The first recipient of the scholarship was a student from Shanghai, who had won a gold medal in the International Physics Olympiad. The second recipient was a woman from Romania. I encourage all of my friends in the worlds of technology and finance to give back to the institutions from which they received their educations.
Cheng Ting Hsu Scholarship
This scholarship was endowed on behalf of Cheng Ting Hsu by his son Stephen Hsu, Caltech class of 1986. It is to be awarded in accordance with Institute policies to the most qualified international student each year. Preference is to be given to applicants from Chinese-speaking countries: China (including Hong Kong), Taiwan and Singapore. Also, preference should be given, if possible, to those with outstanding academic qualifications (such as, but not limited to, performance in national-level competitions in math, physics or computer science or other similar distinction).
If the recipient is a continuing (rather than incoming) student, academic qualification can be based on GPA at Caltech, or other outstanding performance (such as, but not limited to, performance on competitive exams such as those in computer programming or mathematics, or outstanding research work).
Cheng Ting Hsu was born December 1, 1923 in Wenling, Zhejiang province, China. His grandfather, Zan Yao Hsu was a poet and doctor of Chinese medicine. His father, Guang Qiu Hsu graduated from college in the 1920's and was an educator, lawyer and poet. Cheng Ting was admitted at age 16 to the elite National Southwest Unified University, which as created during WWII by merging Tsinghua, Beijing and Nankai Universities. This university produced numerous famous scientists and scholars such as the physicists C.N. Yang and T.D. Lee. Cheng Ting studied aerospace engineering (originally part of Tsinghua), graduating in 1944. He became a research assistant at China's Aerospace Research Institute and a lecturer at Sichuan University. He also taught aerodynamics for several years to advanced students at the air force engineering academy.
In 1946 he was awarded one of only two Ministry of Education fellowships in his field to pursue graduate work in the United States. In 1946-1947 he published a three-volume book, co-authored with Professor Li Shoutong on the structures of thin-walled airplanes. In January, 1948, he left China by ocean liner, crossing the Pacific and arriving in San Francisco. In March of 1948 he began graduate work at the University of Minnesota, receiving his masters degree in 1949 and PhD in 1954. During this time he was also a researcher at the Rosemount Aerospace Research Institute in Minneapolis.
In 1958 Cheng Ting was appointed associate professor of aerospace engineering at Iowa State University. He was one of the founding faculty members of the department and became a full professor in 1962. During his career he supervised about 30 Masters theses and PhD dissertations. His research covered topics including jet propulsion, fluid mechanics, supersonic shock waves, combustion, magneto-hydrodynamics, vortex dynamics (tornados) and alternative energy (wind turbines). He published widely, in scientific journals ranging from physics to chemistry and aerodynamics.
Professor Hsu retired from Iowa State University in 1989 due to ill health, becoming Professor Emeritus. He passed away in 1996.