Leading the global research and development of semiconductor technology in the past 50 years, Dr. Simon Min Sze wins the Future Science Prize

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Winners of the Future Science Prize, which is considered the Nobel Price of ethnic Chinese people, were announced on September 12. Dr. Simon Min Sze, a lifetime chair professor of National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, won the 2021 Mathematics and Computer Science category of the Future Science Prize for his contribution to the global development of semiconductor devices by proposing a fundamental theory on carrier transmission between metals and semiconductors. Dr. Sze will attend the award ceremony in Beijing in November.

The Future Science Prize was established in 2016 and the first private science prize jointly founded by scientists and corporate owners in Greater China. It is offered in three categories, namely Life Science Prize, Physical Science Prize, and Mathematics and Computer Science Prize, and is awarded to scientists with groundbreaking or critical scientific discoveries. The 2021 Future Science Prize award ceremony will be held in November, during which top scientists from across the globe will share their research achievements, discuss scientific research development, and gain insights into future research trends.

Dr. Sze received a doctorate degree in electrical engineering from Standford University in 1963 and then became employed in Bell Labs, a well-known research and development institution. Between 1968 and 1969, he took a long leave and returned to Taiwan to guide his first doctoral student Chun-Yen Chang, who was the first locally educated engineering PhD in Taiwan. During this period, Dr. Sze proposed theories on electric charge flow and transmission modes between metals and semiconductors and clarified the concept of ohmic and Schottky contact, which laid a solid foundation for integrated circuit development in the past 50 years and has enabled the chip industry to develop on the basis of Moore’s law. His discovery is indispensable to various electronic systems and has greatly advances human technology and civilization.

The content of Physics of Semiconductor Devices written by Dr. Sze in 1967–1969 was first used as lecture handouts in the Department of Electronics Engineering in National Chiao Tung University. However, the book quickly received attention from scholars worldwide and has been translated into six languages, and over 3 million copies have been sold. It is now the globally bestselling book on semiconductor technology, is considered the “Bible” for the semiconductor industry, and has been referenced by teachers, students, researchers, and relevant industries worldwide in the fields of semiconductor and integrated circuit.

Dr. Sze’ contribution to the development of semiconductor technology has been highly recognized worldwide. He won the IEEE J. J. Ebers Award in 1991 and the most prestigious award of the IEEE, Celebrated Member Award, in 2017. He is among the few scientists who were concurrently an academician of Academia Sinica, a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. He is also an Industrial Technology Research Institute Laureate and won the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Flash Memory Summit.

Mau-Chung Frank Chang, the Future Science Prize Science Committee Chairman and the former president of National Chiao Tung University, stated that when selecting the prize winners, the Science Committee endeavored to fully understand the research achievements of each candidate as well as his or her status and influences in the global science community. A highly esteemed scientist, Dr. Sze has laid a solid foundation for relevant scientific fields and contributed greatly to the development of integrate circuit technology and society.


Chinese version: https://www.nycu.edu.tw/news/2464/