Purity of personal life is the one indispensable condition for building up a sound education. - Mahatma Gandhi

For the curious...

I was born in Tianjin, P. R. China. You can guess my birthday, as well as my wife's, by solving the following math problem. The solution is believed to be unique.

  1. My wife's month of birth is a prime number, so is mine.
  2. Her day of birth is a prime number, so is mine.
  3. Connect her month of birth with her day of birth, you get a prime number; but if you reverse all the digits, the number is not a prime. For example, if her birthday were January 23, then the connection would lead to the number 123 and reversing all the digits, you would get 321.
  4. Connect my month of birth with my day of birth, you get a prime number; but if you reverse all the digits, the number is not a prime.
  5. Connect my day of birth with her month of birth, you get a prime number; but if you reverse all the digits, the number is not a prime.
  6. Connect my month of birth with her day of birth, you get a prime number; but if you reverse all the digits, the number is not a prime.
  7. Connect her day of birth with my month of birth, you do NOT get a prime number; but if you reverse all the digits, the number is a prime.
  8. Connect her month of birth with my day of birth, you do NOT get a prime number; if you reverse all the digits, the number is NOT a prime either! Well, things cannot too perfect, can it? So it looks like there is a "difference of a prime". That is true:
  9. Summing up all the digits in her month and day of birth, summing up all the digits in my month and day of birth, the difference between the two sums is a prime!

Upon graduation from Nankai High School, I went on to obtain two degrees (BMath and MMath --- supervised by Dr. John Brzozowski) from the University of Waterloo (I was a winner of the University of Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal - photo) and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Eugene Fiume.

Family

On November 3, 2012, at 11:12 PM, our daughter Allison (Yiran) Zhang was born. Her Chinese name "Yiran" reflects a sense of "quiet happiness and self-fulfillment". We want our little girl to be not so stressed, not even trying to be beyond anything, like her brother :)

Our son Ryan (Chaoran) Zhang was born on October 8, 2010. His Chinese name "Chaoran" means "beyond materialism" (the best translation I could find). Ryan is two years and two months old now, he does not seem yet to be beyond "Gangname style".

The best moment of 2012 was THE KISS. See photo to the left. I did not realize how big my son's left hand is!

My father, Runchu Zhang, is a full professor at the School of Mathematical Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin, and at the School of Mathematics and Statistics, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China. My mother, Yunru Xiao, is a retired professor from the School of Economics at Nankai, specializing in Insurance and Risk Management. My sister, Xi Zhang, obtained her Ph.D. in Statistics from Columbia University and is now a financial analyst on Wall Stret.

Recreational interests

I enjoy all kinds of sports involving the use of a racket (or bat, but not the one in baseball). In particular, I like to play badminton. If time allows, I would play regularly at drop-in badminton in the SFU East Gym. I feel somewhat obliged to play table tennis and have always enjoyed playing against my students. Three years ago, my main hobby was volleyball, having been pulled in by my wife, and we played regularly on a semi-competitive basis. Now our team was disassembled and I have not played much in three years. I start to do drop-ins at the SFU gym as well.

If I did not have to purchase all the life's necessities, I'd spend all my money to travel. My dream job is not professor at a university but a photographer for the National Geographic Magazine. OK, here my wife might object to that since she does not think I know how to take good photographs. Technically, she is better than me right now but I am much better at "capturing the moment"! High on my list in terms of travel destinations include Cuba, Brazil, and the Serengeti National Park, as I have always had a great fascination about animals.

Go (围棋) is my favorite game, though I am not very good at it (I am 2d according to the current IGS rating, if you know what that means). My proudest moment came on September 28, 2008, when I won a game against Ms. Li, a professional Go player who is also the coach of the National Go Team of Canada. I won the game with a 4-stone handicap. In retrospect, I felt that Ms. Li gave me a pretty easy time.

I can play bridge and once owned a few of the really elusive Master Points, but my schedule no longer permits me to do much playing at all. I am also supposed to be a gambler (from horoscope, palm reading, etc.). I would love to play poker and be on the WPT but so far I have been pretty easy to read.

 : myself "avatarized"

 : my name in Chinese

 : my name "Hao" in Hebrew

 : my name "Hao" in Hindi

 : my name "Hao" in Arabic

 : my name "Hao" in Bengali.