Academician Frank H. S. Shu passed away in the United States on April 22, 2023. He was 80 years old.
Dr. Shu was an internationally renowned theoretical astronomical physicist, specializing in the birth and early development of stars. After obtaining his Ph.D. from Harvard University, U.S.A. in 1968, Dr. Shu taught and then served as Chairman of the Astronomy Department, UC Berkeley. Later, he became Distinguished Professor at UC San Diego. From 1994 to 1996, Dr. Shu served as the President of the American Astronomical Society. From 2009 to 2015, Dr. Shu became a Distinguished Research Fellow Emeritus at the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica.
Dr. Shu’s pioneering and influential contributions brought groundbreaking developments to the international research field of astrophysics, including proposing the density wave theory to explain the structure of spiral galaxies, constructing models of star and planet formation, and providing the theoretical ground base for the production of chondrules and calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) in meteorites.
Dr. Shu was also a notable figure in promoting astronomical research in Taiwan. He founded the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Academia Sinica, which helped establish Taiwan’s role in the international astronomy research scene. Dr. Shu also served as Member of the Academia Sinica Council, promoting research development at Academia Sinica. In 2002, Dr. Shu served as the President of National Tsing Hua University and greatly enhanced its academic development.
During his distinguished career, Dr. Shu was elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences and Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also received numerous honors, including the Centennial Medal from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, the Catherine Wolfe Bruce gold medal from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Shaw Prize in Astronomy from the Shaw Prize Foundation, and the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship from the American Astronomical Society. Dr. Shu was elected Academia Sinica Academician in 1990.