August 8, 2006 Jin Wu Named Distinguished Visiting Senior Scholar in the John W. Kluge Center

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has named Jin Wu, former education minister for Taiwan, as a Distinguished Visiting Senior Scholar in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

Wu's research topic is “Zheng He, the Chinese Mariner.” Zheng He was a Chinese explorer and major figure in the history of navigation, who undertook a series of expeditions between 1405 and 1433, commanding 200 ships and 28,000 men. These voyages are considered to be the largest maritime expeditions in world history. Wu will look at the scientific details of the voyages, such as the navigation, shipbuilding and logistics.

Wu, whose tenure at the Kluge Center started in July, is the Guangbiao Chair professor at Zhejiang University in China. He served as minister of education in Taiwan from 1996 to 1998 and implemented significant reform in the education system. From 1994 to 1996, he served as university president of his alma mater, National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, where he is an honorary professor.

From 1974 to 1994, Wu taught at the University of Delaware with the title of H. Fletcher Brown professor of physical oceanography and ocean engineering and is now H. Fletcher Brown professor emeritus.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Wu received a Ph.D. in mechanics and hydraulics at the University of Iowa. In 1995, he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, cited for his milestone research in understanding the motion of air and water at the water's surface and the resulting surface waves. He is also a member of Academia Sinica (Academy of Sciences, Taiwan).

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information on fellowships, grants and programs offered by the Kluge Center, visit


PR 06-153
ISSN 0731-3527