The American Physical Society conferred the prestigious Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award to Taiwan-born and American-raised physicist Michele Ma Chung-pei (馬中珮) recently in recognition of her important contributions to theoretical astrophysics. \nMa, who recently joined the astronomy faculty at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), was chosen as the only recipient of the 2003 Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award for her "important contributions to theoretical astrophysics, particularly in the areas of relativistic evolution of density perturbations, testing of structure formation models with massive neutrinos and the clustering and dynamics of dark matter halos around galaxies," according to the American Physical Society. \nThe prestigious Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award was established through sponsorship by the General Electric (GE) Foundation in 1985 in memory of the physicist of the same name who shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in physics with two other scientists for her research on the shell model of the atomic nucleus. \nGoeppert-Mayer was the second woman physicist in the world to receive the Nobel Prize in physics, behind Madame Pierre Curie, who became a Nobel laureate in 1903. \nThe American Physical Society and the GE Fund jointly facilitate the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award to recognize and enhance outstanding achievements by a woman physicist in the early years of her career and to provide opportunities for her to present these achievements to others through public lectures in the spirit of Maria Goeppert-Mayer. \nThe award is to be given to a woman no later than 10 years after she has been granted her doctorate in order to have an effect upon the early stages of her career, for scientific achievements that demonstrate her potential as an outstanding physicist. \nThe Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award, presented annually, consists of US$2,500 plus a US$4,000 travel allowance to provide opportunities for the recipient to give lectures in her field of physics at four institutions and at the meeting of the American Physical Society at which the award is bestowed and a certificate citing the contribution made by the recipient. \nMa, 37, who became aware of her life's calling at the age of 12, went to the US when she was 17 to study physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She received both her undergraduate degree and doctorate in physics from MIT in 1987 and 1993, respectively. \nShe was a prize fellow at the California Institute of Technology and an assistant and associate professor of astronomical physics at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the UC Berkeley's astronomy faculty. \nMa's primary research interests are dark matter, the cosmic microwave background, and the large-scale structure of the universe. \nAmong the major honors Ma has received are the Annie Cannon Award in Astronomy in 1997, the Sherman Fairchild Fellowship, Caltech in 1993 and Phi Beta Kappa in 1987. \nWhile studying particle physics and theoretical cosmology with Alan Guth and Edmund Bertschinger at MIT, Ma was enrolled in the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston for violin-performance classes to hone her violin playing skills, which she began studying in her formative years in Taiwan. \nA violin prodigy, she won first prize in the Taiwan National Violin Competition in 1983. \nMa is returning to Taiwan shortly to visit her parents who are still living in Taipei. \nHer father, Ma Chi-shen (馬驥伸), is a renowned scholar in journalism, while her mother, Huang Chao-heng (黃肇珩), is formerly director of the Domestic News Department of the Central News Agency. Huang has also been president of the KMT-run Chengchung Books and Publishing House before being appointed a member of the Control Yuan by former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two