Vietnamese boy fulfils Oxford dream

Published: 30/01/2011 05:00


“I always had a dream to go to Oxford,” says Nguyen Hoang Long, who obtained a PhD degree from the renowned British University and went on to become a teacher there.

“I always had a dream to go to Oxford,” says Nguyen Hoang Long, who obtained a PhD degree from the renowned British University and went on to become a teacher there.

Long nurtured that dream ever since he was a math student at the Hanoi-Amsterdam Specialized High School in Hanoi and made sure it materialized with his hard work, self-confidence, and ability to overcome challenges.

After graduating from high school, he went to Bristol University in the UK to study information technology. Initially Long was worried he lagged behind his classmates in terms of website design and programming skills. But that was where his outstanding math skills lent him a hand and he soon got over that.

He later caught the eye of his teachers when he successfully solved some complex problems in the fields of confidentiality and cryptography meant for third-year students.

His progress in IT was so impressive that Prof David May, head of the faculty, allowed Long to take intensive courses meant only for senior students.

Long topped his class in the graduation exams.

While studying at Bristol, Long sough admission to Oxford four times, thrice for master’s courses and once for a doctorate, but failed each time. “I was sad after each failure but I tried to do well at Bristol and promised myself I would try again.”

“When setting any target for myself, I always think about it over and over to determine if I have the ability to achieve it,” Long told Tuoi Tre.

The fifth time he was interviewed by Prof Bill Roscoe, head of Oxford’s IT faculty. Impressed by Long’s excellent results at Bristol and unique research ideas, Roscoe agreed to supervise his doctoral thesis even though he did not even have a master’s degree.

Long invented an ISO-standard technology for online monetary transactions and came in touch with many banks and technology companies during his time at both Bristol and Oxford.

HSBC, Barclay’s, IBM, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and others offered him well-paid jobs even before his graduation.

However, Long turned them down. “I think that with the knowledge I have accrued for nearly 20 years, I should opt for a job that will allow me to indulge my passion and use my expertise to create more value for society.”

Happiness and passion

When Long was working on his doctoral thesis, his mother, Nghiem Thi Kim Binh, left for the UK to look after him as well as his younger brother Nguyen Hoang Giang, who was studying for a master’s degree in construction at University College, London.

Long’s father continued to work hard in Hanoi to support his wife and two sons in the UK.

“My father said whenever he looked at my certificates of merit, prizes, invitations to be a visiting lecturer, teaching contracts, he felt great joy, joy that can never be obtained with money,” Long said.

After he successfully defended his doctoral thesis in September 2009, Oxford offered him a lecturer’s job. Since then, Dr Long has been a visiting lecturer at many renowned universities around the world. This year he is scheduled to visit Switzerland’s EPFL University and Stanford University and Xerox PARC in the US.

“My relationship with such universities is of significance to my career now and in the future. I hope my success will light a fire of passion within young students so that they can pursue big dreams.”

Source: Tuoi Tre

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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