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Nobel Laureate Steven Chu visits Peking University

OCT . 31 2016

Peking University, Oct. 17, 2016: On October 12 and 13, 2016, Professor Steven Chu, a Chinese American physicist, the Nobel laureate in physics and the former Secretary of the United States Department of Energy (DOA), together with his party visited Peking University. During his visit, Steven Chu gave a keynote speech and communicated with teachers and students from College of Engineering, School of Physics and Yenching Academy.

On October 13, Professor Steven Chu delivered a keynote speech entitled “Why STEM” (STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). In his lecture, Professor Steven Chu began with talking of his family and experiences of his early years, and recalled his journey from being rebellious and ordinary towards having strong confidence in studying, and finally obtaining the Nobel Prize. He then pointed out that STEM -as a kind of education in need of “learning to study on one’s own” – could aids students to grasp the crucial elements in study and research which are curiosity, interest, intensive study, and absorption and conversion of knowledge, but the most important thing was you have to know clearly about your research interest and area.
He also maintained that the study of STEM is focused on the process of thinking and reasoning and training of thinking abilities, but not obtaining the authoritative conclusion directly, which was the process of what we call “Train and Learn”.
After the lecture, Professor Steven Chu elaborated his thoughts on the questions “How to be an expert in your field?” and “How to cope with the change of research area?”  and so on from the audience. He urged students that they should not only focus on their study, but also pay more attention to current events, society and humanity to grasp the very first chance and broaden their vision in the era of intelligence with rapid development.
Zhu Shanlu, chairman of Peking University Council and Lin Jianhua, president of Peking University met with Professor Steven Chu before his lecture. They both expressed their gratitude towards Chu’s dedication to education and support to Peking University and welcomed him to be back on the University’s 118th anniversary.

Zhu Shanlu presenting a souvevior to Steven Chu

Lin Jianhua receiving Steven Chu

Background information:
Steven Chu was born on February 28, 1948 in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. and his ancestral l hometown is in Taicang, Jiangsu, China.

Steven Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology in the Medical School at Stanford University. He has published 260 papers in atomic and polymer physics, biophysics, biology, biomedicine, batteries, and holds 10 patents.

Dr. Chu was the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy from January 2009 until the end of April 2013. As the first scientist to hold a Cabinet position and the longest serving Energy Secretary, he recruited outstanding scientists and engineers into the Department of Energy. He began several initiatives including ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy), the Energy Innovation Hubs, the U.S. – China Clean Energy Research Centers (CERC), and was tasked by President Obama to assist BP in stopping the Deepwater Horizon oil leak. Prior to his cabinet post, he was director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Professor of Physics and Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. Previously he was the Theodore and Francis Geballe Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University, and head of the Quantum Electronics Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Dr. Chu has numerous awards including the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for the laser cooling and atom trapping, shared with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Phillips. He holds 26 honorary degrees and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academia Sinica, and is a foreign member of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology.

Related Link: https://physics.stanford.edu/people/faculty/steven-chu

Written by: Wei Yunqi
Edited by: Zhang Jiang
Source: PKU News (Chinese)