Despite being an ocean away from Seattle, it is simply wonderful to see such strong Husky pride in this extraordinary country. Tonight I met with more than 100 alumni and friends who are part of a long tradition of Huskies living and working in Taiwan. I was honored that Kung-Yee Liang, ’82, president of National Yang Ming University and the alumni chapter’s chairman, welcomed our delegation.
The celebration was particularly special because we honored Simon Sze, ’60, with the UW College of Engineering’s Diamond Award, which recognizes outstanding alumni and friends who have made significant contributions to the field of engineering. Mr. Sze’s contributions have indeed been remarkable. His contributions to semiconductor physics revolutionized the development of modern electronic systems. Memory storage in cell phones, digital cameras, GPS devices and even refrigerators we use today are possible because of Mr. Sze, co-inventor of the nonvolatile semiconductor memory (NVSM). His book, Physics of Semiconductor Devices, is one of the most cited works in contemporary engineering and science publications with more than 22,000 citations and translations in six languages.
For decades, Taiwanese students like Mr. Sze have been making their way to the University of Washington to enrich our campus and inspire American students to travel abroad. In fact, some of our most popular exchange programs are in Taiwan, including agreements between the Foster School of Business and National Chengchi University, as well as the UW School of Nursing and National Cheng Kung University.
Inspired by our 426 current UW students from Taiwan, we are working to build strong Pacific Rim partnerships in education, business and research with institutions like National Taiwan University, which ranks the UW 1st in scientific research among American public universities. Thank you, Taiwan Huskies, for celebrating these partnerships with me.