Prof. Pisin Chen obtained his PhD from UCLA in theoretical particle physics under J.J. Sakurai. He was elected APS Fellow in 1994 for his discoveries of the plasma wakefield acceleration mechanism, the beam self-focusing effect in plasmas and the beamstrahlung coherent pair production process in linear colliders. In 2001 he demonstrated the existence of the black hole remnant at Planck mass and size, which solved the longstanding end-life problem of Hawking evaporation. He is two-time recipient of the Gravity Research Foundation Essay Competition Awards (1995, 2001). He has published numerous papers on the nature of dark energy and dark matter. In 2000 he initiated the Chen Institute, later renamed Kavli Institute, for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University, for which he is a Permanent Member. He joined NTU in 2007 and has since been the CC Leung Chair Professor of Cosmology and the director of the Leung Center for Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics (LeCosPA). In addition to theoretical work, he is also active in experimentation. He currently leads the Taiwan team in ANITA and ARA projects that search for ultra-high energy cosmic neutrinos in Antarctica, and the UFFO satellite telescope to detect GRB prompt signals. He is the International Co-Spokesperson for the ARA Observatory at South Pole. Prof. Chen devotion to education is not limited to Taiwan but also to the world; he is a Founding Member of the Geneva-based World Education Council since 2009.
How to Nurture Talented Students into Full-Blown Physicists?: A Cosmologist's Perspective
Do students talented in physics still need nurtures before they grow into full-blown scientists? The answer is yes, of course. By talented we are not referring to rare geniuses such as Albert Einstein, but those who are sufficiently gifted in math and analytic reasoning. Such students, if given proper nurtures, would bring out their potentials to become accomplished physicists. What constitutes a proper nurture in physics education? I think it should include at least these elements: aspiration, inspiration, and mostly importantly, penetration. The duty of a mentor is therefore to provide a stimulating academic environment that can inspire smart students. He should further demonstrate through his own example aspire students for their highest possible achievements. Last but not least, he should train students to develop a unique vision in solving the puzzles of the universe, to be able to penetrate through the maze of all the peripheral, nonessential issues to tackle the heart of the problem to find out the truth. This last point is perhaps the most crucial to distinguish truly outstanding from mediocre physicists and is the core of my philosophy to nurture talented students. In this talk I will review the history of several great physicists such as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking about how they were nurtured in their young age. Then I will provide the stories of my several former students.