34-year-old Ho Pham Minh Nhat is the first-level professor of Data Science, Statistics and Machine Learning in Texas University (Austin, the US) – one of the top-10 universities in the world on AI and science-technology. He is also a key member in the Science Institute of Machine Learning Platform and AI in Austin, in hope of proving Vietnamese intelligence in the foreign land.
To gain such great achievements, Prof. Nhat has determinedly poured his efforts into seeking and accumulating new knowledge day after day for the whole 12 years from an undergraduate student to a post-doctorate researcher and trainer. To him, the toughest challenge is not the long learning time but the method to maintain the passion to fulfill his dreams. Another trouble when studying in a foreign country is culture shocks and loneliness being away from home. So serious it was that sometimes Nhat even doubted his decision to go abroad to learn.
After graduating from HCMC University of Science (Vietnam National University-HCM), Nhat was able to identify his future goal and dream; so when coming to Michigan University for his master’s degree, he selected the direction of developing the theory and methods to understand the hidden structure of mixed and multi-stage models in machine learning and statistics. Since this is a new direction, he encountered various obstacles and disappointment before truly reaching the first achievement – the first article on a renowned journal.
Thanks to that encouragement, Nhat felt more confident to complete his goals and earned his doctorate degree. Moving to California University (Berkeley, the US), he hoped to learn from leading professors in the world in the fields of AI and machine learning. He stopped at Texas University (Austin) to become a trainer and further his knowledge accumulation, partially also because the weather here is quite similar to Vietnam, his beloved fatherland.
Before receiving the doctorate scholarship at Missouri State University, Bui Ai Lien was a well-known name among overseas Vietnamese students when she had had outstanding academic results and earned two master’s degrees. Coming back home, Ai Lien owned a premium CV, yet she still decided to start up in 2017 with her SignLab project, aiming at supporting the deaf community.
Ai Lien witnessed many parents struggling with learning sign language for the deaf to communicate with their child, and believed that she could exploit modern technologies to aid these helpless people. The reality, however, was harsher than she had expected, when the process of testing market compatibility and capital mobilization to pay for human resources encountered various obstacles.
She tried to contact any Deaf Education professors she knew and worked closely with several parents with deaf children to better understand their trouble. She also had to persuade her own parents to let her pursue her dream project despite so many challenges.
All her efforts at last paid off when SignLab received positive responses and the money flow into her project was more stable. SignLab is now available in more than 11 nations to help thousands of families to better communicate with their handicapped member.
Inside her little rented house, the most valuable objects are her laptop to work on and her bicycle to travel to her research lab. But that is Bui Ai Lien’s valuable youth!
It took only 3.5 years for Le Huynh Minh Triet to finish his doctorate degree in Adelaide University (Australia) at 27 years old. Before that, he had graduated from the International University (Vietnam National University-HCM) as valedictorian with a GPA of 95.6/100 and had been allowed to skip the master’s level.
At that time, the 22-year-old confident man went abroad to gain more knowledge. He pioneered the direction of intelligent software security, especially in the area of managing security vulnerabilities through the use of data science. He was the first research student working in this field of his supervisor.
To select the most suitable topic for his doctorate thesis, Triet had to read hundreds of scientific articles, then trialed the obtained information and learnt from the mistakes. There was a time when he spent months inside his research lab to find the answer to his problems. The rewarding results were eight A/A* ranking articles presented at international conference and published in global journals, along with his exceptionally excellent thesis with no revision requests from the review panel.
The way to reach those achievements was not as smooth as it seemed. Triet did encounter several tough challenges, some of which even made him doubt his ability. Even when the whole world seemed to go against him, Triet was still grimly determined to fulfill his goal. Now that he has gained success, Triet wishes to connect with young people and offer them chances to work with leading experts in the field in the most favorable environment possible.
At present, Triet and his professor are the co-leaders of an important part in the largest project on software security, sponsored by the Australian Government. Being in this role, he has an opportunity to cooperate with renowned professors and Australian businesses. With the goal to help Vietnam develop technologically, Triet hopes to promote the partnership between these groups and Vietnamese universities and academies. He also wants to help the Vietnamese community working and researching abroad.
Choosing to stay in foreign developed countries to work, the three figures above have a chance to contribute to the training of high-quality human resources in Vietnam or help the community in many ways. They can either supervise their junior generation at domestic universities to conduct research, or become the bridge to link between national and international universities so that Vietnamese students have an opportunity to collaborate with leading experts in the field and become more mature when building their country later.
Obviously, all over the world, children of the Vietnamese bloodline always look towards their fatherland and try their best to tirelessly help the country grow, to create new or continue the eternal values of their nation.