Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Imperial Style Part Deux

The New York Times has an article on Shing-Tung Yau- the "Emperor of Math", who was recently involved in controversy with Grigory Perelman.

In 1979, Shing-Tung Yau, then a mathematician at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, was visiting China and asked the authorities for permission to visit his birthplace, Shantou, a mountain town in Guangdong Province.

At first they refused, saying the town was not on the map. Finally, after more delays and excuses, Dr. Yau found himself being driven on a fresh dirt road through farm fields to his hometown, where the citizens slaughtered a cow to celebrate his homecoming. Only long after he left did Dr. Yau learn that the road had been built for his visit.

A fascinating tale.

No comments: