N e w s l e t t e r

Volume III, Issue 1, November 1996

Contents

Personal VACETS Journey

by Dr. Viet-Dung Hoang< vhoang@mitretek.org>

I mean to write the following article a while back, but never seem to find the time. Now (May 1995) that the VACETS membership is closing on 700 strong and with the new Adcom term starting in July, I thought it maybe a good time to bring all of us back to our "root". Allow me then to share with you a brief history of VACETS. I may add quickly that these are my recollections and opinions and not of any members of the original group who started VACETS and certainly not of any members of the current or new VACETS Adcom.

VACETS is approximately one year old (give or take a few months). It started as a conversation among a small group of friends. Their goal is to form an organization that will share, help, and enhance technical and friendship among its members. Their charter reflects their goal: friendly and informal. Most of them have little experience in forming or running a large organization. But it was and still is their hope that VACETS will grow big and strong. It has never occurred to them that they will need anything more than the goal and purpose to get VACETS going. After all, VACETS is a technical organization, with NO membership fee, and NO paid officer or employee.

My VACETS journey started in late April of 1994, about a month after VACETS was formed. During a conversation with anh Ha?i Tra^`n, a colleague at the MITRE corporation in Washington DC, he mentioned to me that he had just joined a Vietnamese technical organization. He suggested that I looked into it. A few days later (on 27 April 1994), coming back from lunch, I got a message from Le^ Mo^.ng Tha?o. For a minute, I thought he was my good friend's, chi. Le^ To^'ng Mo^.ng Hoa, daughter. After checking and confirming with my wife that he was not related to my friend, I called him. On 28 April 1994, I turned in my VACETS membership form. A few weeks later on 15 May 1994 , Tha?o, his wife and daughter; Ly, his wife and daughter; and I with my son and daughter met at "Pho? 75" restaurant for lunch. As it turned out, my friends, that was how the very first VACETS Adcom meeting took place.

VACETS had around 30 members at that time. But I could tell from our first conversation that Tha?o had a much bigger plan. Tha?o outlined the organization chart and "offered" me any of the original 5-member "Board of Directors" position, which later grew and became Adcom (a suggestion from anh Tho^'ng). I agreed reluctantly to become the Vice-Chairman of the Technical Affairs Subcommittee, when Tha?o had assured me that the position was strictly a figure head and required very little time (if you are a W.C. Field's fan, you probably remember his most famous line: "There's a sucker born every minute.")

Tha?o and I both recognized that neither of us know how to run an organization, and so our first order of business was to look for a Chairman. The search for one started on that day, which gratefully ended with anh Tho^'ng. Under his leadership, VACETS has grown to a strong organization. The By-Laws and the Non-Profit Organization Incorporation papers, his legacy, will serve future generation of VACETS well.

So we went to work. There were enough phone calls and e-mails between the two of us to fill up the Library of Congress (only slightly exaggerated). But give the credits where they belong: Tha?o did all the works, and I watched, offering ideas now and then. He was instrument in putting together the current Adcom. And the organization grew. Some of you may take offense for the manner by which Adcom was formed. It may come as a surprise, but most organizations started out this way, including the Congress of the U.S., where all early officers and representatives were either self-appointed (volunteered) or invited (drafted). One thing I discover, sadly, that there are a lot more people who are willing to provide suggestions than there are people who are willing to work. So to get that many people to join Adcom was a monumental effort by anh Tha?o indeed.

I had lunch with Tha?o many more times. Our favorite hang-out is now "Viet Royal" restaurant in the "Eden Center". I came to realize that we had become each other cheerleader. He said to me one time "You know, many people will quit VACETS. There are just to many negative comments on the forums". I told him "I did not know you a year ago. We are now good friends. I can name you many other friends I did not have several months ago: that wise old man in the rainy Oregon, the waterman from down under, the dedicated newsletter editor from Canada, and a bunch of young Turks in Houston. That friendship will not change. People will come and go; and there is nothing we can do to about that."

I like to paraphrase anh Bi`nh Anson's statement: "We all came to VACETS for sharing and enjoying the friendship, not to be burden ourselves with those opinionated, controversial and endless debates. We hope that VACETS will continue to be a place for us to come to share our experience, and to learn from each other with understanding, tolerance and kindness". VACETS forums are formed for technical discussion. We hate to see them turned into a battle ground for ideologies and personal conflicts.

Don't get me wrong. If I have to start over, I will not change a thing. Despite its up and down, I can truthfully say that my involvement with VACETS has been very positive. We have planned many exciting activities for this coming year. I am looking forward anxiously.

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My Journey to VACETS

by: Dr. Tran Thong < trant@teleport.com>

My journey with VACETS began with a telephone call from anh Tha?o out of the blue one Monday morning in June 1994(the 13th of June?). He made his plea that VACET needs a leader to help it to get through this initial phase and what was most needed is somebody who has experience with large professional organization. He gave me the sob story (that was how it sounded at the time :-))) )about how hard a time he had trying to find me through the IEEE (I told him he should have looked me up in the IEEE Directory) and then through Tektronix, where I worked until August 1993. Any way, he sounded real convincing so, I agreed to consider. The next day, to put the squeeze on me further anh Dzu~ng called me. Then anh Ha?i. So, on the 16th I put in my application (there were 165 members/friends at the time), but told anh Tha?o that I needed more time to think about the chairmanship. The way I figured it, to get something like VACET organized - even though anh Thao? promised me I only have to give direction and he and the other folks will take care of the implementation, and I do not have to do a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g - would require a fair chunk of my time. So, I asked to put off the decision for 10 days since I had a trip planned the following week and the best time I found for thinking is in the air among the clouds, away from the phone, the disruptions and the distractions.

WHY I AGREED TO SERVE AS THE FIRST VACET CHAIRMAN

By the time anh Tha?o called me, I have been in the USA 25 years. During these years, while I have participated in the activities of a number of Vietnamese organizations, and got to become good friends with their leaders, I have always shied away from joining these organizations because of their religious or political backgrounds. As a technical person I had always held the conviction that before I develop any political ambition I should serve my country in a technical capacity. I went back to Viet Nam in the summer of 1974 to prepare for my eventual return either in 1975 or 1976 when I would finish my PhD dissertation. Well, I finished my PhD in 1975 but did not get an opportunity to help my country. It was then that I turned to help the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Through my 15 years involvement with the IEEE I have organized local chapters, a major conference (General Chairman of ISCAS '89 in Portland, Oregon), reorganized and wrote general charters of technical committees. This and my technical contributions got me elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 1989. As I wound down my involvement with the IEEE, I picked up on a regional organization, the Pacific Advanced Communications Consortium, of which I am still a Director.

Anyway, my organization experience is what I had to offer to VACET.

I was satisfied that VACET was non-political, not apolitical though, from my conversations with ca'c anh Tha?o, Dzu~ng, Ha?i. Since it is very easy for such young organization to be side- tracked, I decided to join to help shape it. Better steer it, hopefully, in the right direction, than staying out and seeing a promising organization disappear. I really appreciated the enthusiasm of anh Tha?o. It would have been a pity if such energy does not end up in a useful activity for the Vietnamese community. This contributed significantly to my decision to sign up.

Next was my time commitment. I believe in somewhat long term commitment. In this case I believe a 2 year commitment is needed at a minimum. At the time I figured, naively looking back, believing somewhat anh Tha?o "you don't have to personally do a-n-y-t-h-i-n- g", about 1 to 2 hours per day max.

Anyway, I came back from my trip and signed up to be the Chairman on the 29th of June 1994.

THE FIRST 30 DAYS

The announcement of my taking over the helm of VACETS was made in time to be announced in the first newsletter in July 1994.

In July 1994, we were served by two computer hosts. vungtau.cerf.net, the host of the vacet forum, was made available to VACET by anh Thanh Bi`nh, vacets.org, the host of the library, was made available by anh Ti'n.

The first crises we had, had to do with Viet Nam. First there were the issue whether technical people from Viet Nam could join VACET. A literal interpretation of the VACET announcement at the time indicated that this should be OK. At about that time, we received an e-mail greetings from Hanoi sent by one of our European members on vacation there. This raised fear in a number of our members who worked for defense firms. This is where my past experience came in handy. I clarified our posting policy.

This is at the time when we made preparation for the weekly columns and launched vacet-jobs@vacets.org to help our members with their resume writing and job search.

I formalized the administration under the title of VACET Administrative Committee (Adcom).

