[TIMELINE] Chinese American Communities & Computer Industry
- COMPUTER INDUSTRY
2. Silicon Valley
3. Wang An
4. Jerry Yang
5. A case study: David Tsang
Chinese Americans have contributed a lot to the development of
computer industry in California. The Silicon Valley, Which is famous
in computer industry, is formed by a large number of Chinese with
technical skills in computer science. Wang An, Jerry Yang, and David
Tsang are those who have succeeded in computer industry and have
their own business in California.
Today, Silicon Valley spreads far beyond its original Palo Alto
bounds. The valley contains the densest concentration of innovative
industry that exists anywhere in the world, including companies that
are leaders in such fast-expanding field as computers,
semiconductors, lasers, fiber optics, robotics, medical
instrumentation, magnetic recording, and educational and consumer
electronics. Now, most of the industry is house build. Silicon
Valley radiates outward from Stanford University. The San Francisco
Bay on the east and the Santa Cruz Mountains on the west and Coast
Range contain it to the southeast. At the turn of the century the
area was known as the valley of Heart's Delight, when fruit orchards
predominated. Today made of silicon and semiconductor chips is the
principal product of the high-tech industries.
The Father of Silicon Valley:
Frederick Terman, a professor of Electrical Engineering of Stanford
University's Department in 1930, was concerned about the lack of
good employment opportunities in the area for Stanford engineering
graduates. And his best graduates had to go to the East Coast to
find employment. He designed and built an audio oscillator and a
device that generated the signals of varying frequencies. His
solution was to establish the then-new radio technology locally.
First, he bought together two of the students, William Hewlett and
David Packard, founders of the Hewlett-Packard Company, to heed his
admonition. Their audio-oscillator, designed with Terman's help,
became the basis for a later deal with Walt Disney Studios in 1939,
for the film 'Fantasia'.
After World War II, he was successful in attracting research support
from a number of sources, when Terman was dean of the school of
Engineering. Then he continued to encourage his graduates to start
In March 1939, Ginzton, while still a graduate student, became
involved with Hansen and Russell and Sigurd Varian in the
development of the klystron tube. He received his Ph.D. in physics
in 1940 and spent the war years with the klystron group at Sperry on
Long Island. In 1943, they invited Ginzton to join them, when the
Varian were making plans to start their own company as soon as the
war was over.
In December 1947,a significant event occurred. Three of telephone
laboratory engineers successfully demonstrated the principle of
amplifying an electrical current using a solid semiconducting
Their concept was based on the fact that the flow of electricity
through silicon is possible to selectively control. And designated
some areas as current conductors and adjacent areas as insulators.
This principle gave meaning to the term 'semiconductor.'
In 1965, In a dinnertime, Terman, David Packard reminisced: "As a
student, I became acquainted with Professor Terman before I enrolled
in his course. Among my hobbies was amateur radio and I spent a
spare hour now and then in the radio shack in the attic of the
Engineering Building. He would often tell us important firms in this
newly developing industry."
Although he had been teaching contributions in the new job, yet he
kept in touch with them. Men with little or no formal education had
founded One day Professor Terman remarked that many of the firms we
visited, and men other firms throughout the country in this field.
He suggested that someone with a formal engineering education, and
perhaps a little business training, might be even more successful.
In the 1950's, the idea of building an industrial park arose. The
university had plenty of land over 8000 acres but money was needed
to finance the University's rapid postwar growth.
The original bequest of his farm by Leland Stanford prohibited the
sale of this land, but there was nothing to prevent its being
leased. It turned out that long-term leases were just as attractive
to industry as outright ownership; the Stanford Industrial Park was
In 1951, Varian technology companies might be beneficial to
Stanford. In 1951 Varian Associates signed a lease, and in 1953 the
company moved into the first building in the parking. In 1971, the
young industry's 'Holly Grail' a computer on a chip proved capable
of performing the millions than billions, of humble switches.
Wang Laboratories, founded by Wang in 1951, became one of the most
recognized and successful corporations of the dawn of the
Information Age. Although he personally gained more than 35 patents,
Wang's first major contribution to information technology was his
invention of the magnetic "Pulse Transfer Controlling Device"
(patent #2,708,722, granted 1955).
By precisely regulating the flow of magnetic energy, he made
magnetic core memory a practical reality. In 1965, he
introduced "LOCI," the first desktop computer to generate logarithms
at a single keystroke. The technology of LOCI formed the basis of
the later Wang electronic desk calculator.
