China pays last respects to mechanics scientist

August 7th, 2010 - 5:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 7 (IANS) Tens of thousands of Chinese Saturday paid their last respects to Qian Weichang, one of the country’s most respected scientists, recognized for his achievements in applied mathematics and mechanics, Xinhua reported.
Qian, a senior member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and former president of Shanghai University, passed away July 30, at the age of 98.

His body was cremated in Shanghai’s Hualong Funeral Parlor Saturday.

Black scrolls were hung in the spacious funeral hall, where mourners moved in lines and bowed before Qian’s body, covered by the national flag.

Top Chinese political advisor Jia Qinglin and other senior officials attended the service.

Many of the mourners wore black armbands, a Chinese tradition to mourn the dead, and held Qian’s pictures and banners as they quietly stood in lines.

Qian was a key contributor to the theory of elastic mechanics, variation principle and perturbation method.

He was the co-author of the essay “Change the torsional twist”, published in 1946 and considered a classic in the theory of elastic mechanics.

Qian graduated from Tsinghua University in 1937. He then studied in Canada and got a doctorate in applied mathematics from the University of Toronto in 1942.

Qian returned to China in 1946 after spending four years as a researcher in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology in the US.

He taught at universities in Beijing and Shanghai for nearly 50 years.

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