Following that path, only 2 years after receiving Ph.D diploma, she became the first Vietnamese woman PhD graduate to receive an American invention license.
From the passion for technology
“At the time, I took the entrance exam on IT from this institute since their faculty was a very popular choice for students and I wanted to know why it was so hot. And I was surprised to be placed second on the admission list with 27 points”, Van revealed.
After a semester attending pedagogy courses and “secretly” studying IT, Van decided to reserve her study record to go after her interest in IT. It took a long time but Van’s academic records convinced the families and friends who were against the idea.
She was invited to work at TMA Solution – a well-known software company – without a job application or interview in 2004, and not long after, was accepted to HCMC University of Science graduate school.
“When I got the admission letter, I asked for a job at Ton Duc Thang University to accommodate my study and my leaving TMA Solution was also difficult for me since it is hard to land a job there. But I was fortunate to have the two professors Cao Hoang Thu and Phan Thi Tuoi be my advisors”, said Van.
In 2010, Van became a PhD student and finished her thesis 5 years later. She majors in software development methodology, data analysis, and artificial intelligent (AI) technology. After defending her thesis, she published 8 papers for the journals ISI and Scopus, a rare accomplishment for a Vietnamese PhD graduate in IT.
To an international success
A year after receiving her PhD degree, Van applied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a patent on her “smart air-conditioning system”. And in 2016, USPTO granted her the patent on the system.
Van’s air-conditioning system can be used to regulate temperatures to suit each patient or individual in the same room as well as creating a suitable environment for different plants in a multi-cropping area.
Recently, USPTO has granted patent to 2 other automated system projects from Van’s research team. “There are no limitations or restrains on your gender when it comes to science research. If you have passion in what you do, you will achieve success.
Like any other women, I too have problems in time management. But there are also some upsides to it. Like the IT field I pursue, women will have an advantage over men when debugging programs since we tend to be more careful and meticulous”, said Van.
Despite her achievements, Dr. Duong Thi Thuy Van still has worries: Vietnam doesn’t lack scientists of international level. What we lack connection and perspective.
In this modern age, connections and cooperation between different research fields are crucial to solving social issues. If we can somehow incorporate theoretical and applied science, then the number of inventions Vietnam produce can rival any country.
Dr. Duong Thi Thuy Van is now the director of Information Technology Application Center of the Ton Duc Thang University I. She received many national and international awards and published 20 papers in ISI/Scopus. She was also the model lecturer of HCMC from 2014 to 2017.