Titan of Technology

Ming HsiehMing Hsieh developed a keen interest and skill in technology as a young child in northeastern China, learning from his electrical engineer father how to dismantle and reassemble everything from transistor radios to televisions.

Following in the footsteps of an uncle who earned a master’s in mechanical engineering at USC, Hsieh enrolled at USC after two years of college at what is now the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou. He earned his B.S. in electrical engineering in 1983 and his M.S. in electrical engineering just one year later.

Based on what he has called a “heritage of entrepreneurship” instilled at USC, Hsieh founded his first company, AMAX Technology, with several USC classmates in 1987. In 1990, he co-founded Cogent Inc., which revolutionized automated fingerprint and other biometric identification for law enforcement and government agencies around the world. Under his leadership, Cogent became the global leader in such technologies. The company was acquired by 3M in 2010. Today, Hsieh serves as chairman and CEO of Fulgent Therapeutics Inc., a cancer drug research and development company he founded in 2011.

He endowed the USC Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering in 2006, and then, in 2010, established the Ming Hsieh Institute for Research on Engineering-Medicine for Cancer at USC thanks to a gift of $50 million. Ming Hsieh continues to serve on the institute’s board of directors, which is chaired by the USC President.

“From my point of view, donating service or money is part of a citizen’s job, to return value back to society, in appreciation for society’s giving us opportunities,” says Hsieh, who serves on the USC Board of Trustees as well as the board of Fudan University in China.

He has received the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Mark A. Stevens Distinguished Alumni Award and Ernst and Young’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Greater Los Angeles in the category of technology and services, and was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He received an honorary doctorate from USC in 2010.