A Vietnamese young man’s path to success in the US

Successfully defending his excellent doctoral thesis in information technology (IT) in the US, Dr. Le Vu Tuan worked at Google and quickly became the pillar of the Google Drive expert team.
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Dr. Le Vu Tuan.

Tuan was one of the outstanding foreign students at the University of California Berkeley, the world’s top 10 prestigious academic universities assessed by Times Higher Education. He attended EECS Honors Degree program for a select few chosen students.

Proud to be a Vietnamese

Vu chose to study in the US without taking any talent bachelor class in Vietnam. “The US is the leading country in terms of inventions and university system’s ranking. Here, I have opportunity to access a modern education system and work on universally influential products”, Tuan said.

In 2011, Tuan graduated magna cum laude, majoring in Computer Science and was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa, the most prestigious academic association in the US. With such academic achievements, Tuna earned doctoral scholarships at the University of California Los Angeles and University of California San Diego.

Tuan defended his doctoral thesis in 2016 with 29 research papers published in different journals and international scientific conferences. Three of them were awarded the best research papers, recognizing new innovations’ impact in wireless communication networks field.

Studying abroad, Tuan is an independent young man. He took advantage of the summer break to work for large corporations including Amazon, Google and was offered an official job by these both "technology giants” after rigorous interviews and challenging trail working processes.

At Google, Tuan was staffed into an expert, engineers team who responsible for Google drive products, designing back-end server infrastructure for data storage – one of Google’s key product. The Tuy Hoa-based Doctor became the team’s leading expert and concurrently the interviewer recruiting technical personnel for Google, a rigorous "challenge station" he used to overcome.

Although taking over a key position at Google that not everyone can hold and achieved high status in the US, back in Vietnam, Tuan is a taciturn, smiley man who leads a simple, inner life. There are many times Tuan surprised his teacher, Nguyen Thi Hong Phuong, by modestly visiting her on his bicycle.

Simple and independent

The retired teacher always remembers her young student Le Vu Tuan from Chemistry-horned class, school year 2001-2002. “He was a smiley, very hard-working student who rarely talked. Among 40 students in the class, Tuan was a simple and independent student”, Phuong briefly sketched.

Tuan was not her best Chemistry student, but he was very diligent and creative when it comes to Math. Specialized in Chemistry, but Tuan was especially good at Informatics”, Phuong shared long-lasting memory on her mind. “There was the day when the whole class got the same high mark in Informatics test. I knew Tuan was the ‘culprit’ immediately without investigation”, the teacher laughed.

Huynh Tan Chau, Principal of Luong Van Chanh Gifted high school, who was also Tuan’s Mathematics teacher, shared: “Tuan was good at both natural and social subjects. He had an apt for Math, even though he was a Chemistry-gifted student. He could cleverly solve many difficult types of Math questions”.

However, Informatics is Tuan’s true passion. At the beginning of the 21st century, not so many students were into Informatics enough to pursue the subject, as this was a new and costing field. Even students from rich families might not be able to pursue the subject if their passion was not strong enough, whereas ones with passion alone could hardly follow since it requires generous financial investment. Tuan was lucky to have both the necessary and sufficient conditions, which created him the momentum to develop his passion.

Computer awards collection

The 8th grader Vu started to fall into and pursue Informatics. In 1998-1999, the internet started to develop relatively popular in Vietnam, although the connection was still slow. The early Internet access had opened up a vast and enchanting world to this 1986-born man.

“At that time, I questioned why the Internet had to be transmitted via phone line, making the speed so slow. The coincidence was, wireless technology and internet connection became my researching field during my study in the US”, Tuan said.

In 10th grade, Tuan created an individual breakthrough and gained reputation for his highschool by earning encouragement prize at the second Vietnam’s Intellectual Contest 2001 hosted by FPT Group, Lao Dong Newspaper and VTV3 (Vietnam National Television channel). The winning product was the CD Rom which built Vietnamese feudal dynasties. How strange it was for a Chemistry student, who was passionate about Informatics, got a winning prize with History as the main content. But it was just a piece of cake for Tuan because Informatics was his passion and History was his favorite subject. He chose to study in Chemistry class because his high school did not have a specialized Informatics class at that time.

In addition to the award at Vietnam Intelligence Contest, Tuan is a prizes “hunter” and collector at various provincial and national Informatics competitions. After graduating from high school, Tuan chose Maths, Physics, and Chemistry as the three subjects to sit for the national university entrance exam. He was admitted to the University of Natural Sciences’ talented bachelor group (Ho Chi Minh National University) with flying colors.

Achieving such achievements was the reward from his consistent effort and his family’s support. His mother, Vo Thi Huyen, recalls “There were times when I saw my son pull an all-nighter, I was very worried. But our family always encouraged him to pursue his passion”./.

Translated by LH


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