Celebrating AANHPI Heritage Month: Inventors You Should Know

Banner Witcoff recognizes Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month and celebrates the stories of four notable AANHPI inventors whose contributions have profoundly shaped our lives.

An Wang

An Wang was a prominent inventor and entrepreneur known for inventing magnetic core memory, a critical component of early computers. He earned a bachelor’s degree in science from Chiao-t’ung University in Shanghai in 1940. After immigrating to the United States in 1945, he earned his Ph.D. in applied physics and engineering from Harvard University. He co-founded Wang Laboratories, a pioneering computer company that led to the creation of several lines of sophisticated mini-computers and revolutionary word-processing software such as the Office Information Systems (OIS) series.

Dr. Ann Tsukamoto

Dr. Ann Tsukamoto was born in California, where she attended the University of California, San Diego for her undergraduate studies and earned her Ph.D. in immunology and microbiology at UCLA. During her postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco, she developed a transgenic model for breast cancer and conducted research on the wnt-1 gene. The wnt-1 gene was later discovered to be a vital link in the stem cell self-renewal pathway. In 1991, during her tenure at the first stem cell company, SyStemix, Inc., Dr. Tsukamoto patented a method of isolating blood-forming stem cells, titled “Human Hematopoietic Stem Cell.” This patent reflected her discovery of a method to isolate a homogenous composition of human hematopoietic stem cells (hHSC).

Amar Bose

Amar Bose was an electrical engineer and the founder of Bose Corporation. He began his career at age 13, repairing radios in his basement during WWII. He took that passion to MIT, earning Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in Electrical Engineering. He is known for inventing groundbreaking audio technology, including customized sound systems for automobiles, active noise-reducing headphones, and the 901 Direct/Reflecting speaker system. In 1987, he was named Inventor of the Year by the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

Ching Wan Tang, Ph.D.

Ching Wan Tang, Ph.D., originally from Hong Kong, received his education in Canada and the United States before commencing work at a prominent photography company. Here, he collaborated with Steven Van Slyke, and jointly pioneered the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology. This innovation revolutionized flat-panel displays, enhancing power efficiency, prolonging battery life, and improving display quality. Today, OLED technology is ubiquitous, finding applications in car radio displays, televisions, smartphones, and various other devices.

Posted: May 8, 2024

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