2016 SPIE G.G. Stokes Award

Shui-Chih Alan Lien honored.

01 July 2016

SPIE member Shui-Chih Alan Lien of ShenZhen Star Optoelectronic Technology (China) received the 2016 SPIE G.G. Stokes Award for his development of the extended Jones matrix formulation. The formulation has been widely used to calculate the polarization change through each layer of an LCD cell as well as the electro-optic effects of an LCD device.

SPIE gives the G.G. Stokes Award annually for exceptional contributions to the field of optical polarization.

In 1990, Lien was one of three scientists in Webster E. Howard’s department at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center working on liquid crystals. All were familiar with Berreman’s 4x4 optical analysis and its so-called “fast 4x4” version, and they knew about the Jones matrix formalism. Lien realized that a generalization of the Jones matrix approach would be simpler and less cumbersome than the 4x4 formalism.

“The utility of his results was immediately apparent, evidenced by the fact that his colleagues requested copies of his code as soon as they were aware of it,” said Howard, now head of Howard Consulting (USA). “Perhaps it was his engineering background that motivated him toward practicality.”

Yukito Saitoh, research scientist at Fujifilm Corp. (Japan), believes Lien’s work with the extended Jones matrix “marked a breakthrough in the history of LCD industry.” Lien has achieved amazing success in the area of LCD development, especially in innovating LCD optics, Saitoh said. The use of Lien’s extended Jones matrix made LCD simulation simpler, easier, and faster.

“His accomplishment is very important for our optical film design because it made possible significant improvements in optical film performance,” Saitoh said.

Lien has authored and coauthored 115 technical papers and holds 77 patents. He has also received two IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards, 13 IBM Invention Achievement Plateau Awards, and three IBM Patent Issue Top 5% awards.


IMAGE FOR SPIE awardsFor nearly six decades, SPIE has presented annual awards to recognize significant achievements and contributions in advancing the science of light.

Look for other stories about award recipients for 2016 in this issue and the October edition of SPIE Professional.

Nominations for the 2017 SPIE awards were due 1 June and will be announced in January 2017 or earlier.

More information: spie.org/awards.

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