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A Guide to the Kai Lai Chung Papers

Finding aid created by Carl Van Ness

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
July 2011 (Updated August 2020)

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Chung, Kai Lai, 1917-2009
Title: Kai Lai Chung Papers
Dates: 1933-2004
Bulk dates: 1946-2004
Abstract: Correspondence, journal and notebooks of mathematician Kai Lai Chung.
Extent: 1.75 Linear feet. 3 boxes.
Identification: MS Group 284
Language(s): Most of the correspondence and all of the notebooks and journals are in English. Some correspondence is in French and Chinese.
Online Content Items from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the UF Digital Collections. For more information please see the note below.

Biographical/Historical Note

Chung was born in Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province of China in 1917. He entered Tsinghua University in 1936 to study physics. He later attended the National Southwestern Associated University where he earned a degree in mathematics. He studied number theory with Lo Keng Hua and probability theory with Pao Lu Hsu. Chung did his doctoral work at Princeton University. His dissertation, "On the maximum partial sum of sequences of independent random variables" was completed in 1947. Chung taught at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, the University of California, Cornell University and Syracuse University before securing a position at Stanford University in 1961. His primary work was in probability theory, specifically Brownian motion and the theory of Markov chains. He was one of the founders of the Seminars on Stochastic Processes. Chung died in 2009.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence, both incoming and outgoing, and notebooks for Chung's lectures, research and publications. The collection also contains Chung's journals and several annotated publications. The collection reflects Chung's contribution to the study of mathematics and also his interest in the historical contributions of others, in particular Pao Lu Hsu and French mathematician Wolfgang (Vincent) Doeblin. In later years, Chung made annotations and comments to his files. These are found throughout the collection in the margins of documents and as post-it notes attached to files.

A keyword index for the letters and notebooks is available.


Box 1 contains correspondence. Box 2 contains research and lecture notebooks. Box 3 contains Chung's journals and several publications. Where there is a substantial number of letters to or from one person the correspondence is arranged by name. The remainder of the letters are arranged chronologically or, in a few cases, by subject matter.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open to researchers.

Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of selected items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Kai Lai Chung Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated by Lilia Chung, Chung's wife, in 2011. Additional 23 letters donated by Ru Qian and Xin Wang Ru in 2020.

Processing Notes

Collection was processed in June 2011.

Contents List


1 Balkema, Guus. 1974, 1988
1 Bru, Bernard. 1994-2000
1 Chatterji, S. D. 1986-2004
1 Chen, Louis. 1983-2004
1 Coates, John Henry. 2003
1 Dellacherie, Claude. 1971-1984
1 Doob, Joseph Leo. 1962-2003
1 Durrett, Rick. 1980-1994
1 Feller, William (Vilim). 1957-1964
1 Getoor, Ron. 1967-1995
1 Glover, Joe. 1978-1996
1 Hsu Pei. 1980-2004
1 Kallenberg, Olav. 1980-1996
1 Knight, Frank B. 1982-1998
1 Letta, G. 1995-1996
1 Levy, Paul. 1964-1968
1 Meyer, Paul-Andre. 1963-2000
3 Qian, Zhong Yi. 1979-1988
1 Randi, James. 1993-2000
1 Rao, Calyampudi Radhakrishna. 1980-1994
1 Reuter, G. E. H. 1957-1965
1 Simon, Barry. 1980-1994
1 Takacs, ?. 1993-1994
1 Walsh, John B. 1996-2003
1 Williams, Ruth. 1991
1 Yor, Marc. 1988-1996
1 Yushkevich, Aleksandr Adolfevich. 1995
1 Zambrini, Jean-Claude. 1996-1997
1 Zhongxin, Zhao. 1980-1994
1 No dates
1 Before 1960
1 1961-1970
1 1971-1980
1 1981-1990
1 1991-2000
1 2001-2004
1 Correspondence with and related to Pao - Lu Hsu and his work. 1947-1983
1 Correspondence related to grants
1 Research report, Doeblin's theory of Markov processes, Air Force Office of Scientific Research
1 Correspondence related to essay "A Private China: Return to Hangchow" with responses
1 Corrections to newspaper articles and television shows with responses
1 Regarding a paper at the Levy Colloquium that was not published
1 Note on History re Ville. Also, inscribed offprint from Freeman Dyson
1 Frequency theory of Mises and Wald, Doob's Note on probability, optional sampling, gambler's ruin problem, fundamental theorem of sequential analysis
1 Postcards and Christmas cards

Research and Lecture Notebooks

2 Notes on h process, Falkner's results
2 Reading or lecture notes in Princeton by Bochner or Bohr
2 Translation of Kolmogorov's book in China, notebook 1. 1933
2 Translation of Kolmogorov's book in China, notebook 2. 1933
2 Manuscript of Chung's previous work on probability theory of finite number of events. 1942
2 Classroom notes of Cramer's lectures in Princeton (2 folders). 1946
2 Siegel's course in transcendental numbers. 1947-1948
2 Course in several complex numbers in Princeton. 1947-1948
2 Von Newmann's course at the Institute: Rings of operators in Hilbert space. 1947-1948
2 Notes from Weyl's course on integral equations and Artin's course on algebraic numbers. 1947-1948
2 Notes from Feller's class in Cornell. 1948-1949
2 Lecture notes and Kakutani's in Urbana. 1949-1950
2 Lecture notes (Cramer's theorum, etc.). 1951
2 Lecture notes (Kolmogorov's inequality, etc.). 1960-1970
2 Notes (personal notebook). 2001
2 unidentified notes with loose pages. Includes exam book on Doeblin. 1947-1949

Journals and Publications

3 Personal journals. 1978-1984; 1996-1997; 2000-2002
3 Annotated publications.

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Mathematics -- History -- 20th century

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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