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Friday, March 31, 2023

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2017 Kyoto Prize laureate Takashi Mimura 2017 Kyoto Prize laureate Takashi Mimura

SDSU Hosts Kyoto Prize Winner

Takashi Mimura will speak at SDSU’s Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center on March 21.
By Katie White

“Dr. Mimura is an internationally acclaimed researcher and it is an honor to welcome him to San Diego State University.”

As part of the annual Kyoto Prize Symposium, San Diego State University will host renowned engineer Takashi Mimura, who received the 2017 Kyoto Prize—Japan’s highest private award for global achievement—in Advanced Technology.

Mimura, a Japanese semiconductor engineer, invented the high electron mobility transistor, or HEMT, which has overcome fundamental speed limitations associated with conventional semiconductors. HEMT technology has opened new frontiers in high-frequency electronics for applications ranging from satellite broadcasting and wireless phone networks to automotive collision-avoidance systems, representing a pivotal contribution to information and communications technology.

Mimura’s lecture, “My 50 Years with the Transistor,” will take place from 10-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 21 in the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.

SDSU has arranged for high school students—many from underserved areas of the region—to attend Mimura’s lecture with the goal of introducing them to the university and the idea of pursuing careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

“Dr. Mimura is an internationally acclaimed researcher and it is an honor to welcome him to San Diego State University,” said Stephen Welter, SDSU’s vice president for research and dean of Graduate Affairs. “His groundbreaking findings in the semiconductor field have greatly contributed information and communication technology with applications ranging from satellite communication to car-borne collision avoidance systems using radar. He is an outstanding role model for not only our students, faculty and staff in STEM fields but also for life in general.”

Walking the unbeaten path

During his lecture, Mimura hopes to inspire the audience, especially younger attendees, to take risks.

“In research and development, one tries to invent a new thing or solve a problem, which no one has ever done,” said Mimura. “It is therefore natural that most of new ideas and experiments turn out to be unsuccessful. I learned through the HEMT research that successful experiences are just as important for the growth of young people as unsuccessful ones.”

Mimura is an executive visiting researcher at Advanced ICT Research Institute in Japan and an honorary fellow with Fujitsu Laboratories, where he has worked since the 1970s.

Mimura noted that collaboration has been the key to success for many of his most cherished career accomplishments.

“I believe that research and development can’t be executed by one person in any research fields,” said Mimura. “I was so glad when I could share joy and excitement with my colleagues who worked on semiconductor crystal growth for the development of the HEMT.”  

Other Kyoto Prize Symposium events

Mimura’s presentation is part of the three-part Kyoto Prize Symposium hosted jointly by SDSU, University of California, San Diego, University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University. In addition to Mimura, this year’s Kyoto Prize laureates are:
  • In Basic Sciences, plant physiologist Graham Farquhar, one of the world’s foremost authorities in the study of photosynthesis. His findings have played an indispensable role in climate science and offering new insights into the development of drought-resistant crops. Farquhar will speak at 3:30 p.m. on March 21 at UCSD.
  • In Arts and Philosophy, Richard Taruskin, a renowned musicologist, author and historian, has transformed contemporary perspectives on music using research methodologies and critical analyses that defy conventional paradigms. Taruskin will present at 10:30 a.m. on March 22 at USD.