THE WINDS OF AUGUST

Towards the end of August, we received a letter from Nguye^~n Kim Minh of Carleton University asking us whether we would be interested in starting cooperative projects with organizations in Viet Nam. He sent a letter to the members on August 26, 1994. This was followed by a letter to Adcom on August 31, 1994.

Being democratic, after discussion in Adcom, it was decided to put to a vote of the members a more limited initiative, to just correspond with technical organizations in Viet Nam. Any follow-up will require a separate vote.

We decided on a 2 week debate period (Sept 8-23) and a 2 week voting period (Sept 26 - Oct 7). The discussion started out well, but quickly turned ugly. I was very disappointed. During this period I spent probably 3-4 hours per day to read and answer questions.

We even did a quickie 2 day vote to decide on what percentage would be considered a majority. The final results were still 50+% of voters.

Just prior to the election, we started vacet-vn@vacets.org as a forum for discussion of the election. This forum was never popular because it was viewed by some vocal minorities as an attempt by Adcom to silence the opposition.

The results were 60%/30%/10% in favor, opposed, leave it to Adcom to decide. The host for the voting was vungtau.cerf.net, courtesy of anh Thanh Bi`nh.

The next 2 months were plain ugly! A vocal minority, who did not like the outcome of the vote, raised doubt about the validity of the vote, suggesting fraud. The main VACET forum was at time clogged with arguments about the voting. Certain members got upset and took it upon themselves to tell these posters to move their discussion to vacet-vn@vacets.org, which was resisted. Not getting their way in VACET, these members took their case to the usenet community in soc.culture.vietnamese, scv. Thus, started another thread, from mostly misinformed people, since they were not participant in the earlier debates. There were a lot of labeling going in scv for about 2 months. In the end, the demand of these dissending members is that the ballot be released, enabling the direct verification of the votes. I opposed this demand since it violated the principle of the secret ballot, that was implied when we asked the members to vote.

In this regard, I plead guilty for not thinking through a more fool-proof voting system. The vote was sent to the voting host and it was sent out to a number of teams to count the votes, tally the comments and to verify the vote. The names of the original team members were published. Because of the ugliness of the debate, I agreed to requests to add more team members to insure voting fairness. In the heat of the debate, I forgot to announce these additions. This was made an issue in the post-voting period, even though it actually should have improved the impartiality of the vote reporting.

I had to write two lengthy letters to the members with copy to scv to try to clarify the situation. Still we were not making headway. There were daily attacks on scv.

It was only with the suggestion by one of the vote counting team members to release the actual vote WITHOUT the names associated with it that got this whole vote issue calmed down. The lessons learned in this vote were applied to the April 1995 election with the result that we had a smooth election.

Surprisingly enough, all these controversies have been good from a recruitment point of view. Readers of scv, who did not pay much attention to VACET before, became curious enough to want to find out more about VACET and a number of them became members. We did lose a number of members either because our forums were becoming too crowded with noisy letters, or because they disagreed with the vote results, or because they felt attacked because of their opinion. I am really sorry about losing these members since I disagree with personal attacks.

BACK TO ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES

In December 1994, we instituted most of the current forums. We also changed our name to VACETS, adding the "S" to include the sciences. Up until then, we were on 2 hosts: vungtau.cerf.net (courtesy of anh Thanh Bi`nh), vacets.org (courtesy of anh Ti'n). With the new forums, I brought up teleport.com as a host for VACETS. In December 1994, we were operating five forums on 3 hosts.

During the Christmas break, I worked with the key officers of VACETS on the official Article of Incorporation and the Bylaws. These were modeled after those of PACC (the other organization I mentioned in the first section) but with some unique features. Drafting the Bylaws took most of my weekends during December.

We went to a parliamentary approach. Members will vote for an Executive Committee yearly. The ExecCom member with the most vote will become the President-elect and will serve a three year term instead of just a one year term. The next year, he/she will become President, then the following year past-President. The past- President cannot run for election and thus was given the task of supervising the election. Another feature of the VACETS bylaws is the ability of a group of members to propose an initiative ballot that takes precedence over what the ExecCom may decide. This is the result of my living on the West Coast, where initiative ballots are common occurrences at every election.

The Bylaws were approved by a vote in Adcom on February 3, 1995.

