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Coming to the Fore En Masse - NTU Professors
Win Half of Ministry of Education's 2008
National Chair Professorship Awards and Academic Awards

The Ministry of Education held the presentation ceremony for the 12th National Chair Professorship Award and the 52nd Academic Award in the Taiwan Branch of the Central Library on December 19th. In a gesture to highlight the importance and honor of these two awards, both President Ying-jeou Ma and Minister of Education Dr. Jei-Cheng Cheng made their personal appearances at the ceremony. NTU Professor Chu-fang Lo, the only female recipient of the National Chair Professorship Award, and Professor Gerald J. Chang, a recipient of the Academic Award, delivered acceptance speeches on behalf of all the awardees. Of the 10 winners of the National Chair Professorship Award, NTU faculty made up 6; and of the 12 winners of the Academic Award, NTU faculty made up 5, occupying about 50% of the total number of winners.

Expressing his congratulations to the award recipients, President Ma encouraged them to pass on their wisdom to the younger generation, so the power of knowledge could be extended to every corner of our society. He urged that the winner should promote their academic applications to lay the cornerstone of sustainable research, while at the same time sharing our pride with international friends to get more recognition of the Taiwan experience, Minister Cheng said that the National Chair Professorship Award and the Academic Award were important benchmarks for researchers. In addition to commending the winners' achievements and expressing his congratulations, he hoped that more young people would be enticed to join the ranks of academic research through these two awards to stimulate the growth of our nation and our society.

For the purposes of rewarding academic research, enhancing teaching and research standards, and inducing the universities to develop their special features, the Ministry of Education set up the National Chair Professorship Award and the Academic Award and placed five categories under each, which are: humanities and arts, social sciences, mathematics and natural sciences, medical and agricultural sciences, engineering and applied sciences. Of these five categories, humanities/arts and social sciences can name up to 2 recipients, whereas the other categories can name up to 3 winners. The National Chair Professorship Award is good for a three year term, during which the universities will provide the necessary resources for the winners to conduct their research, and the Ministry of Education will provide them with a subsidy of NT$1 million (half as personal bonus, half for teaching and research). Recipients of the Academic Award will each receive a certificate of honor and NT$600,000 in cash.

The Scholastic Attainments of the six NTU Professors who won the National Chair Professorship Award

  1. Category of Social Sciences: Winner- Professor Hong Hwang
    Area of Specialization - Economics.

    Professor Hwang's studies focus on strategic trade policies in international commerce and explore the issues of location choices of manufacturers in industrial economics. Over the years he has accumulated more than 80 papers published both at home and abroad. In the 1980's when the international trade theories shifted from perfectly competitive markets toward imperfectly competitive markets, Professor Hwang already made his innovative contribution. He discovered that even between two completely identical countries, intra-industry trade would occur, which would reduce the welfare of both countries. In addition, Professor Hwang introduced the structure of an imperfectly competitive market into the conventional niche theory, and discovered that differential pricing did not necessarily result in adverse effects to a country's social welfare. His hypothesis subverted the conclusions derived from the traditional spatial pricing theories. His paper on this special topic was published in the prestigious journal "The American Economic Review," which was commonly recognized by the global economic community to be the best journal there was. On top of all these, Professor Hwang was noted for his eminence in teaching and leading research teams, as evidenced by the NTU Trade Workshop which he set up over ten years ago. That Trade Workshop not only provided a regular research environment for domestic commercial and industrial economists, but also touched base with the best talents abroad, while actively participating in and organizing large scale seminars. The accumulated achievements of the Trade Workshop have been quite outstanding, as its members have published more than 20 papers in academic journals both in Taiwan and overseas.
  2. Category of Mathematics and Natural Sciences: Winner - Professor Pi-Tai Chou
    Area of Specialization - Chemistry, Laser Chemistry and Physical Chemistry

    Professor Pi-Tai Chou's research interests are quite diversified. With a solid background in experimental physical chemistry and biophysical chemistry, he made his early marks in electronic spectroscopy and reaction kinetics. Starting from 1994 he conducted research on ultra high speed photochemistry and light-emitting materials. In 2001 he successfully integrated optical, electrical, and magnetic elements which, coupled with the addition of nano-materials, was applied to the fields of optoelectronics and biomedicine by him. In terms of interdisciplinary research, few, if any person in the chemical circles of Taiwan could match up to Professor Chou's achievements. Since 2003 he has over 100 papers published in the leading journals, and these papers reached world first class level both in quality and in quantity. All researchers who are involved in spectroscopic studies know that to build a high speed laser system is not only time-consuming, but also cost prohibitive. Once the system is made operational, it demands meticulous maintenance by a professional staff. Therefore, it takes a person with exceptional organizational and leadership capabilities to keep the system fully occupied. Judging by Professor Chou's performance in recent years, even the best laboratories in foreign countries could not boast of doing a better job.
    Professor Chou is highly proficient in the traditional physical chemistry area, and he excels in making breakthroughs. When he sets his mind on a project, no obstacles can deter him from reaching his goal. A case in point is the organic florescent agent #5 which he designed with special functions. In sum, Professor Chou is a very smart-witted person with outstanding leadership skills. All the research topics chosen by him abound with academic significance and practical applicability. As he is always capable of pulling an effective show of his illustrious achievement, his overall performance is nothing short of being spectacular.
  3. Category of Mathematics and Natural Sciences: Winner - Professor Chiun-Chuan Chen
    Area of Specialization: Partial differential equations.

