Hahn was a faculty member of our Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UNM
from 1968 until his retirement in 1999. For most of those years he was involved
with the "New Mexico Mathematics Contests" that was and is still run
by the department. From 1990 to 1999, Prof. Hahn was solely responsible for composing
the Contest problems. His work raised the "New Mexico Mathematics Contest"
to national prominence; other contests, such as the "Oklahoma Contest"
are modeled after ours.
Prof. Hahn was awarded the "Citation for Public Service" by the "American
Mathematical Society" at their annual meeting at Baltimore, MD, in January
Hahn of the University of New Mexico and Arnold E. Ross of Ohio State University
each received a 1998 Citation for Public Service from the American Mathematical
Society. This citation is presented annually for notable contributions to the
mathematics profession through public service.
is being honored for carrying forward and developing the New Mexico High School
Mathematics Contest and for exposition and popularization of mathematics attractive
to and suitable for potential candidates for the contest and others with similar
(quoting from http://www.ams.org/new-in-math/press/prizes.html)
In the words of
well known author Reuben Hersh (also emeritus professor from our department):
problem creating is truly rare and outstanding. Composing problems is a major
form of creativity in mathematics. Hahn's problems are never slightly disguised
copies of old problems. He has created dozens of new, interesting, problems, that
are challenging, yet accessible to high school kids, depending on their ingenuity
We hope that a
collection of problems by Prof. Hahn including all of those that appeared in the
"New Mexico Math Contest" from 1990-1999 will soon be published. In
Prof. Hahn's own words:
mathematics contests are wonderful opportunities for inspiring, educating and
broadening the horizons of mathematics students and teachers, and my Contest problems
have always reflected this philosophy."
Prof. Hahn was
born in 1932 in Taiwan. He comes from a family of physicians, he calls himself
the "black sheep" in the family! He got a PhD in Mathematics from Stanford
University in 1966, under the guidance of the late Prof. Karel de Leeuw. He did
postdoctoral studies at John Hopkins University and joined the faculty at the
University of New Mexico in 1968.
Prof. Hahn mathematical
passions, other than creating and solving problems and puzzles, are complex analysis
and geometry. He has published several papers and two books on the subject, "Complex
numbers and geometry" (MAA Spectrum, 1994), and "Classical complex analysis"
with Bernard Epstein (Jones and Bartlet Publishers, Inc, 1996).
Prof. Hahn has
three sons and four grandchildren who are his current passion. He loves ping-pong,
walking and entertaining friends (if you ever visit Irvine, CA, remember to give
him a call!).
Prof. Hahn is
still participating very much in the contest. Since he retired, he has been working
closely with the exam writer (Prof. Cristina Pereyra), helping prepare the exams
and the solutions (take a look at the latest solutions and you will realize that
his name is all over!). Prof. Hahn is a permanent invitee to any of the Math Contest
events. He has been coming to the second round exam to help us with all the details
(from putting exams in envelopes, to proctoring, and grading) and to enjoy the
Contest Lecture (link to the list of speakers). After the second round and final
exam, solutions are presented to the students. The last 3 years, Prof. Hahn has
been in charge of that session. This is what he loves the most, interacting with
Through the years,
the students of New Mexico have expressed their love and admiration for this unassuming
mathematician who has dedicated his life to teaching. For all his contributions
to the "New Mexico Math Contest" and to teaching mathematics, we want
to honor him with this webpage.