During this period we added another host, saomai.org, courtesy of Stephen Jones. Due to personal reasons, anh Thanh Bi`nh had to leave and the forum that vungtau.cerf.net served was divided between saomai.org and peak.org (I made arrangements for this host, operated by Oregon State University, through my contacts at PACC).

THE APRIL ELECTION

Then in April 1995 we held our first ever election. There were 11 candidates for the 6 open positions on the 7 member ExecCom. I was the only ex-officio member of the ExecCom since I have been holding the office of President, and according to the Bylaws, will move into the position of past-President in 1995-96.

Since we learned our lessons from the August voting, the April elections ran smoothly. The list of voters was published daily. The final results with the actual votes, without the voters' names but with their own private ID's, were published, enabling verification by the voters. The host for the vote was teleport.com. During the 5 weeks prior, during and after the election, I put in 4-5 hours per day.

Prior to voting we held a 2 week discussion, hosted on a separate forum on teleport.com.

Of the 11 candidate, one, anh Ha?i, withdrew due to the time commitment that his other project BPSOS demanded. Had he not withdrawn, he would have been elected to the 1995-96 ExecCom.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

During the Spring of 1995, the first local chapter was formed in the (California) Bay area. The Washington, DC local chapter has just been started.

Three issues of the Newsletter was put out during the past year. The magazine is in the final stages of preparation.

CONCLUSION

Thus, it is with a good sense of satisfaction that I am turning the helm over to anh Hoa`ng Vie^.t Dzu~ng. I believe that the ship of VACETS now has a firm and even keel, and I believe that with the good group of people in ExecCom and Adcom, the ship of VACETS will be able to have a smooth sail through even the stormiest sea!

I am glad to have been given an opportunity to help VACETS establish itself. It has been a lot of hard work, but I have enjoyed very much the camaraderie in Adcom and in VACETS in general.

My only disappointment is that during the past year we have not been able to get more technical projects going. Anh Anson Binh very courageously took on the helm of the dictionary project. I have tried to get more projects going, but somehow between the external and internal issues and then the election, I was not able to get projects started. I hope to be able to devote more time to this subject in the 1995-96 period with my reduced administrative role.

Again, thanks anh Tha?o for inviting me, and thanks to all the members of Adcom who made life in VACETS a lot more bearable!

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1996 Viet-Tech International Conference Report

By Nguyen Van Diem <dvnguyen@vacets.org>- Co-Chair, VTIC '96

July 1-3, 1996

George Mason University, Virginia, U.S.A


    I am pleased to inform you that the VTIC '96 has been a successful event. The VTIC '96 objective was "to highlight the contribution of Vietnamese engineers and scientists to science and technology worldwide", we have delivered a rich program and met this objective.

    The mission of the conference is to offer a forum for Vietnamese professionals to network and meet new friends. We have witnessed many partnership and friendship developed among participants. We are all delighted to achieve this important goal. I would like to thank the members of the conference committee for their contributions in preparing this conference; the quality of the event is directly attributable to their efforts and dedication. Thanks to the diligent efforts of our committee members, I would like to report the following success stories:

    TECHNICAL PROGRAM

    We intended to maintain the same high standards set by other mainstream organizations. We have achieved that with the Technical Program where many excellent presentations with rich technical contents were delivered in two parallel tracks. Some presenters are young aspiring Vietnamese university professors. Experienced session chairs have helped to keep the program as scheduled. Fifty seven papers were submitted to the VTIC'96 committee for acceptance. During the three days of our conference, participants have heard from more than 40 papers presented, as well as keynote, plenary, and panel talks by individuals from throughout the world.

    TUTORIALS AND WORKSHOPS

    This program is very interesting, excellent and benefiting most of us. To name a few:

    "Doing Business in America" was presented by a group of seven Vietnamese CEO/Presidents;

    "Challenges and Opportunities of Scientists and Engineers of Vietnamese Origin: My Personal Experiences" by Dr. Doan Lien Phung, PAI's President & CEO;

    "Science & Technology Development in the Space Program: An Overview" by Dr. Eugene Trinh, the first Vietnamese astronaut with the marvelous slide presentation on NASA space program; and

    "Learning the Ropes in Corporate America" by Ms. Bichlien Hoang, Bellcore Executive Director. She has inspired us with her successful story.



