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Doug Mullis
Doug Mullis

Alpha Chiang: A Pioneer of Mathematical Economics

Alpha Chiang: A Pioneer of Mathematical Economics

Alpha Chiang is a renowned economist and professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut. He is best known for his influential textbook Matematica Para Economistas (Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics), which has been translated into several languages and used by millions of students worldwide.

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In this article, we will explore the life and work of Alpha Chiang, and how his book has shaped the field of mathematical economics.

Early Life and Education

Alpha Chiang was born in Beijing, China, in 1927. He moved to the United States in 1945 to study at the University of Chicago, where he earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1948. He then pursued his master's degree in statistics at Columbia University, and his PhD in economics at the University of California, Berkeley, under the supervision of Gerard Debreu.

During his graduate studies, Chiang developed an interest in mathematical economics, which applies mathematical methods to analyze economic problems and theories. He was inspired by the works of John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Paul Samuelson, and Leonid Kantorovich, among others.

Career and Contributions

After completing his PhD in 1958, Chiang joined the faculty of the University of Connecticut as an assistant professor of economics. He became a full professor in 1967 and retired in 1998. He also held visiting positions at various institutions, such as Yale University, Stanford University, Harvard University, and the London School of Economics.

Chiang's main contribution to economics is his textbook Matematica Para Economistas, which was first published in 1967. The book covers a wide range of topics in mathematical economics, such as linear algebra, calculus, optimization, differential equations, dynamic programming, game theory, and input-output analysis. The book is known for its clarity, rigor, and accessibility, as well as its numerous examples and exercises.

The book has been widely adopted by undergraduate and graduate courses in economics around the world. It has also been praised by many prominent economists, such as Nobel laureates Robert Solow and Amartya Sen. The book has been revised and updated several times over the years, with the latest edition being published in 2005.

Legacy and Recognition

Alpha Chiang is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of mathematical economics. His book has influenced generations of economists and helped them develop their analytical skills and intuition. His book has also contributed to the advancement of economic theory and policy.

Chiang has received many honors and awards for his work, such as the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Connecticut in 1974, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Chicago in 1989, and the Distinguished Service Award from the American Economic Association in 2003. He is also a fellow of the Econometric Society and an honorary member of the Latin American Association of Mathematical Economics.


Alpha Chiang is a remarkable economist and educator who has made a lasting impact on the field of mathematical economics. His book Matematica Para Economistas is a classic text that has taught millions of students how to apply mathematics to economics. His book is also a testament to his passion for teaching and learning. e0e6b7cb5c


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