News Details | 16-Oct-2008

Nobel Laureate, Professor Yang Chen Ning, receives NTU Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science

President of the Republic of Singapore and Chancellor of NTU, Mr S R Nathan, confers Professor Yang Chen Ning, Nobel Laureate Physics (1957), the Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) in a convocation held today, 16 October 2008 at the Nanyang Auditorium.  The honorary degree is conferred in recognition of Prof Yang’s significant and wide ranging contributions in the science arena, his inspiration to many young students and his close bond with the University. The conferment of an honorary doctorate on Prof Yang will further deepen the long ties that Prof Yang has established with NTU since 1967.

Four decades of close ties with NTU

Prof Yang first began his bond with NTU four decades ago when he was invited to join the faculty of Science.  In 1971, Prof Yang became the External Examiner for the Department of Physics at the then Nanyang University.  His ties with the University deepened in 2005 when he was a member of the International Advisory Committee at the Institute of Advanced Studies, which was established to boost the research environment at NTU. 

A year later, Prof Yang attended the International Physics Olympiad and launched the NTU’s CN Yang Scholars Programme, designed for exceptional students with a deep passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics research. 

Since the launch of the programme, many scholars have benefited from the early exposure to the realm of research.  The different modules offered in the programme have also strengthened the students’ understanding in the fundamentals of physics, mathematics and chemistry.  Mr Jeremy Kiu, a second-year student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a CN Yang Scholar, said “The CN Yang Scholars Programme allows us to gain research experience right at the start of the first year.  The research attachment opportunities throughout the course of our undergraduate studies also serve as an excellent platform for aspiring researchers to hone their research skills.”

This afternoon, 32 CN Yang Scholars will be showcasing their respective research projects at a poster exhibition at the Nanyang Auditorium.  One of the posters on display at the exhibition will show the research of Mr Goo Yik Wen, a CN Yang Scholar and a second year student in Aerospace Engineering.  He will be sharing how he has helped develop a new statistical method to analyse the Singapore Stock Exchange, having been intrigued by the movement of prices in the stock market.

For more details on the CN Yang Scholars Programme, please refer to the fact sheet.

Renowned figure in the world of science, dynamic scientist and educator

Prof Yang received his Bachelor of Science degree from the National Southwest Associated University in Kunming in 1942 and six years later, he obtained his PhD degree from the University of Chicago.  A distinguished scientist, Prof Yang is well-known for his Yang-Mills and Yang-Baxter theories, as well as his work with Professor Lee Tsung-Dao, University Professor of Columbia University, New York, USA. 

Prof Yang earned the coveted Nobel Peace Prize in Physics with Prof Lee in 1957 and now holds the portfolios of Emeritus Albert Einstein Professor of Physics at the State University of New York, Distinguished Professor-at-large at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Professor at China’s Tsinghua’s University. 

He founded the CEEC fellowship at Stony Brook in 1981, and in 1983, Prof Yang established the foundation for the Centre for Advanced Research at Zhongshan University.  Three years later, he set up a theoretical physics division at the Nankai Institute of Mathematics.

In the course of his career, Prof Yang has been a role model for generations of young people.  He has inspired them to enter the diverse fields of science and technology, motivating them to pursue their passion and contribute to society.

Public Lecture by Prof CN Yang

Following the ceremony of the conferment of the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science, Prof Yang will be delivering a public lecture at 5.00pm in Chinese on “Reflections on the rise of Global GDP – China Experience [对全球GDP猛增的反思(以中国为例)]”.

During the lecture, Prof Yang will be sharing his insights on the factors contributing to China’s phenomenal rapid economic performance and the issues which the country faces in its quest to be among the world’s superpowers.

About Honorary Degrees

The Doctor of Science degree is one of the four honorary degrees conferred by NTU.  The other honorary degrees are Doctor of Laws, Doctor of Engineering and Doctor of Letters. Honorary degrees are awarded to distinguished individuals who have achieved pre-eminence in their field of profession, or who have made significant contributions to their country, the society or in international relations.  Honorary degrees are also conferred on individuals who have made important contributions to the University.  Honourees affirm and dignify the University’s achievements and standing.  
This year, NTU conferred honorary degrees to:
• Professor Yang Chen Ning, Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1957
- Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa)
• Dr A PJ Abdul Kalam, President of India from 2002 – 2007
- Degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa)
• Professor Chua Nam Hai, Andrew W. Mellon Professor and Head, Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology at the Rockefeller University
- Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa)
• Professor Jose Luis Encarnacao, Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics
- Degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa)

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