Ministry of Science and Technology Announces 2020 Outstanding Research Awards: Eight Professors from National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University Win Honors

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The Ministry of Science and Technology has announced the recipients of the 2020 Outstanding Research Awards. Professor Wang Chi-Chuan of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Professor Wu I-Chen of the Department of Computer Science, Professor Lee Mei-Hsuan of the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Professor Sun Chih-Yuan of the Institute of Education, Professor Chen Kuan-Neng of the Department of Electronic Engineering, Professor Liu Po-Tsun of the Department of Photonics, Professor Joyce Liu of the Graduate Institute for Social Research and Cultural Studies, and Professor Lu Tien-Chang of the Department of Photonics (in the order announced by the Ministry) were the recipients of this honor. The aforementioned professors have been engaged in basic research for a long period to enhance Taiwan’s academic research standards and international academic status. Their contributions speak for themselves, and their awards are well-deserved.

Professor Wang’s research focuses on the development and implementation of thermofluid energy-related technologies, such as the energy-saving technologies of thermal systems, data center energy management, electronic heat dissipation technology, and high-efficiency heat exchange. In the past 3 years, Professor Wang has assisted domestic industries in more than 70 cases of technology development and upgrade as well as 10 cases of technology authorization. His research results are implemented in industrial products and are closely related to domestic industrial applications. They assist in the effective energy-saving and thermal management designs of traditional and high-tech industries, the enhancement of product competitiveness, and the implementation of research into academic values.

Professor Wu specializes in computer game applications and deep reinforcement learning-related applications, and he has achieved numerous breakthrough research results. He developed a Go CGI program, the first DRL computer Go program that can play handicaps. Professor Wu also proposed a new AlphaZero method to substantially improve the CGI program and increase the win rate. In addition, he proposed a new adjustment method for chess strength. It is the world’s first system that can provide different Go chess strengths, enabling the dynamic detection of players’ chess strength during a game. The results have been used to train national professional high dan ranking Go players.

Professor Lee focuses on the relationship between the human genome and cancer, using novel calculation methods to explore the association between host characteristics and disease through cross-domain and cross-border collaboration, which can be expected to facilitate the development and innovation of precision medicine in the future. In recent years, she has used whole-genome scans in her studies to successfully identify genomic mutations and hepatocellular carcinoma risk in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection in Taiwan. In the future, Professor Lee will continue to integrate novel molecular detection technologies and use epidemiological strategies and quantitative approaches to improve and innovate in disease prevention and prediction.

Professor Sun’s research focuses on the digital learning environment, using innovative real-time interactive feedback technology to enhance students’ learning motivation. Such technology strengthens their conceptual understanding and provides peer support, transforming boring learning processes into motivation for learning. Furthermore, brain wave and eye movement physiological feedback are integrated to improve students’ concentration. He has also proposed effective strategies that improve students’ learning motivation, and enabled teachers to integrate said strategies into the teaching environment and to improve education technologies and techniques in the education environment.

Professor Chen has specialized in the fields of 3D integrated circuits, heterogeneous integration, and advanced packaging for more than 20 years. His relevant research results include multilayer 3D integrated circuits, copper-to-copper bonding, and the application of heterogeneous integration and stacking technology to the fields of semiconductors, biomedicine, and optoelectronics. All of these are from forward-looking and breakthrough research that promotes further research and application development. Professor Chen has established a world-class research and development team and made outstanding contributions. He has been honored as a National Academy of Inventors Fellow as well as an IEEE Fellow, and received the IEEE EPS Exceptional Technology Award.

Professor Liu Po-Tsun is committed to extending thin-film transistor technology to the field of next-generation prospective semiconductor integrated circuit technology with single-chip, high-density, 3D stacking. He invented the world’s first nanosheet junctionless transistor component composed of a 2D-like amorphous indium tungsten oxide semiconductor material. Professor Liu also developed a complementary inverter technology with low power consumption and low operating bias voltage, integrating optoelectronic/electronic/communication system circuits of different functions in a single chip. This was a breakthrough in terms of the limitations of the miniaturization of the integrated circuit manufacturing process, enabling the continuance of the limits of Moore’s Law.

Professor Joyce Liu has studied Chinese and foreign schools of thought, which include interdisciplinary scopes such as literature, art, history, politics, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and critical theory. She has reflected on and studied Taiwan’s cultural conditions and ideology, including the complicated political unconsciousness on both sides of the Taiwan Strait in the 20th century, the local proliferation and transfer of the global Cold War structure, the emergence and transformation of emerging nationalism, the gradual reorganization of cultural recognition and subject mentality, and the transformation of knowledge patterns. Furthermore, she has completed a tetralogy on the topology of mentality history.

Professor Lu has focused on researching surface plasmon nanolasers in recent years. The surface plasmon formed by the interface of dielectric and metal is characterized by an ultra-small electromagnetic field distribution, which is a breakthrough in diffraction limits that enables the realization of nanoscale optoelectronic integrated components, establishing a critical milestone. His future research will focus on the electrical excitation of nanolasers, the development of surface plasmon detectors, and the integration of optical waveguide components, progressing toward the development of post-Moore-era chips through the integration of electronic integrated circuits of substantially reduced size.