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Chia Wei Wade Hsu

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Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering


  • 2015, Doctoral Degree, Physics, Harvard University
  • 2010, Bachelor's Degree, Physics, Wesleyan University


Wade Hsu joined the USC Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in August 2019. He received his B.A. with high honors in physics and mathematics from Wesleyan University, and carried out his Ph.D. work at Harvard University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before coming to USC, he was a postdoctoral fellow in applied physics at Yale University.

Dr. Hsu has co-authored over 40 papers, with over 3000 citations and h-index of 25. He holds 5 granted patents and is serving as a research advisor for a start-up company Lux Labs. His work has been featured in scientific magazines and the media such as Nature, Scientific American, Physics Today, BBC News, Huffington Post, and CNET.

Research Summary

Dr. Hsu works on photonics in complex systems, where physics and applications meet. He has pioneered new ways to confine light in nanophotonic structures and to control wave propagation in scattering media, as well as inventing transparent displays based on resonant scattering.

His group employs a combination of experimental, numerical, and analytical techniques. The common experimental tools include optical characterizations, wavefront shaping with spatial light modulators (to synthesize customized light fields), and nanofabrication (to create tailored photonic structures). First-principles electromagnetic simulations, many developed within the group, are used extensively to guide the experiments and to extract information that cannot be directly measured. A variety of analytical treatments--such as coupled-mode theory, random matrix theory, and diagrammatic methods--are also used to build minimal (yet often accurate) models that reveal key insights.

Current and recent interests include wave propagation in complex systems, imaging in scattering media, bound states in the continuum, non-Hermitian photonics, topological photonics, optical computing, photonic crystals, plasmonics, metamaterials and metasurfaces, and computational electromagnetics.


  • 2020 Charles Lee Powell Foundation Powell Faculty Research Award
  • 2017 Blavatnik Regional Award for Young Scientists Finalist
  • 2011 Taiwan Ministry of Education Study Abroad Scholarship
  • 2010 Harvard University Purcell Fellowship
  • 2010 American Physical Society LeRoy Apker Award
  • 2010 Wesleyan University Bertman Prize (2010), Graham Prize (2010), Juan Roura-Parella Prize (2010), Weller Prize (2009), Karl Van Dyke Prize (2009 & 2008), Johnston Prize (2007)
  • 2006 Wesleyan University Freeman Scholarship
  • Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering - Electrophysics

  • PHE 610
  • Charles Lee Powell Hall
  • 3737 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 2560

Contact Information
  • (213) 740-0305
  • cwhsu@usc.edu


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