Physicist Zhang Shousheng visits ECNU


Zhang Shousheng gives a lecture at ECNU.

Zhang Shousheng, a celebrated physicist, paid a visit to the ECNU campus on September 14 accompanied by his wife Yu Xiaofanwho was admitted to ECNU’s Department of Mathematics in 1979.

Tong Shijun, the University Council chairman of ECNU, met with the guests in the Yifu Building at Zhongbei campus. Many of ECNU’s current and former leaders attended the gathering, including Yang Changli, vice Party chief of ECNU; the university’s vice presidents Sun Zhenrong and Mei Bing, the retired president Wang Jianpan; Cheng Ya and Ma Xueming, dean and Party chief of the School of Physics and Material Sciences; and Wu Jian, director of the State Key Laboratory of Precision Spectroscopy.

Zhang is awarded with an honorable professorship certificate.

Tong extended a passionate welcome to the visitors, introducing some of the university’s historical background and superior academic disciplines.

He said the university is looking forward to inviting such distinguished scientists as Zhang to lecture and teach students of the future, which he also believes will benefit the university’s superior areas of education; in effect, to expand its international influence.

Prof. Zhang recalled his memorable past with ECNU and said he was willing to cooperate in the realm of scientific research and advancements. After the meeting, Zhang was awarded with an honorable professorship certificate issued by Tong Shijun, whereby afterwards he gave a lecture at the Science Auditorium under the theme: “Science, Innovation and Investment”.

Zhang's lecture attracts lots of audiences.

Zhang narrated to the audience how he overcame the limits of Moore’s law in his research, stories about his investment in start-ups and his own perspective about cross-cultural cultivation and investment.

He referred to when Moore’s law was first observed by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965 who noticed that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since its invention.

To bring out the audience Zhang replaced profound physics terms with basic language from primary and high school textbooks - everyone in attendance burst into laughter at Zhang’s display.

Zhang Shousheng is now a professor at the Physics Department of Stanford University in USA. He is a condensed matter theorist known for his work on topological insulators, quantum spin Hall effect, spintronics, quantum Hall effect and high temperature superconductivity. He is also a research fellow of the American Physical Society and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Zhang received his bachelor’s degree from the Free University of Berlin in 1983. Four year later he was awarded a PhD from New York’s State University at Stony Brook, New York. Thereafter he worked as a senior research staff at IBM Almaden Research Center between 1989-1993 before making his way to Stanford University.

Zhang and his wife walk around the campus to recall  his memorable past with ECNU.

His credentials go beyond his professional academic work: He received the Guggenheim fellowship in 2007, the Alexander von Humboldt research prize in 2009, the Europhysics prize in 2010, the Oliver Buckley prize in 2012, the Dirac Medal and Prize in 2012, the Physics Frontiers Prize in 2013, the “Nobel-class” Citation Laureates by Thomson Reuters in 2014 and the Benjamin Franklin Medal in 2015. He was also identified as one of the top candidates for the Nobel Prize by Thomson Reuters in 2014 and elected as member of the National Academy of Science in 2015.

Zhang also invested in VMWare, a start-up at Stanford University which leads in cloud computing technologies - a market value that reached US$48 billion at its maximum growth. In more recent years Zhang has been dedicated to promoting scientific research exchanges between China and the United States.

In 2013 he founded Danhua Capital, a California-based venture capital fund investing primarily in early-stage technology companies, it looks for companies following similar models to Stanford and Silicon Valley in high-tech industries such as AI, big data and genetic medicines. 


East China Normal University