Opening Remark at VTIC '96

2 July 1996

Viet-Dzung Hoang, Ph.D.

VACETS President (1995-1996)

Let me start by welcoming all of you to Virginia. For several of you, it's a trip halfway around the world, all the way from Japan. We sincerely hope that you find this trip worthwhile and that you will enjoy this conference and the sights of Washington DC area as well. On behalf of the Vietnamese Association for Computing, Engineering Technology, and Science (VACETS), we like to thank you for your support. We like to thank Dr. Alan G. Merten, the new President of George Mason University. I understand you just took office today. So we are very honor of your present, because we all know how hectic the first day at a new job is. We like to thank George Mason University for their generosity to permit us to hold our conference here. We cannot think of a better place to have our very first conference

We like thank Dr. Wuchow Chou, Deputy Assistant Secretary of US Treasury Department for Information Technology who will be our speaker tomorrow evening. We like to thank the many vendors, and the many speakers and presenters. They of course are the keys to the success of this conference. We sincerely hope that VTIC '96 will only be the beginning of a beautiful and growing friendship between us.

VTIC '96 happens because of the dedication of many people. To start with, I like to acknowledge Dr. Tien Manh Nguyen and Mr. Diem Van Nguyen, the two VTIC '96 Co-Chairmen. Despite the long distance, Tien from Passadena, California, and Diem from McLean, Virginia, they manage to put in countless hours to coordinate this difficult activity. When we started plan for this conference last summer, we had no money. As matter of fact, we did not even have a bank account. Their enthusiasm and optimism were contagious, and got all of us so fired up in believing that VTIC '96 will be successful. And it is.

We cannot forget to thank Dr.Nguyen Manh Hung, Associate Professor of Public and International Affairs and Director of the Indochina Center here at George Mason University. He is instrument in getting us this beautiful facility for our conference. He has relentlessly done many PR works for us: television interviews,newspaper advertisements, and so on. He has become a personal advisor to many of us here in the DC area, and to me in particular. The sharing of his experiences in managing an organization is much appreciated. Dr. Ngo-Dinh Thinh and Dr. Tue Nguyen are our Technical Program Co-Chairmen. Just getting people to submit abstracts and papers must be quite a chore. And then coordinating the reviewing process, and scheduling the presentations are not duck soup either. Mr. Hung Vu, our little brother, is the Vendor Exhibitions Chairman. Quyen Systems, PAI, Core Systems, Spider Graphics, NetProductivity, Heat-Pipe Technology, American Technologies, Sigma Design, Mitta Technology Group, and Net Images, thank you. Blame it on Hung, he gave me the list. Anyway if you have any other problems, he is the man to see. Seriously, I still not quite sure how he manage to get 16 exhibition booths sold. Not only these companies lease the booths to display their products, they also were very generous with their sponsorship. Mr. James Lap, our Publication Chairman, is responsible for the publication of the proceedings. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of our technical magazine which allow Vietnamese professionals opportunity to publish their works. He is somewhere in the audience. You may want to talk with him. VTIC '96 happens because of their dedications and of those whom I may have forgotten to mention. I am sure I did. Please accept our thanks, and our sincere appreciation.

VACETS was founded in 1994 in the Washington, DC. The small group of friends who intended for it to be an international professional association that brings together Vietnamese professionals from all technical and scientific fields. Our goal is to form an organization that will share, help, and enhance technical and friendship among its members We all came to VACETS for sharing and enjoying this friendship. 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 was incorporated in 1995 in the state of Virginia. We are currently applying for non-profit organization status with the US Internal Revenues Services. For those who are interested in this sort of thing, we filed our very first tax return this year.

I was told that my speech must be at least 15 minutes. I said, no problem. We will be here all night if I have to acknowledge all the VACETS members who have contributed to the success of VTIC'96. Quite seriously, VACETS is the labor of love of many people. We have so many dedicated members. I cannot name all. But allow me a moment to thank a special person.

On behalf of VACETS, we like to thank Mr. Thao M. Le, our new VACETS President. Can you stand up for a second? My term officially ended yesterday June 30th. But the passing of the torch will not happen until VTIC '96 is over this Wednesday. He must have planned it this way all along: better having me up here doing the work while he is down there enjoying his dinner. Thao is one of the founders of the organization. He is without a doubt in my mind the driving force behind VACETS and VTIC '96. In sort he is Mr. VACETS. Thank you Thao.

Allow me a moment to provide you with a glimpse of VACETS short history. My VACETS journey started in late April of 1994, about a month after VACETS was formed. During a conversation with Dr. Hai Tran, a colleague at the MITRE corporation in Washington DC, I vented my frustration of not having a place to go to for friendship as well as technical information. 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 Thao Le. After talking to him, I turned in my VACETS membership form. I was an easy customer. A few weeks later on 15 May 1994 , Thao, his wife and daughter; Ly Vuong, his wife and daughter; and my son and my daughter and I met at "Pho 75", a restaurant near here in Falls Church for lunch. As it turned out, that was how the very first VACETS management meeting took place. This also becomes our standard of operations: OK what restaurant are we going to this time to have our VACETS meeting?

In the early days, Thao did all the works, and I watched, offering ideas now and then. He was instrument in putting together the first VACETS Administrative Committee, Adcom for short. All the early officers were either invited (drafted) or volunteered (more like armed twisted). To get that many people to join Adcom was a monumental effort by Thao indeed. Thao outlined the organization chart to me that day and "offered" me any of the original 5-member "Board of Directors" position, which later grew and became Administration Committee (AdComm), a suggestion from Dr. Tran Thong, our first VACETS Chairman. This title was changed later to President.

I agreed reluctantly to become the Vice-Chairman of the Technical Affairs Subcommittee, when Thao had assured me that the position was strictly a figure head and required very little time. I am a W.C. Field's fan. Well, you probably remember his most famous line: "There's a sucker born every minute." I was one that day. Thao and I both recognized that neither of us know how to run or organize 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 Dr. Thong. Under his leadership, VACETS has grown to a strong organization. The Bylaws and the Non-Profit Organization Incorporation papers, his legacy, will serve future generation of VACETS well. Over the past two years, VACETS has grown to an organization of over 850 members and associates worldwide. We have come together in fellowship to share our experiences and help each other grow professionally and socially. Some are very successful professionals like Dr. Eugene Trinh, a Vietnamese-American Astronaut. We manage to attract these people because we offer the same ideal and the same goal that they are looking for, and that of helping other Vietnamese professionals.

You will get a chance to hear Dr Eugene Trinh at our Plenary Session tomorrow morning. Dr. Thong will be a special speaker at our dinner tomorrow along with Dr. Wuchow Chou, Deputy Assistant Secretary of US Treasury Department for Information Technology.

Our accomplishments over the past years have been the establishment of over a half dozen open Internet forums on four different hosts. In addition, with their spirit of service to the community heightened, a number of our members have started a number of related social and cultural forums, which are outside of our more technical charter. We have established several local chapters of VACETS in the Australia, Canada, Europe, and United States.

We are currently working on a Vietnamese English dictionary of technical terms. It will be produced in electronic CD-ROM form, and will be available soon. Dr. Binh Anson, our President-Elect, is the leader of this challenging task, that attracts over 100 experts worldwide.

The objectives of VTIC '96 are to present major inventions and contributions of Vietnamese engineers/scientists as well as to promote cooperation and partnership between Vietnamese and Western engineers/scientists. Already starting this afternoon and through tomorrow and Wednesday there will be two parallel tracks that will provide you with a rich selection of seminars, tutorials, and vendor presentations/ demonstrations on key technologies and trends in the areas of computing, engineering and science: from wireless communications to health care products, from multimedia networking to doing business on the Internet.

We already have a workshop this morning on "Doing Business in America" by Dr. Thanh Van Nguyen. Please do not miss the three tutorials on Wednesday on "HDL-Base Design Methodology" by Dr. Tri Caohuu, "How to surf the Internet" by Mr Tin Le, and "How to minimize your business tax" by Mr. Em Huu Le, CPA. We also have an exhibition rooms: one for vendors' products and one for inventions. Both are free to the general public. You will see exhibitions from many Vietnamese companies. Please take some times during these three days to browse through these exhibits. Again we like to welcome you to Virginia. We hope that your stay in our great state will be enjoyable. Thank you!