Columbia Professor Madame Wu Honored For Her Distinguished Career

May 24, 2022
Chien-Shiung Wu

Nanjing University's Alumni Association for the United States (NUAAUS) is holding an event to honor Madame Chien Shiung Wu, who is often regarded as one of the two distinguished women scientists of the 20th century, the other being Madame Maria (Marie) Curie. 

The event will take place on September 17 at 9:30 am EST and will feature two presidents of the American Physical Society (APS): Professor Sylvester James Gates of Brown University and Professor Young-Kee Kim of the University of Chicago. Both Gates and Kim were APS Presidents in 2021 and 2024 respectively. Professor Sylvester James Gates and Professor Young-Kee Kim are world-renowned scientists.

Madame Wu was also the president of APS in 1975. 

Madame Wu was an undergraduate student of the National Central University in Nanjing in the 1930s. In 1957 two theoretical physicists, Professor Tsung-Dao Lee of Columbia University and Professor Cheng-Ning Yang of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton proposed a theory that would later alter one of our basic understandings of nature: that parity does not need to be conserved. Madame Wu and her team took on the arduous technical challenge to verify this statement. Because of the contributions of Madame Wu and her team, both Lee and Yang received the highest scientific accolade, the Nobel Prize in Physics. 

This year is the 120th year of the founding of NU and is also the 110th year of the birth of Madame Wu.

In the United States, there are some 20,000 NU alumni dotting every corner of the country. Together, these alumni have formed a very active not-for-profit organization known as Nanjing University Alumni Association United States (NUAAUS). These 20,000 alumni felt strongly that it has the solemn responsibility to honor one of their, if not the most distinguished alumni. 

To learn more about Madame Wu and her achievements, listen to this 13-minute podcast from NPR titled, "The Queen of Nuclear Physics (Part One): Chien-Shiung Wu's Discovery"

Information is taken from NUAAUS.