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The First Tenured Asian Woman Professor at Caltech, Prof. Nai-Chang Yeh Shines in the World of Physics

The first tenured woman professor in physics and also the first tenured Asian woman professor at Caltech, Prof. Nai-Chang Yeh was granted the Yushan Scholar Program by the Ministry of Education in year 2021. Prof. Yeh was invited to teach at NTNU and she started the lessons in Taiwan in July. Born in 1961 and grew up in Chiayi, Taiwan, Prof. Yeh set her life goal at age 12 and went to the US for graduate education and obtained her Ph.D. in physics in 1988 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She became the Assistant Professor of Caltech at only 26. She focused on quantum materials, topological materials, low-dimensional materials and nanotechnology.

Her research emphasis is the fundamental physical properties of strongly correlated electronic systems. She is best known for her work on a variety of superconductors, magnetic materials, and superconductor/ferromagnet heterostructures. She is also interested in the physics and applications of low-dimensional electronic systems such as graphene and carbon nanotubes. She contributed to the development of a faster technique to produce high-quality graphene. Her experimental techniques include development of various cryogenic scanning probe microscopes for applications to nano-science and technology, as well as superconducting resonator technologies that have been applied to high-resolution studies of superfluid phase transitions and Bose–Einstein condensation in helium gas. She also works on exploring properties of topological insulators.]

Prof. Yeh came to NTNU as Yushan Schoalr but she first knew NTNU through the introduction of Prof. Hsiang-Lin Liu at the Department of Physics and conducted research on Heterostructure interface magneto-optic, microwave transmission measurement and two-dimensional materials. The study results are about to be published at the end of year.

Professor Yeh offers a two-week intensive course on 'Introduction to Nanoscience and Technology' in the Department of Physics this semester, inviting students from NTNU and NTU to group discussion in class. A master student said that he has benefited a lot from this course. The level of the course is like attending an academic seminar. He also felt the charm of a world-class scholar in the classroom who patiently discusses simple physics questions with students. Once, a student was stuck on a concept. Prof. Yeh not only explained in detail but even provided reference papers on the next day. Another student said that he felt lucky to take the class, through Professor Yeh's sharing of her research expertise and methods, his understanding of scientific research was expended, especially in the in-depth research of a single topic, testing with different instruments and methods, understanding material systems and using material characteristics to design applications. He was deeply impressed by this teaching method which also stimulated his enthusiasm for scientific research.

After attending the centennial celebration of NTNU, Prof. Yeh learned more about the transformation of Normal University from focusing on teacher’s training into a comprehensive university. She praised NTNU for its excellent performance in the field of humanities. She said that even those who do scientific research also need humanities. One can only have better vision and become a good leader through humanity.