The Vietnamese lecturer at Oxford University

Published: 28/01/2011 05:00



VietNamNet Bridge – “I have a dream called ‘Oxford’” – Nguyen Hoang Long, the author of the saying, has seen his dream come true: he has gained the doctorate from Oxford University and became the first Vietnamese lecturer at the prestigious university.

Nguyen Hoang Long (first right)

The dream called ‘Oxford” had been pursued by Nguyen Hoang Long when he was studying in a mathematics majoring class of the Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted. Long said that well understanding his capability in order to make suitable progress in studying is one of the most important factors that has helped him turn his dream into reality.

The doctorate after four times of tasting failure

After finishing high school, Nguyen Hoang Long studied at the information technology faculty at Bristol University in the UK. In the first months at university, Long only had mathematics as the foundation, and he did not know much about informatics, while his classmates all could use computers fluently: they could design websites and they were proficient at several programming languages. This made the Vietnamese student afraid that he would lag behind. However, just after a short time, Long realized that programming is just a skill, while it is the mathematics which can serve as the key to many doors of the informatics world.

Long became known at the university for solving difficult problems given by Professor Nigel Smart in his lecturers about security and codes – the lessons designed only for third year students. Then the doors to the opportunities were opened to Long, when Professor David May, Dean of the Information Technology Faculty of Bristol University, allowed Long to follow other intensive subjects of the faculty right when he was a first and second year student.

When Long was 22, he listed himself among the first laureates of the school.

During the time of studying at Bristol University, Hoang Long many times applied to Oxford University but continuously failed

“I was endlessly sad any time when I failed, but then I told to myself that I needed to try once more. When I want to do something, I think about it thoroughly whether  I am capable of doing this,” Long said.

Long was lucky when applied for a doctorate program at Oxford. He was interviewed by Bill Roscoe, Dean of the Information Technology of Oxford University. The excellent learning records at Bristol and the research ideas that Long mentioned in the interview persuaded the professor, who then decided to allow Long to do the PhD thesis under his guidance.

This way the first tile on the way to Oxford was laid.

Becoming a lecturer

Long’s academic and research achievements opened many new opportunities. During the time he studied at Bristol and did his PhD thesis at Oxford, Long worked on a technology relating to the money transactions via network. Therefore, during that time, he had the opportunities to visit and exchange technical views with many banks and computing companies.

Before graduating universities and completing the PhD thesis, Long was hunted by many banks, including HSBC, Barclay in the UK, IBM, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch in the US, and BNP Paribas in France. However, Long refused the opportunities.

In September 2009, Long excellently defended his PhD thesis and became a teaching assistant at the prestigious Oxford University.

In his work plan in 2011, universities will hold a very important role: he will visit Swiss prestigious EPFT University in February and March, visit Stanford University and Xerox PARC Institute of Silicon Valey in California State in the US in July and August.

Source: Tuoi tre

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