    EXHIBITION

    There are two exhibit halls:

    1. Inventions Exhibit: We are able to collect and display more than 2,500 U.S. patents of worldwide Vietnamese inventors. From this, there are 40 inventors which are holding 10 or more (up to 66) patents each, 245 inventors are holding 3 to 9 patents each and 1000s more inventors are holding 1 to 2 patents each. Many of these inventions have been used to make products (e.g., computer, aircraft, shoe, games, electronic) which are needed as part of our life and for some that we are using them everyday.

    2. Products and Services Exhibit There were 16 booths showcasing many products and services of Vietnamese high-tech companies (e.g., semiconductor, Internet software & services, energy/environmental, information technology, consulting). Companies are from the U.S. (e.g., Florida, Tennessee, California, Maryland), Canada and Japan. These companies are owned by Vietnamese entrepreneurs as well as inventors for some of them. We are grateful to them. They shared information and personal experience with all participants at VTIC '96.

    RECEPTION DINNER AND BANQUET

    We enjoyed the speeches of the Keynote Speakers and excellent meals.

    "The three D's of Vietnamese Professionals" by Professor Nguyen Xuan Vinh, University of Michigan.

    "U.S. Government Roles in Global and National Information Infrastructure" by Dr. Wushow "William" Chou, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Systems, U.S. Treasury Department.

    We also enjoyed the folk-music which performed by the Nguyen-Dinh-Nghia family and traditional dances which organized by Ms. Kim-Oanh.



    FINAL THOUGHT

    Like other participating organizations, we benefit from the shared knowledge and combined experiences that are topics of discussion at the conference. Best of all, we benefit from seeing each other face-to-face and having the opportunity to discuss in person technical issues of mutual, compelling interest.

    We look forward to greater interaction between our participants as we learn to achieve increasingly successful and productive future gatherings.

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Scientific Group Aids Vietnamese Americans


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Scientific Group Aids Vietnamese Americans

By Lan Nguyen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 27 1996; Page V06
The Washington Post

Thao Mong Le often heard negative stories about Vietnamese people, but nothing about their achievements: the first Vietnamese American astronaut to fly in a space shuttle in 1982, for example, or the electronics expert who held more than 70 patents on inventions.

So two years ago, the McLean resident, an IRS computer engineer, established a professional network so Vietnamese American engineers and scientists could exchange ideas, accomplishments and friendship.

His organization, the Vietnamese Association for Computing, Engineering Technology and Science (VACETS), started with 30 members in the Washington area, and it has grown to 850 members worldwide, thanks mainly to the Internet.

"Usually the Vietnamese who do good things, they're very shy and they don't want to let people know, and not many people know," said Le, 38. "And whenever outsiders look into the community, they don't know that much."

To change that, the group is sponsoring its first technical conference starting Monday at George Mason University to highlight Vietnamese achievements in the sciences and to allow Asian and American engineers and scientists to discuss developments in technology. The three-day conference is open to the public.

The group has no monthly meetings, and its discussions are fostered solely on the Internet. Members elect their executive board in cyberspace, and they stay in touch via seven news groups that list job openings, describe educational opportunities and solicit technical help on computer changes.

Other topics in the news groups address many problems Vietnamese American professionals face: developing effective leadership techniques, dealing with uncooperative co-workers and improving decision-making skills.

Science and technology attracted many Vietnamese Americans because high schools in their homeland focused heavily on those two fields, Le said. Among the group's membership is a professor who wrote 10 college textbooks and a scientist who earned seven degrees in math, computer science and nuclear engineering.

"People don't look at us as contributors or inventors," said James T. Lap, VACETS's magazine editor who teaches computer applications at the New York City Technical College. "They consider us as refugees or some kind of second-class" citizens.

Cuong Nguyen, a Catholic University engineering professor, recently joined the group to network with other Vietnamese Americans. "You get to know the people working in the same area . . . and you get to help the community," he said. "I feel like I have an obligation to help my own people."

Before, he said, "there were no other means to meet people aside from going to a conference or meeting a guy and asking him what he does. Something like this is long overdue."

If you're interested in attending the conference, call 703-760-9198 or e-mail to vacets.vtic@vacets.org.

