The Ministry of Education conferred national awards on 19 academics yesterday for outstanding work.
Eight were awarded the National Professorship, while the others received the Academic Award. The National Professorship is a three-year position and each recipient receives a grant of NT$3 million (US$103,450) to fund their research, while recipients of the Academic Award are given NT$600,000 each, the ministry said.
Many of the recipients this year grew up in rural areas of Taiwan or come from difficult circumstances.
For example, National Taiwan University engineering professor Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) is from a farming family in Yunlin County.
He helped establish the Intel-NTU Connected Context Computing Center last year and is also the chairman of National Applied Research Laboratories.
National Chengchi University accounting professor Anne Wu (吳安妮) had to wake up at dawn to travel from her home in a remote township in Taichung to her junior-high school. She did not perform well in the college entrance exam and took night classes at Tunghai University.
She was motivated to pursue higher education when one of her father’s friends told her he “had never known a night-school graduate who went on to earn a doctorate.”
After four years of trying, Wu was finally admitted to graduate school. She went on to complete a doctorate at George Washington University in the US after receiving a government scholarship.