Media Release – October 16, 2020
Canadian Mathematical Society

Chao Zhang Receives the 2020 G. de B. Robinson Award

OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce that Dr. Chao Zhang is the recipient of the 2020 G. de B. Robinson Award for a paper published in the Canadian Journal of Mathematics in 2018-2019.

Professor Chao Zhang is being recognized for his paper “Ekedahl-Oort Strata for Good Reductions of Shimura Varieties of Hodge Type” (Canad. J. Math. 70 (2018), no. 1, 451-480).

The work of Zhang is devoted to the study of Shimura varieties. These varieties have become a valuable tool in modern Number Theory. Their étale cohomology constitutes one of the ways to construct Galois representations. They also provide concrete incarnations of automorphic forms realized as modular forms. Zhang introduces stratifications of the special fibers of Shimura varieties of Hodge type in odd characteristics into spaces that are easier to understand, e.g., they are quasi-affine and smooth.

His work vastly generalizes previous work of Frans Oort for moduli spaces of principally polarized abelian varieties and of Ben Moonen, Torsten Wedhorn and Eva Viehmann for special classes of Shimura varieties (those of PEL type). Zhang’s result has been instrumental in recent important developments in the construction of torsion Galois representations, e.g., in the work of Wushi Goldring and Jean-Stefan Koskivirta, and in the study of the tautological ring of Shimura varieties, such as in the work of Torsten Wedhorn and Paul Ziegler.

Dr. Zhang is currently an Associate Professor of Shing-Tung Yau Center of Southeast University in Nanjing, China. After finishing his graduate study in China, he received a scholarship from the Erasmus Mundus ALGANT-DOC doctoral program, and became a Ph.D. student at Leiden University and at the University of Milan, with advisors Prof. Bas Edixhoven and Prof. Fabrizio Andreatta. Upon obtaining his Ph.D. in 2013, he started a postdoc in the Yau Mathematical Sciences Center (Tsinghua University, Beijing) and the Institute of Mathematics of Academia Sinica (Taipei). He joined Southeast University in December 2019.

About the G. de B. Robinson Award

The G. de B. Robinson Award is named for Gilbert de Beauregard Robinson, the third president of the CMS. Robinson, along with H.S.M. Coxeter, established the Canadian Journal of Mathematics (CJM) and acted as the managing editor for 30 years. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the CJM or the Canadian Mathematical Bulletin (CMB).

About the Canadian Mathematical Society

The CMS is the main national organization whose goal is to promote and advance the discovery, learning and application of mathematics.  The Society’s activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including scientific meetings, research publications, and the promotion of excellence in mathematics competitions that recognize outstanding student achievements.

For more information, please contact:

Matthias Neufang (Carleton)
Chair, Publications Committee
Canadian Mathematical Society


Javad Mashreghi (Laval)
Canadian Mathematical Society