As is usual, the volumes of Biographical Memoirs contain much material of interest to the student of the mathematical, physical, engineering, biological and medical sciences. Often a memoir has been written in collaboration with another Academy or Society. In the present volume the memoir of Shiing-Shen Chern is an expanded version of an obituary notice by Nigel Hitchin that appeared in the Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society. Chern was a great geometer, who revolutionized differential geometry and whose mathematical tools are now common currency in geometry, topology and theoretical physics. His proof of the Gauss–Bonnet theorem, which was a pivotal event in the history of differential geometry, led to the importance of the Chern classes. Moreover. S.-S. Chern was extremely influential in the development of mathematics and geometry both in the USA, at the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, and Chicago and Berkeley, and in China, in Shanghai and Nankei.
- © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society