    Prof. Chen is one of the most outstanding analysts in his generation. Both the depth and the impact of his works have been truly impressive. It is quite unusual for someone as young as Prof. Chen to have made fundamental contributions in several important research areas. He is not only a powerful analyst, but also has excellent scientific judgment. His works have already received many awards and recognitions. NTU is very fortunate to have an outstanding analyst like Professor Chen who was trained and cultivated in Taiwan. It is most appropriate for him to receive the Ministry of Education National Chair Professorship Award. Professor Chen has outlined an ingenious educational program to train young analysts and graduate students in Taiwan on nonlinear PDEs and variation methods. The research problems that he proposes to investigate with his colleagues are very interesting and of fundamental importance.
  4. Category of Mathematics and Natural Sciences: Winner - Professor Sun-lin Chung
    Area of Specialization: Geosciences In essence

    Professor Chung is one of the most active faculty members in the Geosciences Department of the best University in Taiwan. He is an excellent educator, scientist and political leader. For geosciences research in Taiwan, overall the judges were very impressed with Professor Chung's solid and original approach to pathological, geochemical and tectonic problems. To further assess Professor Chung, it is befitting to compare him with Professor Qinghai Luo, one of the current National Chair Professors. . Luo contributed more to the research infrastructure by setting up and running a productive geochronology lab, whereas Chung is more geology oriented and more creative in ideas.
  5. Category of Medical and Agricultural Sciences: Winner: Professor Chu-Fang Lo
    Area of Specialization: crustacean diseases, fish diseases, shrimp virology.

    Professor Lo engaged herself in the study of shrimp white spot syndrome for several decades. Her major contribution was completing the functional gene analysis of the double stranded circular DNA for the shrimp white spot syndrome, including the gene structures and their transcription, as well as gene structure analyses of virus sheath protein VP 35 and VP 28, while exploring the relationship between the viruses and their hosts. Her research achievements have obtained patents from the governments of Taiwan and six other countries, and have been transferred over to civilian bio-tech companies. During the course of her research, she collaborated with Vice President of Academia Sinica, Dr. Andrew H. J. Wang, and analyzed the structure of the proteins of the shrimp viruses. To date she has 45 papers published in international SCI journals (IF larger than 8) which received wide critical acclaim. In 2007 she was the winner of Ministry of Education's Academic Award, and she also claimed the Executive Yuan's Outstanding Science and Technology Award and National Science Council's Excellence Award in 2001. For her chair professorship she proposed general lectures, lectures on immunological genomics and shrimp genomics which are geared towards the students of National Taiwan University, National Cheng-Kung University, and National Taiwan Ocean University.
  6. Category of Engineering and applied sciences: Winner - Professor Soo-Chang Pei
    Area of Specialization: digital signals and digital effects processing.

    Professor Pei is a pioneer in the study of digital signal processing technology in Taiwan. His research in the area of digital filter design, discrete digital signal transfer, and the filtering, identification, compression and quantification of color images was widely recognized by his peers. He vigorously promoted the digital signal processing education courses and achieved very good results. For the chair professorship he planned lectures on "color image processing," which are very timely for multi-media applications in the future and the cultivation of talents.

Scholastic Attainments of the five NTU Professors who Won the Academic Award

  1. Category of Humanities and Arts: Winner - Professor Ming-Liang Hsieh
    Area of Specialization: History of Chinese Ceramics

    Over the past twenty some years Professor Hsieh was tirelessly involved with the study of Chinese ceramics. He started off his research from the history of ceramics of the Six Dynasty period, and spanned across other areas, unlimited by subject, and unlimited by era. His research rose above the ordinary historical analyses of ceramics and paid attention to cultural interchange and phase developments over long periods of time, thus was able to achieve handsome results. His representative work—"the ceramics trade and cultural history" had a chapter on the issues surrounding the tri-colored Tang Dynasty porcelains unearthed in Japan in which he used the artifacts unearthed from the Northern part of China as examples for detailed analyses. The research energy exemplified in this piece of work remains unrivalled till today. Later on, although new materials were found, his treatise still continues to be regarded as the classical writing on the subject. Another important writing by Professor Hsieh was the "Collection of Essays on the Six Dynasty Ceramics," in which he collated the Six Dynasty blue and white porcelains unearthed from the graves in the Southern provinces of China to discuss the cultural significance of the images on these porcelains. The conclusions he arrived at are inimitable by others. Professor Hsieh's research is unanimously rated to be among the top 5% of all researches on the same subject by internationally renowned scholars. He is without a doubt the recognized authority on the study of Chinese ceramics.
  2. Category of Social Sciences: Winner - Professor Jin-Tan Liu
    Area of Specialization - Economics

