|Rewarding research: Nguyen Ngoc Thanh was honoured with the title of Professor by Polish President Lech Kaczynski at the Presidential Palace in Poland.
Conditions weren't easy in ‘90s Polish academia, but one Vietnamese researcher stuck to his passion. Phi Ha and Ha Nguyen report.
Nguyen Ngoc Thanh was promoted to the rank of Professor by Poland in 2009 for his research on artificial and collective intelligence.
Many international magazines have praised Thanh's research that helps prove collective intelligence is much higher than individual.
"My research focuses on brainpower and group brainpower, an increasingly important area of knowledge in contemporary society," said Thanh.
Thanh said his wife, Vu Thi Ngoc, helped him a lot in his research work.
"The '90s were the most difficult years for Vietnamese intellectuals in Eastern Europe, particularly when social systems changed. The monthly salary of a scientist or a university lecturer was not enough for him to live on.
"Many Vietnamese scientists and researchers gave up their careers to do other jobs such as trading. They were pleased with their living standards. But I was very lucky to receive effective assistance from my wife to continue doing my research work," said Thanh.
Ngoc, who graduated from the psychology branch in Hungary, also did small trading to help the family.
"I was very tired," Ngoc said, "because I had to go to work all day long and feed my new-born. But for our living, I tried to learn the Polish language and study accounting and then finance.
"Since Igraduated in 2000, a lecturer's monthly salary has been increased, helping my family reach a stable living standard."
In November last year, a big international conference on collective intelligence and IT was held in Viet Nam, attracting 152 scientists and researchers from 25 countries and territories.
Earlier, three conferences on the subject were held in Poland and Taiwan. All were initiated by Thanh.
Thanh said he tried to organise such conferences in Viet Nam in an effort to encourage the country's development in computer science. The conference created favourable conditions for young Vietnamese scientists to directly contact their international counterparts to promote co-operation.
In addition, the conference also created conditions for collective intelligence researchers to have their papers published internationally, he said.
|Toasting the new year: Thanh joined the Vietnamese community to celebrate Tet in Warsaw, Poland.
After the Viet Nam conference, the Le Quy Don Club in Poland was set up to support Vietnamese who experienced difficulties in Poland by providing activities in education, training and scientific research, Thanh said.
Deputy head of the club Dr Dao Duy Tien said, "The establishment of the club was thanks to Thanh's efforts to connect intellectuals in Poland so they could to help the homeland."
Thanh said, "Since I was young, I have always had a dream of doing something for Viet Nam, particularly in the field of science. Many of my friends also have that dream so I set up the club for them to unite and assist each other to be ready to support the country."
Thanh revealed that he would co-operate with Prof Le Thi Hoai An in France and her husband, Prof Pham Dinh Tao, to organise an international conference on computer science and applied mathematics in Poland by the end of this year.
"We plan to invite Vietnamese scientists, particularly those working in European institutes and universities, to exchange views and experiences in computer science and applied maths," Thanh said.
The aim was to create a strong connection between overseas and domestic Vietnamese scientists and researchers, he said.
Prof Thanh is now head of the Poland Wroclaw University's IT Institute's Office for Knowledge Management Network.
He is also professor of the Technology University of HCM City's National University.
Furthermore, he is editor-in-chief of two international science magazines.
He is also a member of the editorial board of severalinternational magazines on IT.
A leading world scientist in artificial and collective intelligence, Thanh is the author of more than 250 scientific research papers which have been published in world magazines, 15 scientific books and two certificates of invention. — VNS