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June E Huh Center for Mathematical Challenges

Lee, Woo Young

CMC Distinguished Professor


Woo Young Lee is interested in exploring the interplay between function theory and operator theory, with a specific focus on the invariant subspace problem. The invariant subspace problem is a simple question: “Does every bounded linear operator on a separable complex Hilbert space have a nontrivial invariant subspace?” This problem was fundamentally addressed by J. von Neumann in 1934. The problem is easy to state, however, it is still unsolved. This fascination takes Woo Young on a journey encompassing various fields, such as functional analysis, operator theory, complex analysis, harmonic analysis and etc. Of course, it is also an open question whether the invariant subspace problem and Woo Young’s journey to there are interesting.

  • Chair of Department of Mathematics, Seoul Nat’l Univ.  (Jan 2008 - Dec 2009)
  • Director of SRC (PARC) at Seoul Nat’l Univ. (Sep 2009 - Aug 2016)
  • Fellow of KAST (Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology) (Jan 2013 – present)
  • Director of Research Institute of Mathematics, Seoul Nat’l Univ. (Jan 2018 - Feb 2021)
  • Chair of Division of Natural Sciences, KAST (Jan 2019 – Dec 2021)
  • Editor in Chief of the Journal of the KMS (2001 - 2002, 2005 - 2006, 2008 - 2010)
  • Academic Achievement (Haksul) Awards, KMS, 2001
  • SNU Awards, Seoul Nat’l Univ., 2017
  • DI Awards, KMS, 2019
  • Lifetime Achievement Awards, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul Nat’l Univ., 2021
  • Office: 8320 / /
  • June E Huh Center for Mathematical Challenges, Korea Institute for Advanced Study
  • 85 Hoegiro Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02455, Republic of Korea.