Lu Jeu Sham receives 2023 Revelle Medal

Lu Jeu Sham receives 2023 Revelle Medal

They are pioneers and groundbreakers, renowned scholars whose impact has been felt across the arts and sciences and lauded around the world. Now, UC San Diego will honor these four remarkable individuals as recipients of the 2023 Revelle Medal, which recognizes retired or emeriti UC San Diego faculty members for sustained, distinguished and extraordinary service to the university. The 2023 medalists are: Eleanor Antin, Marta Kutas, Lu Jeu Sham and Larry Smarr.

“It is a privilege to recognize these incredible thought leaders who have helped establish UC San Diego as one of the world’s top research universities,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Through their efforts, each of these honorees has advanced our understanding of the world, shaped new fields of study and made discoveries that transform lives.”

Created in honor of Roger Revelle, who helped establish UC San Diego during his tenure from 1950-1964 as director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Revelle Medal celebrates individuals whose careers show a commitment to thinking further, solving problems and shaping the future in ways only possible at UC San Diego. Chancellor Khosla will bestow the awards upon the honorees during a ceremony on November 17.

Lu Jeu Sham is a world-renowned theoretical physicist whose Kohn-Sham equation laid the foundation for density functional theory (DFT). This theory has had long-lasting implications across science and medicine, particularly in new materials design and drug discovery. Sham, a Professor Emeritus of Physics, first came to UC San Diego in 1963 as a postdoctoral scholar. During his time at UC San Diego, Sham worked with many notable researchers, including Walter Kohn, creating the famous Kohn-Sham equation. This made computations of complex material properties possible, accounting for both the structural effect and the mutual electron interaction. The equation offered a close estimation by computation, thus transforming the way quantum materials research was performed. In addition to his groundbreaking physics research, Sham also served as chair of the Department of Physics and dean of the Division of Physical Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and Academia Sinica, Taiwan. Among his many distinguished accomplishments, he has been named a Guggenheim Fellow, a Bernd T. Matthias Scholar and fellows of American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Optical Society of America. He also received a Lamb Medal for Laser Science and Quantum Optics.


Original article by Laura Margonir for UC San Diego Today