Fax from Prof. Serge Lang at Yale
(1997, 4, 16)
Korean Mathematical Society
Attn. President Professor Gun Soo Chang(참조: 무응답한 연대 장건수의 변명)
Korea Institute of Advanced Study
Attn. President Professor Hyochul Myung(주: 명효철 회신거부)
Dear Professor Chang and Myung
Your institutions represent mathematics in Korea.The case of MyungHo Kim has just been brought to my attention
, by a forthcoming article in the
Mathematical Intelligencer, and an informative letter on the facts of the case,
addressed to the Math Intelligencer by members of the American Mathematical Society, especially a committee of
Academic Freedom, Tenure and Employment.
The international mathematical community forms a village which is on the top of line in maintaining communication
and promoting standards. More than any other group I know, we help each other correct mistakes, hopefully before they
published, but also after they are published. We are trained to do so from the beginning when we join this community.
As those AMS members wrote in their letter, no reproch should be made for making a minor blunder. The problem arises
when an establishment does not cooperate to correct the blunder and annul whatever undesirable effects the blunder may have had.
I have myself made blunders, and have corrected them in the past as extensively and publicly as I could. I have
encouraged students in my classes to find whatever errors they could in my books, and bring them to my attention so I could
I urge you to give support to Myung in
his effort to nullify the result of an improperly phrased question in an important
examination, individuals such as Myung deserve the support of their establishment. Our standards are international.
It is already unfortunate that the situation has escalated to the point when there has to be an appeal to
the international community to set things straight. You have considerable influence to defuse the
situation just by straightening it out openly and simply. You will have the appreciation of the
international mathematical community, and mine.
With best regards, Serge Lang
cc: Myung Ho Kim