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In Memory

In Memory of Dr. Kam-Tim Leung

Photo of Dr. K.T. Leung (2018)   ♦   Message from Head of Department
♦   In loving memory of former Dean of Science Dr. Kam-Tim Leung
♦   Sharing of Memories
♦   Dr. Kam-Tim Leung's Interview by Sing Tao Daily
♦   Photo Album
♦   Celebration of Life for Dr. Kam-Tim LEUNG
    Date: 25 August 2019 (Sunday)
    Time: 11am
    Venue: Loke Yew Hall
♦   Donation in memory of Dr. Kam-Tim Leung
    Online Donation Form / Paper Donation Form


Celebration of Life for Dr. Kam-Tim LEUNG


Dear students and alumni,


Dr Kam Tim Leung celebration of life

A Celebration of Life will be held for Dr. Kam-Tim LEUNG, former Dean of Science and important figure of the Department of Mathematics, who passed away peacefully on 23 June 2019, at the age of 87. Below please find the details of the celebration:

Date: 25 August 2019 (Sunday)
Time: 11am
Venue: Loke Yew Hall

Dr. Leung joined The University of Hong Kong as a Senior Lecturer in 1960, and retired in 1995 after his long services at the Faculty of Science for 35 years. As an important figure of the Department of Mathematics, Dr. Leung's dedication to mathematics curriculum brought high impacts to the society. In 1974-1976, he served as the Dean of Science, leading the Faculty to make positive changes in teaching.


Memorial Prize

To commemorate the contribution and passion of Dr. Leung in Mathematics and teaching, Dr. Leung's family and Department of Mathematics wish to set up a Memorial Prize of Dr. Kam-Tim Leung in Algebra, which will be bestowed upon students who have achieved outstanding performance in the field of Algebra. It is hoped that the Prize could honour Dr. Leung's achievements in Mathematics and succeed his vision in education.

We wish that, in lieu of flowers, there will be donations for this fund; donation can be made online via www.giving.hku.hk/donatenow/ktleung or by cheque payable to The University of Hong Kong with the donation form to support our good will. If you have any question, you can contact Ms Connie Lee at hslee@maths.hku.hk.

Dr. Leung will be dearly missed and remembered. With deepest sorrow, please join me to express our condolences to his family.


With best regards,
Tuen Wai NG
Professor and Head
Department of Mathematics, HKU


Message from Head of Department


Dear Alumni,


Dr. Kam-Tim LEUNG, our former colleague and my former teacher, passed away peacefully in the company of his family, his dear wife Cosette and children Michelle, Nick and Dan in Hong Kong on 23 June 2019 at the age of 87. Dr. Leung had been ill for the past one-and-half year but kept up a sanguine and upbeat attitude in facing the illness.

1953年攝於漢堡寓所中

Dr. Leung was born on 30 May 1932 in Hong Kong. He graduated from Pui Ching Middle School in 1950. Dr. Leung then spent one year (1950-1951) studying Civil Engineering at Lingnan University, Canton, China. He then studied Mathematics and Physics at the University of Hamburg, Germany from 1952 to 1954. From 1954-1957, he worked with B.L. van der Waerden at the University of Zurich, Switzerland and he received his Ph.D. degree in Mathematics, Physics, Philosophy on 30 October 1957. As a Ph.D. student, Dr. Leung attended the International Congress of Mathematicians 1954 held at Amsterdam. This was the first time Dr. Leung met our founding Head (after the War) Prof. Yung Chow Wong who also attended the Congress.

HKUMathDept     Maths Symposium 1969

Dr. Leung was an Assistant of Higher Mathematics at ETH Zurich, Switzerland in 1957. Dr. Leung then worked as an Assistant Professor at the Miami University (1958-59) and the University of Cincinnati (1959-60) in U.S.A. and joined The University of Hong Kong as a Senior Lecturer in 1960. Dr. Leung was a long-serving and important figure of the Department of Mathematics. He was also the Dean of the Faculty of Science from 1974 to 1976. During his deanship, he spent great efforts in overseeing the newly introduced unit structure for undergraduate programmes.

