Taiwanese-American astrophysicist elected to AAAS

04/27/2020 01:09 PM
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Ma Chung-pei
Ma Chung-pei

Taipei, April 27 (CNA) Taiwanese-American astrophysicist Ma Chung-pei (馬中珮) has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 240-year-old organization that honors the most accomplished artists, scholars, scientists and leaders in the United States.

Ma, 54, is a cosmologist and astrophysicist who studies dark matter and dark energy, the cosmic microwave background, gravitational lensing, galaxy formation and evolution, supermassive black holes and the large-scale structure of the universe, according to a news release from University of California, Berkeley, dated April 24.

From 2011 to 2016, Ma led the teams that discovered several of the largest known black holes in the universe, according to UC Berkeley, where she serves as the Judy Chandler Webb Professor in the Physical Sciences in the departments of astronomy and physics.

She is among nine faculty members at UC Berkeley and 276 nationwide who have been elected this year to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Ma was born in Taiwan to Huang Chao-heng (黃肇珩), a former Control Yuan member, and the late Ma Chi-shen (馬驥伸), who was a journalism professor at several Taiwanese universities.

She attended Taipei Municipal First Girls' Senior High School and then the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S., where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1987 and a PhD in physics in 1993.

Ma Chung-pei held a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology 1993-1996, and she served as an associate and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania 1996-2001.

She won the Outstanding Young Researcher Award prize granted by Taiwan's Overseas Chinese Physics Association in 2001, and two years later, she received the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award, an annual prize presented by the American Physical Society in recognition of an outstanding contribution to physics research by a woman.

(By Evelyn Kao)

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