© Copyright 1996 The Washington Post Company

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VACETS Activities Report (July - August, 1996)

By Thao Mong Le <thaomlee@wam.umd.edu>

Dear VACETS Members,

VACETS was established in 1994 as a non-profit, non-political technical organization with the mission of providing a forum for members to exchange ideas and information, and to foster professional friendship. Its goal is to promote community, cooperation, and partnership through various technical activities. To date, VACETS accounts for more than 830 members worldwide.

In this executive report, in addition to our attached annual report, we would like to summarize some of our recent activities.

1. VTIC '96: VACETS successfully organized the first Viet-Tech International Conference (VTIC), July 1-3, 1996, at George Mason University, Virginia, USA. We published VTIC '96 Proceedings with over 40 technical papers (~460 pages). We have been mailing and shipping the Proceedings to universities around the world. If you would like to receive a copy of the VTIC '96 Proceedings, please send a check US $15 to:

VACETS P.O. Box 4168 Mclean, VA 22103-4168

2. ADCOM (1996-1997): VACETS set up a new AdCom for the term of 7/96 - 6/97.

3. BBC, London, UK: Through the VTIC '96 activity, BBC and VACETS have agreed to work together to support the BBC's "Khoa Ho.c & DDo+`i So^'ng" program broadcasted wordlwide to possible millions of audiences every Thursday. So far, BBC interviewed us about VACETS and VTIC '96, and we worked with them twice on this program during last two months. We continue to work with BBC on this program to share our knowledge to our Vietnamese people through a broadcasting service. The Promotion and Public Relation COMMITTEE is in charge of this project.

4. "Trang VACETS" Gia?i DDa'p Khoa Ho.c & Ky~ Thua^.t" project: We have a positive result of this project. Our VACETS Local Chapter at Washington, DC sucessfully work with two local newspapers (HTDVB & Viet-DC) at Washington Metropolitan area (MD, VA, and Washington, DC). We plan to expanse this activity to other locations around the world. The goal of this project is to share our technical knowledge to our Vietnamese community through newspapers.

5. VACETS '96 Tennis Tournament & Picnic: This year, this annual activity is organized by a joint team of AdComm and VACETS Local Chapter at Washington, DC, and is sponsored by Emerson H. Lee, Inc., Pho+? Vie^.t Restaurant, and a number of businesses in Washington, DC area. The 3-Day Tennis Tournament event will be held on August 31, 1996, September 1 & 2, 1996 at Jefferson District Park, Fairfax, VA. The picnic and the tennis tournament awards ceremony will be held on Monday noon (Sept. 2, 1996) at the same park. All VACETS members, non-members, their families' members, and friends are welcomed to attend this social and sport event. All food and drink are free! If you would like to particiapte in this tennis tournament, please contact anh Diem Nguyen <nguyen@joy.gsfc.nasa.gov> or anh Tinh Nguyen <tnguyen@enh.nist.gov>. The last day to register to participate in this tennis tournament is Saturday, August 24, 1996.

6. VACETS Homepage: We have begun to re-construct and update the VACETS homepage. We added "Jobs Services" to this homepage.

7. New forums: Recently, we created various mailing lists for a number of VACETS committees to support their works. If you would like to share information or provide inputs, please use the following e-mail forums:

- vacets-spb@vacets.org: This forum was created to allow VACETS Planning Board to work on its projects, such as reviewing VACETS By-laws, discussing VTIC '97 goals, and developing a tactical and strategic plan for VACETS.

- vacets-pr@vacets.org: This forum was created to allow VACETS Promotion and Public Relation committee to work on its projects, such as BBC, "Trang VACETS: Gia?i DDa'p KH & KT", and TV Technical Shows.

- vacets-ta@vacets.org: This forum was created to allow VACETS Technical Affairs committee to work on its projects, such as reviewing weekly/bi-weekly technical columns, and discussing and preparing electronic newsletters. - vacets-sys@vacets.org: This forum was created to allow VACETS Systems Administration committee to work on its projects, such as updating, and maintaining the VACETS homepage.

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VACETS Activities Report (Sept. - Oct., 1996)

By Thao Mong Le <thaomlee@wam.umd.edu>

Dear VACETS Members,

I am pleased to report our VACETS activities during the period of September 1996 and October 1996.

1. Non-profit Organization Status

We received a letter from IRS, which informed that IRS has determined VACETS is exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (6). It is a good new for VACETS. We would like to thank chi. Dam My-Linh (Janie) (VACETS General Counsel) and anh Hoang Viet-Dung (Past VACETS President) for their time and contribution to this success.

