Professor Yong-Geun Oh Wins the Samsung Ho-Am Prize

2022-04-06 195

[Winner of the Ho-Am Prize in Physics and Mathematics, Prof. Oh is recognized as a leader in symplectic geometry and symplectic topology.]

Professor Yong-geun Oh (Director of the IBS Center for Geometry and Physics) of the Department of Mathematics at POSTECH was selected as a winner of the 2022 Samsung Ho-Am Prize in Physics and Mathematics by the Ho-Am Foundation on April 6, 2022.

210118_오용근교수_(en)뷰페이지Professor Yong-Geun Oh, who received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, was appointed to POSTECH in 2013 after working as a professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Professor Oh is regarded as a world-leading mathematician in the areas of symplectic geometry and symplectic topology. He developed a theoretical foundation and important application methods for Floer homology*1 in symplectic topology. This is regarded as a pioneering study that is the basis for convergence studies with theoretical physics such as string theory as well as mathematics.

Floer homology is a concept introduced for the proposition that ‘the mathematical concept of the uncertainty principle*2 of quantum mechanics exists even in classical mechanics.’ Previously, the Floer homology theory could not be applied to other studies of symplectic geometry other than this proposition.

Professor Oh developed an original method that uses Floer homology theory as a fundamental tool for the research on symplectic space and applied it to other studies, laying the foundation for the development of modern symplectic geometry and making progress.

In addition, by demonstrating that the algebraic language Fukaya category*3 also exists in Floer homology, that algebraic language has been evaluated as a textbook achievement in modern simplectic geometry and symplectic topology.

Recognized for these contributions to mathematics, Professor Oh was the first Korean to give a lecture at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM)*4, considered as the Olympics of mathematics and shared research findings in the field of geometry with the international mathematics community.

Four people from POSTECH have previously won the Ho-Am Prize including the former president Yongmin Kim, Professor Kimoon Kim, former professors Sanguk Jeong and Minhyong Kim.

1. Floer homology
Expansion of important topological information of space to the energy level

2. Uncertainty principle
The principle that both the position and momentum of a particle cannot be known precisely.

3. Fukaya category
A category that comprehensively includes relationships, mutual structures, etc. between different simplectic manifold.

4. International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM)
An international convention for mathematicians organized by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) held every four years. The first convention was held in Zurich, Switzerland in 1897.