Mr. Fredrick Takayuki Matsuda - Inamori Fellow 2013

I am delighted to announce that Mr. Fredrick Takayuki Matsuda has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Inamori Fellowship representing the Department of Physics. Inamori Fellowships are awarded annually to one or two of our best and brightest graduate students who are expected to contribute to the future of humanity through a balance of scientific progress and the human spirit.

Mr. Matsuda joined the UC San Diego Physics Graduate program in 2010 after receiving a BA in Physics and Astrophysics from UC Berkeley. He has worked with Professor of Physics Brian Keating since arriving at UC San Diego, and has taken a leadership role at UC San Diego’s POLARBEAR observatory. Matsuda worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the project, pulling 10 hour, outdoor shifts on the telescope in the high, harsh climate of Chile’s Atacama desert, and briskly analyzing data to assess the telescope’s performance, providing crucial feedback to optimize its sensitivity. His contributions were absolutely crucial in ensuring that POLARBEAR achieved “first light,” Keating says, and matched or exceeded those of other seven collaborators on-site, all but one of whom was a postdoc or a professor. With key insights into design and assembly, Matsuda also designed a complex new instrument for the observatory, leading a collaboration of 10 scientists on two campuses. Professor Keating considers Matsuda to be the best all-around student he has encountered at UC San Diego and ranks him among the top 1% of graduate students he mentored as a postdoc at Caltech and Stanford. A first-generation Japanese-American, Matsuda has maintained strong connections to both Japanese and American cultures and has demonstrated a facility for bridging cultural gaps as the sole mentor for undergraduate research students from Korea, Kazakhstan and Bulgaria. He believes that cosmology allows us to fulfill the most human quest: to understand our origins.

On behalf of the Department, I congratulate Mr. Matsuda for being awarded this prestigious honor.

Dimitri Basov
Chair, Department of Physics

Funding: This fellowship was made possible by the generosity of the Inamori Foundation.