Raised in poverty, I was a frail child, afflicted by many illnesses, including typhoid fever that caused life-long paralysis of my left leg...but I was known throughout my life for a "cheerful and optimistic disposition."
Though with only nine years of schooling, I was admitted to the Chinese Vocational College in Shanghai, where I distinguished myself by winning a national abacus competition.
Due to a lack of money, I was forced to leave college but continued to write and publish significant research papers in mathematics...that led to a position at Quing Hua University in Beijing...first as a clerk in the library, then as an assistant in mathematics, then as an instructor, and then as a lecturer.
I visited and worked with prominent mathematicians in England (1936-1938) and the USA (1946-1950)...and then had no contact with mathematicians outside of China until 1978.
In China, I am so revered as a mathematician by the public that a television mini-series was made of my early life.
My research contributions are in the areas of number theory, algebra, complex variables, and harmonic analysis...leading to the claim that I was "one of the two most eminent Chinese mathematicians" of my generation...Professor S.S. Chern being the other.
Loo-Keng Hua (1910-1985)