Saturday, March 31, 2007

Wang Hao

I have just finished reading a biography of an old professor teaching at Tsinghua University. The title of that book is "My School Days," published by Beijing's Joint Publising Company last year (in Chinese). I enjoy it a lot!

There is a chapter in his book where he recollected his interaction with his classmates while they were all attending National Southwestern Associated University during the Second World War.

One of his classmate is Wang Hao, a first class mathematician and philosopher. I have never heard of his name before. Wang went to Harvard after graduating from National Southwestern Associated University and studied under well-known Harvard professor Willard Van Orman Quine. Wang got his Ph.D. only after spending one year and eight months at Harvard!

Here is more information about Wang Hao. This is a book written by by Wang Hao and published by the MIT press. According to the biography, that book is only the first part of a planned trilogy.

Apparently Wang tried to answer 3 questions through his trilogy according to what he told the author of biography. The first one, ie the published one, attempts to answer the question of "What could we know?" The second and third one supposedly attempt to address the questions of "What could we do?" and "What are we after in life?" respectively.

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