In the 70s and 80s, his own inventions helped Wang Laboratories
become a major manufacturer of the prototypical desktop computers
used in laboratories and schools. Throughout those years, Wang
oversaw an uninterrupted series of more compact and efficient
instruments and systems for use in office automation and information
In the spring of 1948, he became a research assistant to Dr. Howard
Aiken. He had designed the Mark I, one of the computer to operate in
the U.S. Dr. Wang solved the problem by inventing magnetic 'memory
cores.' And later improved upon by Dr. Forrester.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Wang decided to start his own company to
manufacture and sell his memory devices, which he called Deltamax
cores. He rented a tiny office in Boston with his wife, Lorraine.
They married in 1949.
By 1952, his memory device had been installed in the scoreboard at
New York's Shea Stadium, and for the first time the public became
aware this marvelous tool. In 1955, An and Lorraine, and 1964 the
company came out with the first electronic scientific desk
calculator--- the forerunner of the desktop computer. "People do not
want technology, they want solutions to problems" was his simple
And in the 1980s, office automation systems started. Because of
Wang's engineering genius and corporate visit, Wang Laboratories
grew tenfold between 1977 and 1982.
Wang Labs eventually took over a large area, the town of Lowell,
Massachusetts, where it employed thousands of people. After being in
the lead years, Wang Laboratories was overtaken by such as IBM,
AT&T, and Hewlett-Parkard. In 1986, Wang handed the reins to his
son, Frederick. Frederick resigned as president in 1989. The
Following year, Dr. Wang An died of throat cancer.
Wang was also a noteworthy philanthropist whose efforts and funds
continue to foster the arts and sciences, especially in and around
the city of Boston. At his death in 1990, Wang had left behind him a
substantial cultural and technological legacy. Dr. Wang funded the
Massachusetts General Hospital outpatient clinic and donated
computes to New York City center for the homeless.
He funded scholarships and the student exchange programs with
mainland China. His contribution helped restore Boston's performing
Arts Theater. He donated to Harvard University and Wellesley College
and constructed a fifteen-million-dollar factory in Boston's
Chinatown to provide jobs for inner-city people.
Family and education background: Born in Shanghai, China, on
February 7,1920, Wang An was the oldest of five children. When he
was six, his family moved to Kun San, a city near Shanghai, where
his father taught English in an elementary school. At first
schoolwork was difficult for An. But An did well in math and
science, he continued to excel in math and science. He attended one
of the best high school in China. Several of his courses were taught
in English and used the same textbook that American students were
In 1936, at the age of sixteen, Wang entered Chiao Tung University
where he majored in electrical engineering and specialized in
electronic communication. That same year, his mother died. The next
few years, China became increasingly difficult as Japanese troops
invaded Chain and took over Shanghai in 1940, Wang remained at the
university for a year as a teaching assistant in electrical
He had volunteered with 8 former classmates to secretly design and
build radio and transmitters for Chinese soldiers in Kweilin, Chain.
Although weekly, the team of engineers provided a valuable service
during the war.
In Kweilin, Wang received news that his father had died. So he was
offered an opportunity to study American technology to rebuild
China, he decided to join the two years program and to America. Wang
arrived in the United States in 1945. He applied to Harvard
University's master degree program. In second semesters, he earned
his master degree in applied physics. Three years later, he had
earned a PH.D in physics.
A TIMELINE OF WANG AN:
1920 Nov.7 Wang An was born in Shanghai, China.
1945 Wang An immigrates to the US.
1948 Jun Wang An obtained his Ph.D. Degree in Applied Physics at
1949 Oct 21 Wang An filed his patent application for a "Pulse
Transfer Controlling Device."
1951 Jun 22 Wang An Founded Wang Laboratories with $600 of his
1955 May 17 Wang An was granted patent 2,708,722 for a "Pulse
Transfer Controlling Device."
Jun 30 Wang Laboratories is officially incorporated.
1956 Mar Wang An assigned his patent to IBM.
1965 Wang Laboratories designed the LOCL (Logarithmic Calculating
Instrument), the first scientific electronic calculator.
1965 Wang Laboratories launched the WANG 300, their first electronic
1966 Wang Laboratories launches the WANG 370.
Wang Laboratories launches the WANG 380 one of the first calculators
able to generate logarithms and exponential.
