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Operational Research is taught within a few undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Vietnam.  In 2021, undergraduate-level courses are only in the south of the country, taught as part of Industrial Engineering at the International University of Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City, and also at the Ho Chi Minh University of Technology & Education.  Graduate-level courses are taught as part of the MSc Data Science programme at the Vietnam National University’s University of Science in Hanoi, and as part of the MSc Industrial & Systems Engineering programme at the International University of Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City.  At PhD level, OR is integrated into computer science and/or mathematics programmes.  There is an additional course on optimisation which is taught at most IT faculties and within environmental science programmes.

Vietnam has a community of approximately 100 researchers working on ‘pure optimisation’ including graph theory, continuous optimisation, global optimisation etc.  Some of these researchers can be found in OR Lab and in the Vietnam Mathematical Society.  Academics such as Professor Hoàng Tụy have gained international acclaim for their work in optimisation.  Additionally, around 30 researchers are working on applied OR.  They work on specific application problems such as logistics and scheduling (e.g. optimisation of the waste collection network); modelling the transportation of pollutants in the environment (air, water, soil); and the use of clustering and geostatistics to optimise environmental monitoring networks.  Most of these are young researchers who have gained PhD degrees abroad.  However, approximately half of those who return to Vietnam from studying OR abroad, do not engage in further research.

Meanwhile, the demand for optimisation solutions among Vietnamese enterprises continues to grow rapidly.  OR researchers at Vietnamese universities have been funded by major companies such as Viettel, Vietnam Airlines, FTP, VinGroup and others.

The use of OR to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Vietnam has included: the use of a niche model to forecast the potential distribution of fauna and flora under climate change scenarios; application of dynamic models for natural resource management; forest inventory and planning; and environmental planning.  Further information can be found on the website of Vietnam National University’s Faculty of Mathematics.

Presentations from Vietnam at Project Scoping Workshop, 15 July 2021

  1. Problems related to COVID-19 and Mathematical Models, by Dr Le Chi Ngoc
  2. Machine Learning in Hazards, by Dr Bui Quang Thanh, Dr Nguyen Quoc Huy and Dr Vu Van Manh.