Yam Tsi Chiu


Died December 3, 1999

College: Silliman

Widow: Mrs. Yam Tsi Chiu
20 Kammerer Court
Hillsborough, CA 94010-6430

We have mostly undergraduate memories –

Fred Wright: Yam Tsi Chiu was in Silliman with me, and we were in a number of math and physics classes together. My main memory of him was suffering through Shizuo Kakutani’s math analysis class. A student had time to take notes in the class or understand what Kakutani was saying but never both, and the class average on tests was consistently about 30%. I remember that Yam almost always understood more of what he said and usually had a higher test score than mine. Yam was good company, and I remember many pleasant meals with him in Silliman. But our paths never crossed after graduation.

Paul Richelson: Yam saved my skin so to speak. Beginning calculus was more of a struggle than I had anticipated, and I really need to pass, as I anticipated a career in science. Yam lived across the hall from me in Vanderbilt, and we struck-up a friendship. His English was better than my Chinese. A solitary figure, he was also patient and eventually took on the role of tutor. Maybe my exotic origins in Idaho and his in Hong Kong gave us something in common — fish out of water in Connecticut.

After graduation, he stayed at Yale and received a PhD in Physics. Later he moved to California and was with the Space Physics Laboratory, connected to the San Fernando Observatory.