    Professor Liu's research leans toward econometric applications in microeconomics. His study areas cover health economics, environmental resources economics, labor economics and industrial economics. Over the past twenty years Professor Liu has published 54 papers in international journals and 32 papers in domestic journals. His greatest contribution lies in his ability to conduct empirical analyses of indigenous Taiwanese data in combination with modern economic theories and have the results published in important academic journals such as Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Health Economics, etc. Because of his scholastic eminence, Professor received the National Science Council's Outstanding Research Award, and he was the first scholar from Taiwan nominated by the American National Bureau of Economic Research to be its research associate.
  3. Category of Mathematics and Natural Sciences: Winner - Professor Gerald J. Chang Area of Specialization: discrete mathematics, graph theory, algorithms and network theory
    Professor Chang was involved with teaching and research for over twenty years and made outstanding contributions in both areas. His research interests include graph theory, algorithms, network theories, etc, and up to the present he has published more than 170 papers in international journals which were widely cited over a prolonged period of time, thus creating considerable impact. He is ranked 411th in the Essential Science Indicator's ranking of world mathematicians. (to make the limited listing of 970 people was a very difficult task) Besides his own research, Professor Chang has made great contributions to the mathematical research of Taiwan.
  4. Category of Medical and Agricultural Sciences: Winner - Professor Ming Liang Kuo
    Area of Specialization—Carcinogenesis, molecular biology, molecular toxicology

    Over the last twenty years Professor Kuo was engaged in the study of cancer biology, and he cooperated with clinicians to develop research on the treatment and diagnosis of cancer. In addition, Professor was committed to tumor resistance research, where he found that the inflammatory response of cytokines such as IL-6 could induce the anti-apoptotic mechanism of tumor cells and increase their resistance to drugs. In recent years in his study of angiogenesis and tumor metastasis-related genes he discovered COX-2, VEGF-C, and contactin-1, and also found that CTGF would inhibit the transcription activity of β-catenin/TCG and forestall the transference of cells. His papers were published in high IF journals such as Cancer Cell, JNCI, Cancer Research, JBC, etc. His research on CTGF was considered to be above international standards and was well received by the medical circles. Accordingly he received the National Science Council's Outstanding Research Award, the Republic of China Outstanding Cancer Research Award, Dr. Tu Tsung Ming's Memorial Lecture Award, the Wang Ming-Ning Medical Award, and the Y. Z. Hsu Scientific Paper Award.
  5. Category of Engineering and Applied Sciences: Winner - Huan Jang Keh
    Area of Specialization - Chemical engineering, colloid and interface science, micro-fluid mechanics, electrodynamics.

    Professor Keh harbors a very strict attitude toward academic research. He demands quality far more than he pursues quantity. His major contribution lies in the study of "locomotion of colloidal particles", "dynamics of polymers at interfaces", "dual polarization behavior of particles in electrolytic troughs," "electro-kinetic phenomena", etc. He is most likely the scholar who has done the most profound research in these areas both at home and abroad. His exploration of the basic principles and his theoretical approach to analytical methods allowed him to make many important and proprietary academic achievements. As NTU's first lifelong professor by special appointment, Dr. Keh is truly a rare outstanding scholar.

For this year's National Chair Professorship Award there were ten winners. They were: in the social sciences category, Professor Ting-Peng Liang of National Chung-shan University and Professor Hong Hwang of National Taiwan University. In the mathematics and natural sciences category, Professor Pi-Tai Chou, Professor Chiun-chuan Chen, and Professor Sun-Lin Chung, all of National Taiwan University; in the medical and agricultural sciences category, Professor Wen-Sheng Chen of National Yang Ming University and Professor Chu-Fang Lo of National Taiwan University; in the Engineering and Applied Sciences category, Professor Soo-Chang Pei of National Taiwan University, Professor T. C. Chou of Tatung University, and Professor Wen-Hwa Chen of National Tsing-Hua University. Of these ten winners, Professors Ting-Peng Liang, Wen-Sheng Chen, and Soo-Chang Pei won the National Chair Professorship Award for the second time, hence they became lifelong national chair professors.

For the 52nd Academic Award, there were 12 winners. They were: in the humanities and arts category, Professor Yong-Yi Tseng of Shih-Hsin University and Professor Ming-Liang Hsieh of National Taiwan University; in the Social sciences category, Professor Eric T. G. Wang of National Central University and Professor Jin-Tan Liu of National Taiwan University; in the mathematics and natural sciences category, Research Fellow Huan-Cheng Chang of the Academia Sinica, Professor Gerald J. Chang of National Taiwan University and Research Fellow Sungkit Yip of Academia Sinica; in the medical and agricultural sciences category, Research Fellow Y. Henry Sun of Academia Sinica and Professor Ming-Liang Kuo of National Taiwan University; in the engineering and applied sciences category, Professor Chain-Shu Hsu of National Chiao-tung University, Professor Bor-Sen Chen of National Tsing-hua University, and Professor Huan-jang Keh of National Taiwan University. In recent years the winners of the Academic Award are becoming younger in their age, foretelling a bright future for our nation's academic research.

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