Shiing-Shen Chern (/tʃɜːrn/; Chinese: 陳省身; October 28, 1911 – December 3, 2004) was a Chinese-American mathematician and poet. He made fundamental contributions to differential geometry and topology. He has been called the "father of modern differential geometry" and is widely regarded as a leader in geometry and one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century, winning numerous awards and recognition including the Wolf Prize and the inaugural Shaw Prize. In memory of Shiing-Shen Chern, the International Mathematical Union established the Chern Medal in 2010 to recognize "an individual whose accomplishments warrant the highest level of recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of mathematics".
Chern worked at the Institute for Advanced Study (1943–45), spent about a decade at the University of Chicago (1949-1960), and then moved to University of California, Berkeley, where he co-founded the world-renowned Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in 1982 and was the institute's founding director. Renowned co-authors with Chern include Jim Simons, an American mathematician and billionaire hedge fund manager. Chern's work, most notably the Chern-Gauss-Bonnet Theorem, Chern–Simons theory, and Chern classes, are still highly influential in current research in mathematics, including geometry, topology, and knot theory; as well as many branches of physics, including string theory, condensed matter physics, general relativity, and quantum field theory.