Nobel Prize Laureate Steven Chu And Secretary Of Energy

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just in case you haven't heard, Obama has made another Asian American nomination for his cabinet in Steven Chu for Secretary of Energy. Chu, who's currently the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (as well as a professor) is most noted for his work in laser cooling and trapping atoms which earned him a Nobel Prize in '97 for Physics (shared with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Daniel Phillips).

Random Facts And Quotes

Here's some random facts and quotes from him which I grabbed from a now 10+ year old article from AsianWeek:

Chu's the oldest of three boys.

Chu's parents left China in the 1940s.

On getting sent to Chinese school in fourth grade: "But by the time you're in fourth grade, and all your friends are Americans, they try to take you to a Chinese school, you rebel."

Chu and his brothers never learned to really speak Chinese because his parents spoke to him and his brothers in English.

On growing up and feeling discriminated against: "There was a little, but not much. A few kids would taunt us, call us names. But for the most part, we were generally accepted."

Chu believes that if he could stay in China for six months he'd be fluent in Mandarin.

On opposing the Vietnam War: "I didn't think smashing windows was an effective way of showing my concern."

On feeling discrimination later on in life: "That's why many Asians go into science and engineering. They're more race-blind. If you go into business for yourself, that's fine, too, but not corporate America."

He likes tennis.