Photo of textbooks
Photo of 3 teacher's manuals
Photo of textbooks

Dr. Leung has published research papers in algebra geometry, 10 textbooks and 3 teacher's manuals (by Longman and the Hong Kong University Press). Two of the books are translated and published in the mainland China. The book coauthored with Dr. Doris Chen on set theory has been used by many generations of Hong Kong secondary school students for the preparation of the Advanced-Level Examinations. Dr. Leung once said that "A textbook writer is, in many ways, similar to a performer of classical music. No pianist can interpret sonata by Beethoven adequately without having done in depth research in the music of the 18th and the 19th century. A musicologist publishes his research in prints while a pianist does his in performances. A textbook writer cannot present his subject in a useful, interesting and inspiring way without having done the necessary research". Many of us indeed have the good fortune to learn linear algebra from his unique and inspiring textbook Linear Algebra and Geometry.

Photo of Textbook - Linear Algebra and Geometry

Dr. Leung has been influential to the mathematics education in Hong Kong. He was the Vice-Chairman of the Advanced-Level Examinations Board before the Hong Kong Examinations Authority took over the examinations from The University of Hong Kong. In the 60's and 70's when "New Math" was mistakenly taken to be the future direction of curriculum reform in the U.K. and U.S.A., Dr. Leung played a crucial role in preventing it from taking root in Hong Kong. For many years, he was an advisor of the subject committees of the Curriculum Development Council and Examinations Authority. Dr. Leung also served as a Director on the Board of the German Swiss International School for more than 17 years and as its Vice-Chairman and the supervisor of the school for at least 10 years. Dr. Leung was also the founder, publisher and chief editor of an intellectual magazine, Dousou (抖擻) Bimonthly for ten years until it ceased publication in 1983.

Photo of Dousou

Dr. Leung's views and advices of different aspect of mathematics education can be found in the book Mathematics Education in Hong Kong: From the 1960s to the 1990s. A Festschrift for K.T. Leung (香港數學教育的回顧與前瞻 - 梁鑑添博士榮休文集). Indeed Dr. Leung has contributed five articles to this book and the book also has an interview done by Dr. Ida, Ah Chee Mok. In the preface of this book, Prof. Man Keung Siu provided the background of turning the lecture notes used by HKU mathematics students at that time into the book Elementary Set Theory (1965) and Linear Algebra and Geometry (1974). Prof. Siu also explained how the "New Math" movement has triggered Dr. Leung and Dr. Doris Chen (together with Dr. Choi-Lai Chan) to write the five volumes of Basic Mathematics (1975-77) and later with several other authors the three volumes of advanced mathematics for senior high school students: Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics (1988), Polynomials and Equations (1992) and Vectors, Matrices and Geometry (1994). This book dedicated to Dr. Leung also contains a lot of very valuable photos of Dr. Leung when he studied mathematics in Europe in the 1950s. If you have a portal account of HKU, you can access the online version of this book through the website of HKU library.

Photo of Mathematics Education in Hong Kong: From the 1960s to the 1990s

Just before Dr. Leung retired in 1995, he gave a public lecture on Fermat's Last Theorem on 12 March 1994 to an enthusiastic audience of almost 700 secondary students and teachers. This lecture also marked the beginning of a long tradition of our public lecture series (數趣漫話). I still remember at the very beginning of his lecture, Dr. Leung told the audience that it was the first time he delivered a mathematics lecture in Cantonese.

Photo of Public Lecture     Photo of Public Lecture

Dr. Leung will remain in the memory of those who knew him. May he rest in peace.


With best regards,
Patrick, Tuen Wai NG
Professor and Head
Department of Mathematics, HKU
25 June 2019