2. VACETS Homepage Update

VACETS Systems Administration Committee did a great job in updating our VACETS homepage. Please visit http://www.vacets.org/. In this update, we also create "Members' Home Pages" page, which: allows you to visit VACETS members' homepage. If you would like to add your homepage to this page, please send your homepage's URL to the VACETS Systems Admin team (vacets-syst@vacets.org). VACETS' URL was registered to a number of engine search companies, such as Yahoo and Switchboard (i.e., you can search "VACETS" using Yahoo's engine search tool now).

3. VACETS Technical Journal, Volume 2, February 1997

Last year, we have succeeded to published VACETS Technical Magazine, Volume 1, February 1996. This time, we plan to publish VACETS Technical Journal, Volume 2, February 1997. You are invited to submit original technical papers for publication in the VACETS Technical Journal, Volume 2, 1997 Issue. Your submission should report on recent and novel research as well as innovative developments and applications in computing, engineering and science fields. Please read "Call for Papers" at our VACETS homepage for further information, or contact Dr. Tien Manh Nguyen, Editor-in-Chief (E-Mail: nguyent@courier8.aero.org) or anh James Lap, Managing Editor: (E-Mail: JTLNY@cunyvm.cuny.edu)

4. VTIC '97

We are pleased to announce the "1997 VACETS Technical International Conference (VTIC '97)". The second VACETS Technical International Conference will be held on July 17 and 18, 1997 at San Jose State University, in San Jose, California. The theme of the conference is: "Key Technologies for the Year 2000". VTIC '97 is co-sponsored with San Jose State University. Dr. Tri Caohuu is the General Chair of the conference. Dr. Tran Thong is the Technical Program Chair. Please visit our VACETS homepage: http://www.vacets.org/ for further information.

5. New AdCom Members

During the last two months, we had three new AdCom members: Prof. Nguyen Vien of MIT, who serves a member of Strategic Planning Board. Dr. Nguyen Van Tuan and Dr. Dang Xuan Liem join AdCom as members of Technical Affairs committee.

6. Public Relation

Our Public Relation committee, under support of a number of Vietnamese newspapers around the world, wrote "Trang VACETS" and "La' Thu+ VACETS" columns. The main purpose of these columns is to help Vietnamese people to understand popular technologies. You can find these articles on "Song Than" (Washington, DC), "Viet DC" (Washington, DC), "Nguoi Viet" (California), "Thoi Nay" (California), and many others ...

7. Technical Columns

Our Technical Affairs committee's members did a great job on the Technical Columns task. We enjoyed reading various interesting articles posted on the VACETS forum (vacets@peak.org), some of these are: "How high can you suck", "Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) - An Analogy", "The UNIX Runtime Environment","National Information Infrastructures in Pacific Asia: a Vision ...", "Largest Known Prime discovered", "Internet over Cable Statistics as a Formal System", "Cubic Planet Earth", "a New Era in Telecommunications in the U.S.", "The Abuse of Statistics", "Where is the 10th Planet", "The Effect of Internet Traffic on the Public Voice Network (Part 1)", and "Statistics Notes #3: On The Average". You can read these articles at our VACETS homepage.

8. VTIC '96 Proceedings

We sent over 60 VTIC '96 Proceedings (460 pages) to many universities, and Research Centers around the word. We continue to do this task. If you can help us to put our VTIC 96 Proceedings to your university's library or your company's library, please let us know. The Table of Contents and Abstracts of VTIC 96 Proceedings are posted on our VACETS homepage. If you would like to receive a copy of VTIC 96 Proceedings, please send your request and a check $US 15 (this includes postage fee) payable to: VACETS. P.O. Box 4168. McLean, VA 22103-4168

FUTURE ACTIVITIES PLAN

. Announce VTIC '97 committee and Call for VTIC '97 Papers.

. Review technical papers submitted for VACETS Technical Journal, Volume 2, 2/97 and prepare for publication of this journal.

. Create a new educational mathematics column to help young family members (e.g., children, sisters/brothers) of VACETS members and friends to learn more about mathematics. . Do a survey to know more desirations of members.

. Continue to work on Technical Columns, "La' Thu+ VACETS" and "Trang VACETS" projects.

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