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|Shu Hsia-San (徐遐生)
June 2, 1943 |
Stony Brook University
National Tsing Hua University (2002–2006)
UC San Diego
|Doctoral students||Jack Lissauer |
|Notable awards||Bruce Medal (2009)|
Frank Shu (Chinese: 徐遐生) (born June 2, 1943), is an American astrophysicist, astronomer and author. He is currently professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, San Diego and the university president of the National Tsing Hua University.
Shu's hometown is Yongjia County, in Wenzhou of Zhejiang. Shu's father, Shien-Siu Shu (S.S.Shu, 徐賢修), was a mathematician and former President (1970–1975) of the National Tsing Hua University. Shu completed his BS in physics in 1963 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While still an undergraduate, he developed (with Chia-Chiao Lin) a theory governing spiral arms in galaxies, known as the spiral density wave theory. He later received his PhD in astronomy in 1968 at Harvard University.
Shu served as chair of the astronomy department of UC Berkeley from 1984 until 1988, and has held faculty appointments at the SUNY Stony Brook and UC Berkeley. He was president of the National Tsing Hua University from February 2002 until February 2006. He joined the faculty at UC San Diego as a distinguished professor of physics in 2006 and also holds the title of University Professor, a UC system-wide honor reserved for scholars of international distinction who are recognized as teachers of exceptional ability. He also is a university professor emeritus at UC Berkeley.
From 1994 to 1996, Shu was the President of the American Astronomical Society (AAS).
Shu is known for pioneering theoretical work in a diverse set of fields of astrophysics, including the origin of meteorites, the birth and early evolution of stars and the structure of spiral galaxies. One of his most highly cited works is a 1977 seminal paper describing the collapse of a dense giant molecular cloud core which forms a star. This model (commonly referred to as the "inside-out" collapse model or the "singular isothermal sphere" model) helped provide the basis for much later work on the formation of stars and planetary systems, although it has been criticized for its shortcomings. The model starts from a singular isothermal sphere, collapses from inside-out, and applies self-similarity. The major drawback is that it is unstable and therefore unphysical as an initial condition, though, it demonstrates much of the physics and is the only existing analytic model. Shu has also performed calculations on the structure of planet-forming disks around very young stars, the jets and winds that these stars and their disks generate, and the production of chondrules, inclusions in meteorites. Much of this work has been done in collaboration with his postdocs and graduate students, many of whom have gone on to successful academic careers in their own right.
Honors and awards
- In 1977, The Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy
- In 1987, Member of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States
- In 1990, Academician of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan.
- In 1992, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- In 1996, The Oort Professor/Lecture at Leiden University, the Netherlands.
- In 1996, The Brouwer Award
- In 2000, The Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics.
- In 2003, Member of the American Philosophical Society.
- In 2008, The Centennial Medal from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University.
- In 2009 Frank H. Shu was awarded the Shaw Prize in recognition of his outstanding life-time contributions in theoretical astronomy.
- In 2009, The Bruce Medal.
- The main-belt asteroid 18238 Frankshu is named after him.
Shu is the author of several books, among them Physical Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy (University Science Books, 1982) which has become one of the standard textbooks for undergraduate astrophysics courses all over the world, while the two volumes The Physics of Astrophysics Vol. I: Radiation (University Science Books, 1991) and The Physics of Astrophysics Vol. II: Gas Dynamics (University Science Books, 1992) are classical texts commonplace in astrophysics graduate curricula as well as recommended by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
- Shu appointed the highest ranked Professor in the University of California System
- UC San Diego Astrophysicist Wins Shaw Prize in Astronomy
- The Bruce Medalists: Frank Hsia-San Shu
- Frank Shu at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
Chung Laung Liu
|President of National Tsing Hua University