Le Ba Khanh Trinh - the pride of Vietnam's mathematics

VietNamNet Bridge – The achievement of the Vietnamese team this year reminds us of Le Ba Khanh Trinh, who honored Vietnam by winning aperfect score at the IMO in 1979, plus a special prize for the smartest answer.

A record yet to be broken



Le Ba Khanh Trinh - the pride of Vietnam's mathematics, Vietnam education, Vietnam higher education, Vietnam vocational training, Vietnam students, Vietnam children, Vietnam education reform, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam

Dr. Le Ba Khanh Trinh




Dr. Le Ba Khanh Trinh assisted the Vietnamese team in the 58th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), in which the students brought home four golds, one silver and one bronze.

It was the country’s best results in 43 years of attending the competition.

Around 38 years ago, Trinh, a student of the Quoc hoc Hue high school for the gifted, was also a member of the Vietnamese team competing in IMO in UK. 

He remains the only one who won the special prize in that competition for the smartest way of solving IMO quiz.

His answer was evaluated as “even better than the one from the contest organizing board”.

After 41 IMO seasons, he is still the only Vietnamese contestant to have achieved such high results.

Trinh was straight away admitted to the Faculty of Mathematics, Mechanics and Informatics in the former Soviet Union's most prestigious institution: Lomonosov Moscow State University.

The school was where he successfully completed his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Andrey Alexandrovich Gontrar, vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 

Return to homeland

“As long as there is a departure, there will be a comeback,” Trinh said, explaining his decision not to stay abroad to seek better employment opportunities after graduation.

Returning to his homeland, he became a lecturer at the Faculty of Mathematics in the Ho Chi Minh City National University of Science.

Trinh since then has dedicated his talents and experience to teaching outstanding students in mathematics.

He teaches not only students attending the university but also those from specialised schools. In recent years, he has played the role of supervisor or vice-supervisor and helped select and train members of IMO teams. 

He has also assisted in the training of Saudi Arabia’s IMO team since 2015, accompanying them on the way towards higher achievements in international competitions.

Regardless of job or position, Trinh has always fulfilled his duties and responsibilities with passion and inspiration.

He rarely carries out research, but when he does, they are acclaimed -- for example, his work, “Static and Dynamic Geometry”, written in 2008, is considered a transformative mathematical model.

In the public's eyes, Trinh is a 'mathematics phenomenon'.

In his students' eyes, he is a dedicated teacher, strict yet caring and inspiring.

In his colleagues' eyes, he is a careful, serious but gentle guy who stays calm in any argument.

Multi-hidden talents & views on education

In contrast to the stereotype which defines intellectuals as 'boring nerds', Le Ba Khanh Trinh has been living a vibrant life.

In his house, literature and history books outnumber mathematics books.

"I love reading, especially history books. I am a fan of comics, too." Trinh said.



Le Ba Khanh Trinh - the pride of Vietnam's mathematics, Vietnam education, Vietnam higher education, Vietnam vocational training, Vietnam students, Vietnam children, Vietnam education reform, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam

Trinh (centre), holding the guitar, performed at an arts event when he was a student at Lomonosov Moscow State University. (Photo: vnexpress.net)



Trinh is also a football lover, and at the same time, a capable table-tennis player. 

As a student at Hue high school for the gifted, he was an active arts performer, who often appeared on the stage with his guitar, dedicating to the audience melodious pieces of classical music.

When studying at Lomonosov University, Trinh was the leader of the arts troupe of Vietnamese students in his faculty, who seldom failed to convince friends to take part in extra-curricular activities.

He was also a skilled dancer and electronic keyboard player for the troupe. 

His team won first prize in the university’s singing contest for three years in a row (1986, 1987, 1988), and he even represented the university in the city-level competition.

Now, the maths teacher is still in love with music. He likes to play the piano in his free time, and sometimes dedicates his performance to friends at their gatherings.

In 2013, the leaders of IMO teams worldwide were taken by surprise by his candid dance performance.

Likewise, at the Mathematics Meeting 2016, on being forced to perform, he played the guitar and sang enthusiastically and professionally.

As a person whose hobbies are wide-ranging, Trinh places emphasis on holistic education.

According to him, contests for outstanding students are necessary, for all subjects, at all levels, in order to shortlist talents for the country. However, general education should not be underestimated.

To Trinh, competition should be taken as a game for students to enjoy. “Many countries which top the list of performers in mathematics do not take IMO too seriously,” he said.

He has also stressed the role of the teachers in triggering students’ interests and creativity in learning maths.

VNF/VNN

Le Ba Khanh Trinh - the pride of Vietnam's mathematics, Vietnam education, Vietnam higher education, Vietnam vocational training, Vietnam students, Vietnam children, Vietnam education reform, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam
 
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