Xia Peisu

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Xia (Hsia).
Xia Peisu
夏培肃
Xia Peisu.jpg
Xia Peisu at National Chiao Tung University Chongqing campus, 1946
Born(1923-07-28)28 July 1923
Chongqing, China
Died27 August 2014(2014-08-27) (aged 91)
Beijing, China
Other namesPei-su Hsia
Alma materNational Central University
University of Edinburgh
OccupationComputer scientist and educator

Xia Peisu was a Chinese computer scientist and Teacher. She is known for her research in computer science and technology.[1][2][3] She has been called the "Mother of Computer Science in China".[3] Xia took the lead on the team that made the Model 107. This was the first computer designed locally in China. She and her husband Yang Liming were elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1991. In 2010, she was given the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the China Computer Federation.

Early life and education[change | change source]

Xia was born on 28 July 1923 in Chongqing, Sichuan.[1] Her grandfather, Xia Fengxun (夏风薰) had spent forty years as a teacher. Her father, Xia Hongru (夏鸿儒), ran a school in Jiangjin County, Chongqing. Her mother, Huang Xiaoyong (黄孝永), was a teacher at the Jiangjin Girls' Middle School and headmistress of Jiangjin Girls' Primary School.[3]

Xia learned ancient Chinese prose and mathematics at a young age.[3] At fourteen years old, she was accepted into Nanyu Secondary School (now Chongqing Nankai Secondary School). In this school she was at the top of her class.[3] In 1939, Xia moved to the National No. Nine Middle School in Jiangjin County.[3] She graduated high school in 1940 at the top of her class. After that she started in electrical engineering at the National Central University.[1]

She later earned a bachelor's degree. After this she did postgraduate studies at the Telecommunications Research Institute of National Chiao Tung University (Chongqing) from 1945 to 1947.[2] In 1947, she went to the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.[4] She earned a doctorate there in 1950.[1]

Career[change | change source]

Xia and her husband Yang Liming returned to China in 1951. She then became a researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Tsinghua University.[3]

In 1952, mathematician Hua Luogeng started work on China's first electronic computer. He recruited Xia and two other scientists to lead the project.[3] Later the two other scientists left the project, which left Xia to be the only leader of it. Under her leadership, the project made Model 107 in 1958.[2][5] This was the first electric computer designed in China.

Over the years her work resulted in other advances and discoveries.[6][6]

In March 1956, Xia taught China's first course in computer theory.[3] She also wrote Principles of the Electronic Computer which was the first computer science textbook in China. When the University of Science and Technology of China was founded in 1958, Xia set up its computer science department. She taught more than 700 students from 1956 to 1962.[5]

She helped to start the Chinese Journal of Computers in 1978 and the Journal of Computer Science and Technology in 1986.[3]

Xia advised more than 60 graduate students. Two of these won top national prizes for their theses.

She taught Li Guojie [zh], who led the development of the Sugon supercomputers. She also taught Hu Weiwu [zh], who designed the Loongson CPU.[5]

When the first locally designed CPU in China was made in 2002, it was named Xia-50 in her honor.[7]

In 1991, Xia and her husband were elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences.[8] She also received first Lifetime Achievement Award from the China Computer Federation.[3][9]

Personal life[change | change source]

In 1945, Xia met Yang Liming. They married in 1950, when they were both at the University of Edinburgh.[5] Yang later became a theoretical physicist. They had two sons, Yang Yuenian and Yang Yuemin.[1]

Xia died on 27 August 2014, aged 91.[5]

Works[change | change source]

  • Hsia, Pei-Su (1950). I. On parametric oscillations in electronic circuits; and, II. A graphical analysis for non-linear systems (PhD thesis). University of Edinburgh.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wang Bing (2003). "Xia Peisu". In Lee, Lily Xiao Hong; Stefanowska, A. D. (eds.). Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women. New York: M.E. Sharpe. pp. 572–573. ISBN 9780765607980.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Obituary of Academician XIA Peisu (1923-2014)". Institute of Computing Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Nie Sijie (16 October 2014). "Xia Peisu: The Mother of Computer Science in China". All China Women's Federation. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  4. Gao Cong; Xibei Jia; Shuai Ma. "School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh". www.inf.ed.ac.uk. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Qi Wei 祁威 (2015-04-17). "中国计算机事业奠基人之一夏培肃:恬淡人生". China Science News. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "China Vitae : Biography of Xia Peisu". www.chinavitae.com. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  7. Peng Yuanyuan 彭媛媛 (January 2004). "中国计算机的先行之师". China Today. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  8. "18对院士夫妻告诉你:科研人爱情有多燃". China Science Communication (in Chinese). 2019-02-26. Retrieved 2019-10-13.
  9. "CCF隆重颁发2010 CCF终身成就奖". China Computer Federation. 2011-01-24. Retrieved 2019-10-14.

Other websites[change | change source]

  • Xia Peisu at the National Museum for Modern Chinese Scientists (in Chinese)