Two CUHK scholars selected as 2022 New Cornerstone Investigators
The New Cornerstone Investigator Program established by Tencent announced the first batch of New Cornerstone Investigators on 13 January. A total of 58 outstanding scientists from across the country were selected. Two out of the three Hong Kong scholars to receive the honour are from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK): Professor He Xuhua from the Department of Mathematics and Professor Liu Renbao from the Department of Physics. They will each receive up to RMB15 million to conduct basic research for five years.
CUHK Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rocky S. Tuan commented, “Basic research is the bedrock of scientific and technological development. I am deeply thankful to Tencent for its visionary investment in cultivating talents and promoting basic science for the country. The University is extremely proud to see Professor He Xuhua and Professor Liu Renbao selected as the first New Cornerstone Investigators by Tencent. I hope their research findings can help create a vibrant future for science in China and around the world.”
A pure mathematics scholar, Professor He Xuhua is the Choh-Ming Li Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMS) at CUHK. His research interests include algebraic groups, representation theory and arithmetic geometry. Professor He was awarded the Morningside Gold Medal of Mathematics at the 2013 International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians for his contributions to several fundamental problems in arithmetic algebraic geometry, algebraic groups and representation theory. He was the first group of Hong Kong scholar to receive the Xplorer Prize (Mathematics and Physics) in 2020 for his spirit of scientific exploration and potential for innovation. He is also the first Hong Kong scholar to receive the 2022 AMS Chevalley Prize in Lie Theory by the American Mathematical Society, in recognition of his contribution to the advancement of Lie theor
Professor Liu Renbao is a Professor in CUHK’s Department of Physics. His research interests are quantum physics, quantum optics, quantum information science and technology, and nonlinear optics. He contributed to the establishment of a quantum many-body theory of central spin decoherence in spin baths, the development of dynamic decoupling schemes for protecting qubit coherence, the discovery of equivalence between the zeros of central spin coherence and the Lee-Yang zeros, a proposal for atomic-scale NMR based on quantum sensing, the study of topological quantum optics, the prediction of high-order THz sideband generation, and the invention of a diamond maser that can operate continuously at room temperature. Professor Liu has been awarded the Huang Kun Prize and the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics. He is a Fellow of Optica and an Outstanding Fellow of the Faculty of Science at CUHK. The New Cornerstone Investigator grant will support Professor Liu to establish a theory of quantum many-body lasers.
About the New Cornerstone Investigator Program
The New Cornerstone Investigator Program is an independent, nonprofit funding initiative for basic research that focuses on original innovation and encourages free exploration. In 2022, Tencent pledged to provide RMB10 billion over 10 years to establish the New Cornerstone Investigator Program and facilitate exceptional scientists to devote themselves to basic research in a stable, long-term manner, realising original innovations from 0 to 1.