UCSD astrophysicist wins Shaw Prize in Astronomy

An astrophysicist at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) whose wide-ranging research advanced our understanding of how stars, spiral galaxies and planetary systems form has been awarded a 1 million Shaw Prize in Astronomy.

Frank H. Shu, a professor of physics UCSD, will receive the award “in recognition of his outstanding lifetime contributions in theoretical astronomy” by the Shaw Prize Foundation in Hong Kong, which announced the award today. The prize will be formally presented to him at a ceremony on Oct. 7.

The foundation’s award, which includes a medal of the philanthropist Sir Run Run Shaw, is annually bestowed on individuals who have made “distinguished and significant” achievements in three categories: astronomy, life science and medicine, and the mathematical sciences. First awarded in 2004, it is sometimes referred to as the “Nobel Prize of the East.”

“This award is a significant honor for both Frank Shu and UCSD,” said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “It’s a validation of the tremendous impact that Frank has had on advancing the field of astronomy.”

Just last month Shu was honored by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, which announced that he had won its 2009 Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal for a lifetime of achievement in astronomy.

Shu’s work on the origins of stars over a span of 30 years generated a comprehensive and widely accepted theory that explains the main events in the birth and evolution of a star from the collapse of a cloud of molecules, to the accretion of a magnetized disk of material from which planets form to the appearance of jets and other outflows from a star system.

The theory Shu and his students developed also predicted that comets, once thought to form from pristine materials in the coldest regions of interplanetary space, would contain bits of rock highly transformed by heat. Their unconventional view, put forth in 1996, was confirmed a decade later with the return of dust samples from Comet Wild.

Shu received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963 and a PhD in astronomy from Harvard University in 1968. He has served on the faculties of the State University of New York at Stony Brook and UC Berkeley.

From 2002 to 2006, Shu served as president of National Tsing Hua University of Taiwan. 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.

Related posts:

  1. UCSD-TV wins Emmy
  2. UCSD, Moores Center get $1 million gift
  3. Ten Questions: Meet UCSD’s new dean – Seth Lerer
  4. TSRI’s Beutler shares America’s largest prize in medicine
  5. UCSD gets large gift

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=7644

Posted by on Jun 16, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6



  • La Jolla Library welcomes new chief Shaun Briley
    For La Jolla Riford Library’s new head librarian, Shaun Briley, books have been a part of his life and career, in some form or another, every step of the way. […]
  • Tangerine trees, marmalade skies for Beatles-inspired Patrons of the Prado gala in Balboa Park, San Diego
    “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was the theme of the Patrons of the Prado gala on July 12, 2014 in Balboa Park, San Diego. Beatles-inspired music came from Wayne Foster Entertainment. Sandy Redman and Jeanne Jones served as event chairs. 2014’s beneficiaries are the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Museum of Art and The Old Globe Theatre. […]
  • La Jolla’s Best Bets for events July 31- Aug. 7
    Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) offers a crash course in starting a photography collection 6 p.m. Thursday Aug. 7. at the Ligne Roset Showroom, 7726 Girard Ave. MOPA assistant curator Chantel Paul and director of jdc Fine Art Jennifer DeCarlo will share professional insights. […]




  • Rancho Santa Fe resident’s Gen 7 wines earn top honors
    Rancho Santa Fe resident Tim Bacino’s Gen 7 Wines is on a hot streak, his varietals winning several awards this summer in California wine competitions. […]
  • Torrey Pines High School baseball alum Taylor Murphy excelling in pro ball
    It was during a breakout senior year at Torrey Pines High that Taylor Murphy first popped up on the radar of professional scouts. Shortly after graduation, Murphy was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 40th round of the June 2011 amateur draft. He declined, honoring a commitment to the University of the Pacific. Three years later, Murphy got another sho […]
  • Why Hire a Licensed Landscape Professional?
    By Steve Jacobs, Nature Designs The old saying – “if something seems to good to be true, it probable is” – is quite fitting when it comes to hiring a contractor for your home or yard construction project. While it is smart to shop around, get quotes, etc., don’t fall into the trap of trusting […]