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NSYSU is the university with the most IEEE PhD Student Fellowship winners in Taiwan

Doctoral student of the Department of Physics at NSYSU Chih-Yang Lin distinguished himself among other outstanding scholars from all over the world, and, as the only winner from the Asia-Pacific region, was awarded PhD Student Fellowship by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Electron Devices Society this year. Since 2001, IEEE PhD Student Fellowship is conferred once a year to three students, one per each of three regions: America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. So far, there were three awardees of IEEE PhD Student Fellowship among Taiwanese students: one student of the Department of Electrical Engineering at National Taiwan University and two students of the laboratory of Ting-Chang Chang – chair professor of the Department of Physics at NSYSU. Not only was the record of awards per laboratory broken, but NSYSU also became the university with the most IEEE PhD Student Fellowship awardees in Taiwan.

Besides Chih-Yang Lin representing National Sun Yat-sen University, the other two awardees are students of Stanford University (USA) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (Switzerland). Chih-Yang said, that he was invited to the International Electron Devices Meeting held in December in San Francisco to receive his prize of USD 5,000 (about 150,000 NTD). Chih-Yang mentioned, that his father is running a business, and encountered financial problems in the past. Thus, so as not to be a financial burden to his family, Chih-Yang decided not to take any money from his parents and earned a living for himself and his younger sister by teaching private classes. In the busiest time, he had nine private students and was an assistant for 3 teachers. To balance his life and studies, he had to wake up at 4 to get on the scooter and commute to his student. In the summer of the third year of his studies he entered the laboratory of Ting-Chang Chang – chair professor of the Department of Physics, and devoted his time to research projects. In his fourth year, as first author, he wrote an article published by IEEE Electron Devices Letter – the best journal in the world focusing on electronic devices, obtained excellent grades during his doctoral program, and continued to conduct research in the laboratory of professor Chang.

Chih-Yang Lin emphasized, that him obtaining scholarship is due to the guidance of professor Ting-Chang Chang and brainstorms with his fellow laboratory mates. “I really admire professor Chang’s approach to research and enthusiasm in teaching!”, he said. Professor Chang often uses metaphors and examples from real life to explain complicated formulas; with his visualization, even the most unfathomable formulas start making sense. “Professor Chang does not go on vacation in the summer nor during holidays, he is always there to teach laboratory students, even until 10 p.m. every day”. Influenced by the teacher, Chih-Yang also often stayed at school to study hard and conduct research. During four years of doctoral studies, he published 6 papers as first author (all of them were published in international journals), he also published 20 papers and 5 patents as co-author, and, at the same time, conducted many industrial-academic collaborative research projects. With his astonishing academic output and outstanding performance, he obtained the Award of the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association this year.

“Being awarded an international scholarship is an acknowledgement and also a starting point; I will have to be even more diligent in my research to contribute to society”, said Chih-Yang. Since childhood, his dream was to become somebody who can make a contribution and give back to society, and use one’s own abilities to make Taiwan a technologically developed country and make people’s lives even more convenient. This year, Chih-Yang Lin, besides obtaining the IEEE PhD Student Fellowship, also received financial support from the Ministry of Science and Technology to conduct a research visiting program at the University of Michigan. He was selected to do his alternative military service at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, where he plans to start working after his graduation next year and develop technology in the front line of the high-tech industry. He hopes that his parents will not need to be constantly on the move for work and enjoy a peaceful and comfortable life.

Chair professor Ting-Chang Chang has guided doctoral students Pai-Hsun Chen and Chih-Yang Lin, who were awarded PhD Student Fellowships in 2017 and 2019 respectively. A student of their laboratory was awarded Masters Student Fellowship in 2018, thus there were three fellowships for 3 consecutive years granted to the laboratory students, which is the world record of IEEE fellowships per one laboratory.
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