Professor Robert Ta-pang Poe was born on 25 April, 1935 in Peking, China. 1n 1948, he moved to Taiwan with his family. He came to the United States in 1953, and graduated summa cum laude from Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota. He earned his Ph. D. in theoretical atomic physics at the University of California, Bekerley in 1963. In 1964, Dr. Poe joined the Physics Department at the University of California, Riverside. He served as Chairman of the department from 1976 to 1981. At the time of his death in 1984, he was the Director of the Energy Sciences Program at Riverside.
His research interests were extremely broad, and embraced atomic and molecular science, high energy physics, relativistic heavy ion physics, and energy sciences. He was a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of its Panel on Public Affairs, and a member of the U.S. delegation to the Committee on International Scientific Affairs.
Beyond his professional career, Dr. Poe was also very active in local, national and international community affairs. He was senior science advisor to Congressman Brown, a research consultant for the National Science Council, the Republic of China and a member of the Riverside Public Utility Board.
Indeed, Dr. Poe was a born teacher, a dedicated scientist and a devoted citizen. All his life, he had sought not only to advance the frontier of science, to nurture and provide guidance to young budding physicists but also to bridge the two cultures.
It is in this spirit the Robert T. Poe Memorial Scholarship is established.