# Haitao Fan

Faculty

**Professor of Mathematics
Age: **52

**Hometown:**Shanghai, China

**Education:**M.S. Chinese Academy of Science, Physics; Ph.D. Harvard University, Applied Mathematics

**Area of research:**Mathematics, specifically partial differentiated equations

**Time at Georgetown:**21 years

**What is the greatest challenge in your field? **

There are a lot. For me in particular we are working on fluid relative mathematics. For example, how do you describe or predict the motion of fluid? Well if you look at the liver, or something, you can realize that there are a lot of things going on. So there are a lot of open problems. There is one that is called the million-dollar problem, which is very much about regularities about movements of fluids in three-dimensional equations. So a lot of people try it without success, so they put a price label on it: one million.

**Are you going to solve it? **

Well, the problem is best for young people to solve it so they can enjoy their reputation for many, many years. However it’s a risky one too, what if you don’t get it in 10 years?

**What is a memorable encounter you’ve had with a student?**

The most memorable encounters are always after class. So for example, one of my students, one of those that is very good at mathematics. And some are also very good at other things. For example one student in calculus got just a B grade, however he is very interesting, for example, he has lots of business ideas. He likes to talk to me about business ideas.

*Interview by Katy Berk*