Professor Frank Shu to Deliver Antoinette de Vaucouleurs
24 January 2003
Austin, TX --The tenth award of the Antoinette de Vaucouleurs Memorial Lectureship and Medal honors the
distinguished theoretical astrophysicist, Professor Frank Shu, president and professor of physics at Tsing Hua
University, Taiwan, and university professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley. The award
recognizes a lifetime of outstanding dedication to astronomy.
Professor Shu will deliver a popular lecture, "The Origin of Sunlike Stars and Planetary
Systems", Wednesday, February 5, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Engineering Teaching Center (ETC) 2.108.
Professor Shu received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology in 1963 and a PhD in Astronomy from Harvard University in 1968. He was a member of
the faculty at the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1968 to 1973, when he joined the
astronomy faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. After serving as chairman of the astronomy
department from 1984 to 1988, he became a Chancellor's Professor of Astronomy in 1996 and a
university professor for all nine campuses of the University of California in 1999. He took up his
current position in 2002.
Professor Shu has led the way in research in a wide variety of fields from the structure of galaxies to
the origin of isotopic anomalies in meteorites. His early work on density-wave theory with Professor
C. C. Lin provided the theoretical understanding of the spiral patterns seen in many galaxies. This
theory resolved a long-standing puzzle: why the spiral arms do not "wind up" as a galaxy rotates.
He later applied the same basic theory to explain structures in Saturn's rings caused by orbiting moons.
P r o g r a m
February 4, 2003
Reception in Frank Edmonds Lounge
Presentation of the Antoinette de Vaucouleurs Medal to Frank Shu by David Lambert, Chair, Department
The Antoinette de Vaucouleurs Memorial Lecture by Frank Shu:
"Jets from Young Stellar Objects"
February 5, 2003
Popular Lecture by Frank Shu:
"The Origin of Sunlike Stars and Planetary Systems"
R e l a t e d S t o r y
Antoinette de Vaucouleurs
Beginning with a seminal paper in 1977 describing the collapse of a molecular cloud to form a star,
Professor Shu has provided the theoretical underpinning for modern studies of the formation of stars
and planetary systems. With his students and colleagues, Professor Shu has performed fundamental
calculations of the evolution of protostars toward stardom, the structure of planet-forming disks
around those protostars, the jets and winds that the protostars and disks generate, and the production
of chondrules, carbonaceous inclusions in meteorites.
Professor Shu's theoretical work on protostars is often referred to as "the standard model" of star formation
in recognition of its central role. While other models are in contention, many of them have been inspired
by the standard model. Other theorists are challenged to match the kind of complete picture that Professor
Shu and his colleagues have developed. Observers are challenged to test the many specific predictions
of the models. Much of the progress in our understanding of the origin of stars and planetary systems
over the last 25 years has been stimulated by the work of Professor Shu and his colleagues.
Professor Shu has written three extremely influential textbooks, one for undergraduates and two for graduate
courses. Written to a high level, these books have been consulted often by faculty members desperate for a
clear explanation of an obscure process the night before they have to lecture on it! He has delivered many
public lectures, and he has been an advisor for television programs on astronomy.
Having authored over 140 scientific papers and articles, he is a member of the National Academy
of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences in this country and the Academia Sinica in Taiwan.
He received the Helen B. Warner Prize and the Dannie Heineman Prize of the American Astronomical Society,
the Society's most prestigious awards for early-career and mid-career astronomers, respectively. He also
received the Dirk Brouwer award from the Division of Dynamical Astronomy of the American Astronomical
Society. He has been a distinguished invited lecturer on more than 10 occasions. This year, in addition
to presenting the Antoinette de Vaucouleurs Memorial Lecture, Professor Shu will be the Thomas Gold
Lecturer at Cornell University and the Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin Lecturer at Harvard.