CIE/USA-SF 2013 Technology and Humanity Award


Chung Pei Ma Web
Dr. Chung-Pei Ma

Dr. Ma is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley. She was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and attended the Fu Hsing School and Taipei First Girls' High School before moving to the U.S. Dr. Ma received both her undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2002, she was a Fairchild Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology and an Assistant and Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Ma's scientific contributions are in cosmology and extragalactic astronomy. She has studied the properties of dark matter and dark energy, the cosmic microwave background, galaxy formation and evolution, and recently, discovered the two most massive black holes ever found, each with a mass ten billion times that of the Sun. Among the awards Dr. Ma has received are the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award from the American Physical Society, the Annie J. Cannon Award from the American Astronomical Society, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, the Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the Overseas Chinese Physics Association, Fellowships from the Sloan and Simons Foundations, the Miller Professorship from the Miller Institute at UC Berkeley, and the election as a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Ma is an avid violin player and began violin lessons at age four. She toured Europe and the United States with her youth symphony orchestra from Taipei during the summers when she was eight, nine, and fourteen years old, performing more than 100 concerts. After receiving the first prize in the 1983 Taiwan National Violin Competition as a high school student, she continued parallel studies in physics at MIT and music at the New England Conservatory in Boston. She has given numerous violin recitals and chamber music concerts in the Boston area and California. Her string quartet is working on a long term project of learning and performing the entire set of 16 quartets by Beethoven.