In Memoriam: Prof. C.K. Chu

CUAAHK mourns the loss and celebrates the life of Chia-Kun (John) Chu, the Fu Foundation Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics and a pioneer in computational mathematics.

“I first met Professor John Chu when I was a student at Barnard College back in 1986.  Prof Chu was the advisor to Japan House, an undergraduate residential hall for students in Japanese studies.  I recall Professor was always so helpful and supportive of many initiatives in promoting Japanese culture and understanding to the Columbia community at-large. One of which was Sushi Night, a dinner event which the Japanese House members made sushi and conducted Japanese cultural performances for Columbia professors, students, and friends. It was a hugely successful event which continued for many years as a signature event for Japan House. 

In the 1990s I had the pleasure of meeting Prof Chu whenever he came to Hong Kong.  His openness and enthusiasm to help the alumni community in Hong Kong was truly impressive. He will be dearly missed and may he rest in forever peace!”

Helen Y Chen

Barnard 1987

SIPA 1988

President of CUAAHK 2012-2014


I met Professor Chu in the mid 90’s where he came to HK often to visit family and fulfill his Board obligations at his family’s bank, Shanghai Commercial bank. He was very often seen attending CUAAHK events while he was in town and became friendly with CUAAHK committee members as I was a secretary then. He often joined us for dim sum, movies, welcoming Columbia visitors gathering and farewell dinner for CBS alum (Marc Launer). He helped me to reserve St. Paul Chapel at Columbia for my wedding on Jan. 3rd 1998. We celebrated the Fu scholarship establishment and the large Engineering School donation by Prof. Chu’s family members with his strong efforts. Also, I met the first Fu scholar, Roger Wu from China via Prof. Chu’s introduction to CUAAHK community. I had lunch with him near Morningside campus in early 2000’s and visited his office a few times when I visited NYC. Last time I spoke with him on the phone was when he moved to senior home in NJ and his dementia started to set in. He took notes while he spoke with me so he knew who I am and what we were discussing. He was accessible as a faculty but more importantly as a wise friend & 童. Professor Chu is fondly missed.”

Shirley Hsu

SIPA 1991

CUAAHK President, 2016-2018


The Columbia Engineering School’s Memoriam Page:


Memorial Service

Please join us for a memorial service to celebrate the life and legacy of Chia-Kun (John) Chu, the Fu Foundation Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics at Columbia Engineering.

The memorial will take place on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at 2:00 PM (New York) in St. Paul's Chapel, located on Columbia University's Morningside Heights campus. The memorial service will be followed by a reception at Columbia University's Faculty House.



If you wish to attend in person, please register online or send an email to [email protected]

If you wish to participate remotely, please send email to [email protected] to receive the Zoom link.



If you would like to submit a tribute, share a memory, or submit a photo of Professor Chu, please complete this form. Tributes will be posted online and shared with the Chu family.

You may also send your tributes via email at [email protected].

April 30, 2023 at 2:00am - 5am

Via zoom or attend in person in St. Paul's Chapel, located on Columbia University's Morningside Heights campus

New York, NY
United States

APAM Department

+1 (212) 854-1586