Professor Wen-tsün Wu is honorary director of the Mathematics Mechanization Research Center and the Institute of Systems Science at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is well-known in the community of automated reasoning and symbolic computation for his breakthrough work - Wu's method - on automated geometric theorem proving. Wu also made important contributions to the study of the history of Chinese mathematics, for which he was honored with an invited address at the International Congress of Mathematicians at Berkeley in 1986. Wu worked for three years in the Bourbaki school with H. Cartan after he completed his state thesis in Strasbourg in 1949. His early work and contributions, including the famous Wu formula and Wu class, have become classical results of topology. Wu received a number of outstanding awards, held positions and honorary titles in various academic and governmental organizations, delivered addresses at many congresses, served as (honorary) editor for numerous journals, books and book series at both national and international level.


Professor Wu (right) receiving an award
from the Chinese Premier

  There are essentially two kinds of studies in geometry: geometry problem-solving and geometry theorem-proving. Typical examples for the former are geometric constructions, which were well-studied in ancient Greek mathematics. The creation of analytic geometry in the 17th century with the introduction of coordinates renders it possible to reduce geometric problems to algebraic ones. With this reduction, some method of automated deduction involving polynomial manipulations we have developed may be applied to solve general problems of constructions as well as various other kinds of problems in geometry. For geometric constructions, we may talk about the Appolonius Problem and the Malfatti Problem as examples. Moreover, by introducing coordinates to turn geometric statements into algebraic assertions, the automated deduction method may also be applied to the proving of geometric theorems by means of computers. A lot of difficult theorems have been so proved or even discovered automatically. Among these theorems we may mention such celebrated ones bearing the names of Pascal, Feuerbach, and Morley. Such an automated deduction method has also been applied, naturally, to geometric problems and theorems arising from modern technologies.
Professor Xiao-Shan Gao
on Geometry Expert
and
 
Professor Jürgen Richter-Gebert
on Cinderella

Further information: E-mail richter@inf.ethz.ch · Phone +41-1-632 73 91 · Copyright © ADG 2000