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Suematsu Wins Japan Prize

TOKYO, Jan. 31, 2014 &amdash; Yasuharu Suematsu, a pioneer in the field of semiconductor lasers that enable high-capacity, long-distance fiber networks, has been recognized with the 2014 Japan Prize for electronics, information and communications.

His research helped lay the physical foundation for optical fiber communications and the Internet.

Formerly a professor (now honorary) at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Suematsu honed his concept of a dynamic single-mode laser as an optimal light source for fiber connections in the early 1980s. The semiconductor he uses has a wavelength that minimizes loss of light signal to allow for long-distance communications and reduces wavelength fluctuation to allow for high data capacity.

Suematsu is the former director general of the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo, and has held leadership positions with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan's National Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Research and Kochi University of Technology. He mentored many Ph.D. students while at Tokyo Institute.

Since 1985, the Japan Prize Foundation has offered the annual award to scientists and researchers around the world who have made substantial contributions to their fields, advancing international peace and prosperity. Winners receive, among other forms of recognition, a cash prize; Suematsu won about $481,000.

Awarded the 2014 Japan Prize for life sciences was C. David Allis for his research on genetics. Past winners have included Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf and World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee.

For more information, visit: www.japanprize.jp


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