Wang Laboratories launches the WANG 700 to counteract the
competition imposed by the Hewlett Packard HP9100.
1971 Wang An decided to move into a new direction: word processing
and computers instead of calculators.
Wang Laboratories introduced the VS Wang computerline.
1982 Feb Wang An retired from his active involvement in Wang
Wang Laboratories reached sales in the order of 3 billion dollars
with 30,000 employees.
1990 Wang An died of cancer.
JERRY YANG: Yahoo! Company history:
Jerry Yang and David Filo, PH.D. candidates in Electrical
Engineering at Stanford University, started their guide in April
1994 as a way to keep track of their personal interests on Internet.
Jerry and his partner David Filo had spent a lot of time on
developing Yahoo! Yahoo! Is a success of them. Yahoo contains
organized information on tens of thousands of computers linked to
the web. It is closest in spirit to the work of Ligneous, the 18th
century botanist whose classification system organized the natural
In 1994 Jerry Yang and David Filo converted Yahoo into a customized
database designed to serve the needs of the thousand of users that
began to use the service through the closely bound Internet
community. They developed customized software to help them
efficiently locate, identify and edit material stored on the
Its uniqueness has made Yahoo one of the most powerful franchises on
the web. Scarcely two years after Jerry and Dave shut their
dictionary, their site was serving almost a hundred million pages to
millions of distinct users every week. Yahoo had flowered into a
nexus of information of all types, including new stores, stock
quotes weather report, phone listings, and interactive maps. All
this robustness and growth have turned Yahoo into the web's
The Yahoo hierarchy is a handicrafted tool in that all of its over
100 thousands categories were designated by people, not computers.
These sites they link to are likewise deliberately chosen, not
assigned by software algorithms. In this, Yahoo is a very labor-
intensive product. But it is also a guide with human discretion and
judgment built into it. This can at times make it almost uncannily
Family and educational background: Jerry came to California form
Taiwan when he was ten. His father passed away when he was just two.
His mother decided to take her family to the United State because
her sister lived there and she thought that it was a good place for
her children to grow up. Jerry liked the rigor of the engineering
classes and he registered as an electrical engineering major.
Despite his nonacademic distractions, Jerry managed to complete both
a bachelor and a master degree in just four years at Stanford
David, a famous Chinese who built up the Oak Technology, has
contributed a lot to the technology of computer science in the
Silicon Valley. Parts of computers, DVD plays, Video player, CD-ROM,
and PC (3D), all, are the inceptions and products of Oak Technology.
The company wants to change the way people work and play. Its
products help and make us more convenient when using those
electronic products. The first Oak Technology was built up in 1987.
It has become a great company in only ten years. The reason he
decided to make his own business was because of his personalities.
His friends and he had done a lot of hard work for their first
company. The success of today is a result of their years of hard
David was born in Shi An. He received education of the duty of
citizens for nine years in Taiwan. In his 18, his parents sent him
to the free country America to study electrical engineering (BYU).
After that, he found a job in California and continued his study at
OUR INTERVIEW WITH MR. DAVID TSANG:
Silicon Valley is formed by many successful Chinese. One of a famous
businessman, David Tsang has built up the Oak Technology which is a
successful company. David and his friends built up the first company
in 1974. After they gained money and experiences from it, they built
up the second, and the third.
The Silicon Valley, which is formed by a lot of successful and
famous Chinese, has trained a lot of talented people from different
colleges. Right now, most of them have built up their own
businesses, and this is a reason for the high position of Chinese in
Silicon Valley with high technology. The Chinese contribute to the
development of the Silicon Valley.
A lot of science engineers have been trained in the Silicon Valley.
Some of them remain there and continue their invention of High-Tec;
others have built up their own businesses. But all of them have the
same goal , that is to contribute their best to the Silicon Valley.
Computer Science in Silicon Valley is famous because of a lot of the
new inventions and products of High-Tec. A lot of the products were
invented for convenience for work and way people work and play.
Their product of CD-ROM transistor is the best of the world's
He has made contribution to the Silicon Valley through teaching and
training people. He has taught a number of Chinese to become a
successful engineer. He has also trained a lot of Chinese to become
a skilled engineer and invented a lot of new high Technology.
David Tsang's E-mail address: www.oakTech.com