Google launched an animated Doodle on 4 November to celebrate Charles K Kao. The day would have been the 88th birthday of the father of fibre optics which connects everyone today via the internet.
Kao was the latest person to have a Google Doodle which was often used to celebrate local culture and holidays, such as Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese New Year, as well as remembers legendary figures, including martial artist and actor Bruce Lee, Chinese opera singer Yam Kim-fai, and singer Teresa Teng. Google said thanks to Kao's contribution, the world is now more connected: "Being an educator himself, Kao's dedication to science inspired many young minds. Kao once said, ‘Ideas do not always come in a flash, but by diligent trial-and-error experiments that take time and thought’.
"As we help Hong Kong become a smarter digital city, we look forward to collaborating with local talents and partners on new ideas and innovations," said Michael Yue, general manager, sales and operations of Google Hong Kong.
Born in Shanghai in 1933, Kao came to Hong Kong as a teenager. Working with George Hockham, the duo published a paper in 1966 that paved the way for the first successful telephone network through fiber optics in 1977. By the 1980s, Kao was overseeing the implementation of fiber-optic networks worldwide, revolutionising global communication in ways that later contributed to the development of the internet. Kao served as the vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1987 to 1996. In 2009, Kao’s research in the 1960s earned him a joint Nobel Prize in Physics.
“It’s hard to imagine that the internet that connects everyone today has roots in innovations as far back as the 1960s. Thanks in large part to the trailblazing fiber optics research by Professor Charles Kao, the world is now more connected," Yue added.
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