Dr. Siew was born on December 26, 1940 in Nanking, China and brought up in Penang, Malaysia. He received BA from Columbia University in 1960 and Ph.D. from New York University in Chemistry in 1960. His doctoral theses deals with proton resonance infused salts.
He worked in photographic films and computerized polymeric materials. In the 1970's, he changed his gear to academic teaching and research. He was assistant professor, Trenton State College (1974-85); assistant professor, State University of New York, New Paltz (1975-76); instructor, Rock Land Community College (1976-77); research associate, Adelphi University (1978-83), assistant professor, Wagner College (1983-84), and professor, State University of New York, Albany (1984- ). He also served concurrently research associate, Rochester University (1974-75); research associate, Albany Medical College (1985-86); adjunct associate professor, Hofstra University and Nasau Community College (1979- ). Dr. Siew is married to Annette, a biologist by profession and an artist by avocation.