Dr. Tsien Hsue-shen (also spelled as Qian Xuesen) passed away yesterday.
To me, he is as legendary as John Nash. A movie based on his life would also be highly appropriate named “A Beautiful Mind”.
Interestingly, both Nash and Tsien were affiliated with MIT. It was 2008 when I last visited Hang Zhou, the hometown of Tsien, I visited the memorial museum (called Qian King Temple) dedicated to Tsien’s ancestor Qian Liu. I found Tsien’s Certificate of Master of Science, conferred in December, 1936. The design hasn’t changed a bit for so many years. It looks exactly the same as my certificate which I got in 2006, almost 70 years after Tsien got his. I cannot express how proud I was while looking at that certificate.
Tsien is a very typical Chinese scientist, smart, hard-working and humble. He kept a very low profile despite his great achievements. Great achievements comes with great social responsibility, he sets a great example for anyone who cares to call himself/herself a scientist.