Steve Hsu

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Stephen D. H. Hsu
Stephen Hsu.png
Born1966 (age 52–53)
Alma materCalifornia Institute of Technology, University of California, Berkeley
OccupationPhysicist, Professor of Physics, VP for research and graduate studies at Michigan State University
Known forFounder of SafeWeb and RobotGenius

Stephen D. H. Hsu (born 1966) is an American physicist and university administrator.


Hsu received a B.S. from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1986, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991. After his doctorate, he was a Harvard Junior Fellow and Superconducting Super Collider Fellow from 1991 to 1994.

Richard Feynman and Stephen Hsu
Richard Feynman and Stephen Hsu (age 19). 1986 Caltech graduation.


He became an assistant professor at Yale University in 1995 before moving to the University of Oregon in 1998 where he became a full professor of theoretical physics and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science. In July 2012, he was named Michigan State University’s vice president for research and graduate studies.[1][2]

Hsu writes regularly in a blog called Information Processing.[3]

Technology work[edit]

Hsu is a founder of SafeWeb, which was acquired by Symantec on October 15, 2003 for $26 million. He is also a founder of Genomic Prediction, a company that develops technology for advanced genetic testing.

Hsu endowed a permanent undergraduate scholarship at Caltech in his father's name, the Cheng-Ting Hsu Scholarship, using SafeWeb shares.[4]

Hsu also has an interest in psychometrics and human genetic variation, which he writes about in his blog and in other publications. [5][6][7][8]

In 2017 Hsu and collaborators applied machine learning methods to construct the first accurate genomic predictors of complex human traits (height, bone density, cognitive ability), using data from almost 500,000 genomes. Their height predictor estimates adult height from genotype alone, with accuracy of roughly one inch. The biorxiv report of their findings was viewed more than 30 thousand times over the following year.[9][10]

In 2018 his research group trained genomic predictors for complex diseases such as Hypothyroidism, (Resistive) Hypertension, Type 1 and 2 Diabetes, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Gallstones, Glaucoma, Gout, Atrial Fibrillation, High Cholesterol, Asthma, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Malignant Melanoma, and Heart Attack. Outliers in risk score (e.g., 99th percentile) were shown, in out-of-sample validation tests, to have up to ten times the risk of ordinary individuals for the specific conditions.[11] The predictors use as input information dozens to thousands of common SNPs measured for each individual.

He serves as scientific adviser to BGI (formerly Beijing Genomics Institute), and as a member of its Cognitive Genomics Lab.


  1. ^ "Stephen Hsu named new MSU research vice president | MSUToday | Michigan State University". 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  2. ^ "Stephen Hsu". Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  3. ^ "Information Processing". Retrieved 2015-11-24.
  4. ^ Hsu, Stephen (2008-04-01). "Information Processing: Hsu scholarship at Caltech". Information Processing. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  5. ^ "Nautilus Magazine: Super-Intelligent Humans". Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  6. ^ "Nautilus Magazine: Smart Machines". Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  7. ^ Hsu, Stephen D. H. (2014). "Genetic Architecture of Intelligence". arXiv:1408.3421 [q-bio.GN].
  8. ^ " Hsu on Cognitive Genomics". Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  9. ^ Lello, Louis; Avery, Steven G.; Tellier, Laurent; Vazquez, Ana I.; Campos, Gustavo de los; Hsu, Stephen D. H. (2018-08-27). "Accurate Genomic Prediction Of Human Height". Genetics: genetics.301267.2018. doi:10.1534/genetics.118.301267. ISSN 0016-6731. PMID 30150289.
  10. ^ Lello, Louis; Avery, Steven G.; Tellier, Laurent; Vazquez, Ana; Campos, Gustavo de los; Hsu, Stephen D. H. (2017-09-18). "Accurate Genomic Prediction Of Human Height". bioRxiv: 190124. doi:10.1101/190124.
  11. ^ Hsu, Stephen D. H.; Tellier, Laurent CAM; Yong, Soke Yuen; Raben, Timothy; Lello, Louis (2018-12-27). "Genomic Prediction of Complex Disease Risk". bioRxiv: 506600. doi:10.1101/506600.

External links[edit]