Established the mathematical theory for generalization of quantum mechanics by solving the Albert’s problem
Set the direction for research on affine connection by applying algebra theory to differential geometry
Enhanced the status of Korean mathematics by developing the Korea Institute for Advanced Study and promoting international exchanges
(Late) Professor Hyo Chul Myung (1937~2010)
Former President of the Korea Institute for Advanced Study
- Academic background
B.S., Dept. of Mathematics, Seoul National University
M.S. in Mathematics, Graduate School, Seoul National University
Ph.D. in Mathematics (Algebra), Graduate School, Michigan State University
- Professional career
Professor, Dept. of Mathematics, Northern Iowa University
Visiting Professor, Seoul National University
Professor, Dept. of Mathematics, Korea Institute for Science and Technology
Vice President, Acting President, Chief of Faculty of Korea Institute for Advanced Study
President of Korea Institute for Advanced Study
Best Professor Award (University of Northern Iowa)
Donald McKey Best Research Award (University of Northern Iowa)
Culture Award, Seoul Metropolitan City
Professor Hyo Chul Myung made globally-recognized achievements in the field of algebra. He toiled incessantly for the education of junior scholars at the Korea Institute for Science and Technology and the Korea Institute for Advanced Study as well as the development of the Korean mathematics, both materially and morally.
Born in Masan, Gyeongnam. In 1960, he graduated from the Dept. of Mathematics, Seoul National University, where he received master’s degree in 1962. In 1966, he went to the USA and earned Ph.D. in 1970 from Michigan State University. His doctoral dissertation was “Flexible Lie-admissible algebras,” in the area of algebra. Immediately after, he joined the Dept. of Mathematics, Northern Iowa University, where he continued his research for 25 years.
His research concerned Lie-admissible algebras, that is to find and classify the structure of nonassociative algebras which can make Lie algebras by defining a commutator. He was broadly recognized in the world for his achievements in mathematics with a series of researches that solved the Albert’s problem and other speculations. In 1948 the mathematician A. Adrian Albert introduced Lie-admissible algebras as a generalization of Lie algebra and left several problems and speculations. In spite of research on the Albert’s problems by numerous researchers, those problems remained unsolved until 1970s with only partly solved examples.
Professor Myung solved the Albert’s problem via a joint research project with Dr. Susumu Okubo, Physicist at the Rochester University. In 1948, Albert raised the problem of determining flexible algebra A, where A- is semisimple Lie algebra. During 1978-1980, Okubo and Myung published the research achievements on the classification of the structure of Lie-admissible algebra A, where A- is semisimple Lie algebra in limited dimension. The research was highly evaluated as it solved the Albert’s problem in mathematics as well as it proved that the algebra model, which may be broadly applied in the process of the generalization of quantum mechanics, is flexible Lie-admissible algebra. And in 1986, professor Myung continued the research, expanding Lie-admissible algebra up to Malcev-admissible algebra, of which his completed research results were published as Malcev-admissible algebras in 1986. In 1988, the Journal of American Mathematics described the book as “the best book for mathematicians who want to study Lie-admissible algebras.”
He continued joint researches with other mathematicians and physicists until 1980s. He performed researches on the problems of algebras derived from generalization of classical mechanics and application of the algebra theories to differential geometry. Especially, he completely determined all invariant affine connections on the manifolds of S6, S7, and S15 via joint researches with A. Elduque, a Spanish mathematician. The research was recognized as having presented new direction for mathmatics and a tool for the research on the affine connection. In 1996, he published Mutational Alternative Algebras jointly with Elduque.
Professor Myung also contributed to educating mathematicians and raising the research level of mathematics in Korea. Returning to Korea in 1995, he became professor of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and then subsequently he served as Vice President (1996) and then as President (2007-2010) of the Korea Institute for Advanced Study, leading the direction of the institute and establishing the foundations for advanced research. He made special efforts in the fields of mathematics, inviting Efim Zelmanov, the winner of 1994 Fields Medal as chair-professor, thus clearly showing that the institute aimed at top-notch research. Later, helped by his accreditation and the exchanges accumulated in the international mathematics area, the institute was able to host a variety of international academic conferences and conduct criticial joint research. Also, he actively supported the academic projects of the Korea Mathematics Society and the Korea Women Mathematical Science Society, as well as making personal donation of KRW 300 million for the Korea Institute for Advanced Study, showing his material and moral support for the development of Korean mathematics.
Professor Myung’s life-long devotion to research and education, his contribution to the development of mathematics were recognized over the years. In the USA, he won the Best Professor Award from Northern Iowa University in 1986 and became the first winner of the Donald McKey Best Research Award, established in 1990. After returning to Korea, he won Culture Award of Seoul Metropolitan City in 2006 and the Sudang Award in 2009.