Dr. Guoliang Yu, professor of mathematics and inaugural holder of the Thomas W. Powell Chair in Mathematics at Texas A&M University, has been appointed as a University Distinguished Professor.

Yu, an internationally renowned expert in non-commutative geometry and geometric topology within the Department of Mathematics, earns recognition along with four additional Texas A&M faculty as the latest recipients of the coveted title: Dr. Vytas A. Bankaitis, professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, College of Medicine, and holder of the E.L. Wehner-Welch Foundation Chair in Chemistry; Dr. Timothy R. Elliott, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education and Human Development; Dr. Stephen Maren, professor and holder of the Claude H. Everett, Jr. '47 Chair in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, College of Liberal Arts; and Dr. Ryland F. Young III, Regents Professor and Sadie Hatfield Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Bankaitis and Young also hold joint appointments within the College of Science in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Biology, respectively.

The 2018 university distinguished professor honorees join a select group of roughly 90 current faculty members who hold the prestigious title -- 34 of whom are affiliated with the College of Science. The title, which is bestowed in perpetuity, denotes a faculty member who is pre-eminent in his or her field, has made at least one seminal contribution to the discipline, and whose work is central in any narrative of the field and is widely recognized to have changed the direction of scholarship in the field.

"University Distinguished Professors represent the highest level of achievement for our faculty," said Dr. Carol A. Fierke, provost and executive vice president. "They are recognized as pre-eminent scholars in their fields, and their accomplishments are exemplified by seminal contributions to their respective disciplines. They demonstrate to the world the high quality of scholarship underway at Texas A&M University."

The group will be honored at an April 11 induction ceremony and reception jointly hosted by the Offices of the President and Provost to celebrate all faculty who are distinguished professors.

Yu joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2012 as a professor of mathematics with tenure on arrival. He is the seventh mathematics professor to be appointed as a university distinguished professor, joining Dr. Gilles Pisier (1985), Dr. William B. Johnson (1989), the late Dr. Ronald G. Douglas (1999), Dr. Rostislav Grigorchuk (2008), Dr. Ronald DeVore (2010) and Dr. Peter Kuchment (2011) in so representing his profession across the campus.

Yu is recognized for his central contributions to a rather large area of mathematics centering around problems, including the Baum-Connes conjecture, the Novikov conjecture and related geometric properties of groups -- areas in which his influential work has laid the groundwork for a host of new developments and techniques. As much as for his individual accomplishments and research prowess, Yu is equally renowned for his ability to bring techniques from one area to bear on important problems in others, says Dr. Emil J. Straube, professor and head of Texas A&M Mathematics.

"Dr. Yu is an outstanding scholar," Straube added. "He is one of the world leaders -- I would argue the leader -- in the area of noncommutative geometry. His groundbreaking contributions have, on more than one occasion, redirected the field. Take, for example, the so-called Novikov conjecture -- arguably the most important unsolved problem in topology -- first posed in 1965. Not only has he far surpassed what other researchers were able to do, but his ideas turned out to be so fruitful and so influential that he is credited with founding a new field of study -- that of uniform embeddings of metric spaces."

Prior to coming to Texas A&M, Yu served 11 years as a professor of mathematics at Vanderbilt University. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1991 under the mentorship of his eventual Texas A&M distinguished professor colleague Ron Douglas. Yu completed a one-year postdoctoral fellow stint at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley before joining the faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he remained for nearly a decade before going to Vanderbilt. He also held visiting appointments at many of the world's most prestigious research institutes, including Germany's Max-Planck Institute of Mathematics, the Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, Switzerland's Bernoulli Center of Mathematics, Shanghai's Fudan University and The Australian National University.

Yu was honored in 2012 as an inaugural fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and most recently with the Thousand Talent Award from the Ministry of Science and Ministry of Organization in China. His research has resulted in nearly 60 referred publications and four co-authored books, in addition to substantial and continuous funding support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). His exceptional accomplishments in this regard were recognized with an invitation to present an invited address at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Madrid in 2006 -- an event held only every four years and widely viewed as the single most prestigious venue in global mathematics. In addition, Yu has been a plenary speaker at the International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians, also an elite honor. He has delivered more than 200 invited talks at conferences and workshops throughout the world and serves on the editorial boards of four highly regarded international journals, including as managing editor for one.

"In addition to being an eminent scholar, Dr. Yu is also a great colleague," Straube said. "He is highly deserving of this honor, and we are fortunate to have him in our department and at Texas A&M."

To learn more about Yu and his teaching, research and professional service accomplishments, visit http://www.math.tamu.edu/~guoliangyu/.

For additional information about Texas A&M Mathematics, go to http://www.math.tamu.edu.

See the complete list of distinguished professors at Texas A&M.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Guoliang Yu, (979) 845-6648 or guoliangyu@math.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Guoliang Yu

© Texas A&M University. To request use of any of our photographs for educational use or to view additional options from our archive, please contact the College of Science Communications Office.

College of Science
517 Blocker
TAMU 3257 | 979-845-7361
Site Policies
Contact Webmaster
Social Media