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Leon O. Chua

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Leon O. Chua
Chua at the NOLTA Symposium in 1993
Leon Ong Chua

(1936-06-28) June 28, 1936 (age 88)
NationalityHoklo / American
Alma materMapúa Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Known for
Children4, including Amy
Scientific career
FieldsElectrical engineering
Electronics and communication engineering
Computer science
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley
Thesis Nonlinear network analysis -- the parametric approach[1]
Doctoral advisorMac Van Valkenburg[1]
Notable students

Leon Ong Chua (/ˈwɑː/; Chinese: 蔡少棠; pinyin: Cài Shǎotáng; Wade–Giles: Ts'ai Shao-t'ang; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Chhòa Siáu-tông; born June 28, 1936) is an American electrical engineer and computer scientist. He is a professor in the electrical engineering and computer sciences department at the University of California, Berkeley, which he joined in 1971. He has contributed to nonlinear circuit theory and cellular neural network theory.[2]

He is the inventor and namesake of Chua's circuit[3] one of the first and most widely known circuits to exhibit chaotic behavior, and was the first to conceive the theories behind, and postulate the existence of, the memristor.[4] Thirty-seven years after he predicted its existence, a working solid-state memristor was created by a team led by R. Stanley Williams at Hewlett Packard.[5][6]

Alongside Tamas Roska, Chua also introduced the first algorithmically programmable analog cellular neural network (CNN) processor.[7]

Early life and education


A first-generation Filipino-Chinese-American, Chua and his twin sister grew up as members of the Hokkien Chinese ethnic minority in the Philippines[8] under the reign of the Empire of Japan during World War II. Of Hoklo ancestry, his parents immigrated from Jinjiang, Southern Fujian province.[9] In 1959, he earned his BSEE degree from Mapúa Institute of Technology in Manila, Philippines. He briefly taught at Mapúa for a year,[10] before emigrating to the United States on a scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned an MSEE degree in 1961. He then earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1964. His PhD thesis was entitled Nonlinear Network Analysis—The Parametric Approach. Over the ensuing years, he has received eight honorary doctorates.

Chua has four daughters; the eldest, Amy Chua (a professor of law at Yale University[8]), Katrin (a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University), Cynthia (Cindy, a Special Olympics Gold medalist), and Michelle (a Yale Law School graduate). In addition to his four daughters, Chua has seven grandchildren.[11][12]



Chua was a member of the faculty at Purdue University from 1964 to 1970 before joining Berkeley in 1971. His current research interests include cellular neural networks, nonlinear networks, nonlinear circuits and systems, nonlinear dynamics, bifurcation theory, and chaos theory. He was the editor of The International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos[13] until 2009, and is now the honorary editor.

Awards and honors



  1. ^ a b Leon O. Chua at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ Chua, L.O. (October 1988). "Cellular neural networks: theory". IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems. CAS-35 (10). IEEE: 1257–1272. doi:10.1109/31.7600.
  3. ^ Matsumoto, Takashi (December 1984). "A Chaotic Attractor from Chua's Circuit" (PDF). IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems. CAS-31 (12). IEEE: 1055–1058. doi:10.1109/TCS.1984.1085459. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  4. ^ Chua, Leon O. (September 1971). "Memristor - The Missing Circuit Element". IEEE Transactions on Circuit Theory. 18 (5): 507–519. doi:10.1109/TCT.1971.1083337.
  5. ^ "'Without Chua's circuit equations, you can't make use of this device,' says Williams. " Sally Addee (May 2008). "The Mysterious Memristor". IEEE Spectrum. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11.
  6. ^ R. Colin Johnson (2008-04-30). "'Missing link' memristor created: Rewrite the textbooks?". EE Times.
  7. ^ Roska, T.; Chua, L.O. (March 1993). "The CNN universal machine: an analogic array computer". IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Analog and Digital Signal Processing. 40 (3): 163–173. doi:10.1109/82.222815.
  8. ^ a b "Lance Morrow (2007-09-18). "How to Rule the World". New York Times.
  9. ^ Chua, Amy (2011). Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Penguin Press. pp. 14. ISBN 978-1-59420-284-1.
  10. ^ ""Mapua Salutes Alumnus". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 2003-01-24.
  11. ^ Adamatzky, Andrew; Chen, Guanrong (2013), "Front Matter", Chaos, CNN, Memristors and Beyond, World Scientific, pp. i–xii, doi:10.1142/9789814434805_fmatter, ISBN 978-981-4434-79-9, retrieved 2020-12-27
  12. ^ Adamatzky, Andrew; Chen, Guanrong (2013). "Front Matter". Chaos, CNN, Memristors and Beyond. pp. i–xii. doi:10.1142/9789814434805_fmatter. ISBN 978-981-4434-79-9.
  13. ^ The International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos
  14. ^ Jorge Luis Moiola (2001). "Bifurcation Control: Methodologies and Applications" (PDF). Latin American Applied Research.
  15. ^ "Laurea Magistrale Ad Honorem to Prof. Leon O. Chua". Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  16. ^ "IEEE Browder J. Thompson Memorial Prize Award Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-29. Retrieved December 26, 2010.
  17. ^ "Guillemin-Cauer Award". IEEE. Archived from the original on 2008-07-06.
  18. ^ "IEEE W.R.G. Baker Prize Paper Award Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 29, 2011. Retrieved December 25, 2010.
  19. ^ "3.1 Leon Chua receives IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award". IEEE Control Systems Society. May 2005. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28.
  20. ^ "IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-11-24. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  21. ^ "2007 Awards" (PDF). IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-09.