 MacArthur Award, and was elected as a Fellow of Academia Sinica. He was an invited speaker at the 2014 International Congress of Mathematicians.
In recognition of his contributions to academia and the world, the University has resolved to confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa.