Member, NUHS Board
President, National University of Singapore
Professor Tan Eng Chye was appointed President of the National University of Singapore (NUS) on 1 January 2018. He is the University's 5th president, and the 23rd leader to head Singapore's oldest higher education institution.
Prof Tan, who attended Raffles Institution (1974 to 1979), obtained his Bachelor in Mathematics (First Class Honours, 1985) at NUS and his PhD (1989) at Yale University. He joined NUS as a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics in 1985, as a Senior Tutor, and has held visiting positions at various universities overseas such as the Rutgers University, University of Washington at Seattle, University of California at Berkeley and University of Maryland, USA; Universities of Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan; as well as the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Prof Tan's research interests are in the Representation Theory of Lie Groups and Lie Algebras; and Invariant Theory and Algebraic Combinatorics. He has been invited to speak in numerous top conferences overseas, and has published more than 20 articles in top internationally-refereed journals and conference proceedings. He has co-authored three books on mathematics, including a well-known graduate text on non-Abelian harmonic analysis.
Prof Tan is a passionate and award-wining educator. He was a pioneer architect of the current academic system in NUS, and has seeded many initiatives such as the Special Programme in Science, University Scholars Programme, University Town Residential College Programme, Grade-free Year, and Technology-enhanced Education. He was recognised with the University Teaching Award for Innovative Teaching in 1998, and was President of the Singapore Mathematical Society (2001 to 2005) as well as the Southeast Asian Mathematical Society (2004 to 2005).
Prof Tan is a member of the Singapore's Future Economy Council, which is tasked with driving the growth and transformation of the county's future economy. He is on the boards of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR); National Research Foundation (NRF); and NUS High School of Mathematics and Sciences. He is the Chair of Universitas 21, a leading global network of 27 research-intensive universities, and a member of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Steering Committee. Prof Tan also sits on the International Advisory Council of the Southern University of Science and Technology in China, and is an advisor with the think tank The Conference Board.
Prof Tan received the Public Administration Medal (Gold) at Singapore's National Day Awards in 2014 for his outstanding contributions to education. He was awarded the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal, which honours exceptional alumni in the areas of scholarship, teaching, academic administration and public service, by Yale University in 2018. Prof Tan was also conferred an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Southampton in 2018 in recognition of his achievements as "an innovative and exceptional teacher, and then as a distinguished and respected leader in academia".
In 2022, Prof Tan was conferred the title of Knight of the French Order of the Legion of Honour (Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur) – the highest French distinction for military and civil accomplishments – for his distinguished contributions in education and research.
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