IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Newsletter | Volume 14 | Issue 6 | December 2020 | CURRENT/PAST ISSUES


“The Dave I Know” — In Memory of Late Professor Chung Laung “David” Liu

The last time I saw Dave was in Montreux, Switzerland in October 2016 during the Nano-Tera Symposium. The symposium was on Emerging Trends in Computing organized by Nanni De Micheli of EPFL. We both gave invited talks, and after symposium hiked together with Nanni and a few other invited speakers and visited beautiful mountain villages. By then it had been almost two decades since Dave and I left Illinois. Dave was still the same Dave I had known for more than a decade in UrbanaChampaign. Eloquent, witty, full of energy and humor, and imparting precious knowledge freely.

Soon after I came to Illinois from Bell Labs, NJ in 1985, Dave invited me to participate multiple times in thesis committees for his doctoral students. To name a few, Martin Wong, Jason Cong, Chaeryung Park. Almost daily, we used to go for lunch together at a popular sandwich shop in the Champaign-University town and enjoyed our conversation over lunch. To this date, when I teach, I try to practice what I have learned from Dave, but cannot come up with three jokes for each class. Only Dave can provide so many jokes. As many of us know, being a great teacher and mentor, he encouraged his advisees to prepare well and give clear presentations. I remember Dave’s opening remarks in his meetings with students, “What can we learn from you, today?” Very inviting and motivating. How can a student teach own professor who knows so much without much in-depth preparation. This is a great pedagogy and at the same time quite demanding.

When Dave and Jane declared their move to Taiwan for Dave to be President of National Tsinghua University, I was very sad to miss precious colleagues. One of Dave’s students, Kiwook Kim, joined my group and Jane handed over her NSF grant to me as a departing gift. Many years later, I was able to visit Dave in Taiwan. At that time, he came to see me in a chauffeured limousine, and treated me with a delicious dim sum lunch. Wherever he goes, he knows good restaurants and treats his guests well.

Looking back, I was immensely fortunate to share so much time and fun with Dave over the years. Looking forward, I will keep on trying to be as friendly and generous as Dave had been, especially to mentor students and junior folks as long as I can. I will greatly miss Dave and will cherish our friendship and many good memories. May Dave rest in Peace.

Sung-Mo “Steve” Kang
Professor Emeritus of ECE, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Distinguished Chair Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz