VinUniversity Distinguished Lecture Series

VinUniversity is pleased to present a series of talks by well-known researchers and academics from leading universities. These senior faculty have had significant influence in the advancement of their discipline, and their vision and achievements in research, teaching and their engagement with industry have been deeply influential in setting the research agenda in their fields.

The seminars are open to all members of the VinUni community, and to community members. Attendance is free of charge and pre-registration is required. While some of the talks will go into some technical details, no special technical or business knowledge is needed to appreciate them!

We hope you can join us to listen, be intrigued and inspired!

How to attend:

  • The lectures will be held in the VinUniversity Ballroom-Room G104. Members of the VinUniversity community (students, faculty and staff) are invited to attend the lectures in person.
  • A Zoom link to the lectures will be sent to registered users only, at the email address they used for registration. All non-VinUni participants are invited to join the lectures on Zoom using that link.

Click here to watch the videos of all past lectures.

2021 Distinguished Lecture Series


April 14, 2021, 5:00 – 6:00PM

Riding Data Waves: From Ripples to Tsunamis – Professor Brenda Lynn Dietrich

Brenda Lynn Dietrich

Arthur and Helen Geoffrion Professor of Practice in the School of Operations Research. Member of Board of Trustees for the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics. Member, Governing council of the NAE,
Member of the National Research Council Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy

Previously, in her 33 years of distinguished career at IBM, Dr. Dietrich served in many leadership roles, including:

– Head of the Mathematical Sciences function in the IBM Research division.
– IBM Fellow in 2007, and Vice President in 2008
– Chief Technology Officer and Strategist for IBM’s Business Analytics group.

Riding Data Waves: From Ripples to Tsunamis

The 2010s were arguably been the decade of data, with “big data“ becoming bigger, data-driven decision making becoming a corporate imperative, data analytics becoming the hot new degree, data being called a natural resource, and data scientist being awarded the dubious title of “sexiest job of the 21st century.” In many ways, the focus on data was just the next logical and inevitable stage in the evolution of information technology; it required the previous stages and it will provide the foundation for future evolution. In this talk, a quick history of the past six decades of IT will be reviewed with a focus on the digitization of data and the creation of new data by-products. A brief detour will be a discussion of technology projections made in 1995, including what happened, what happened much later than projected, what was projected that didn’t happen, and what happened that was largely unforeseen. The talk will resume with examples of current and emerging use and creation of data and will conclude with a view of future possibilities for the current decade, technical and non-technical issues that may accelerate or delay the possibilities, and some musings on methods to defend first-principals driven methods from displacement by purely data-driven approaches.


January 27, 2021, 5:00 – 6:00PM


Glen Gaulton

Vice Dean and Director of Global Health
Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Director, Center for Global Health 
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Member, Academic Advisory Board, VinUniversity
See the detailed biography here.

The Critical Role of Biomedical Research in Driving Innovations that Improve Health Outcomes

Dr. Gaulton’s talk will focus on the importance of the junction between university-based scholarship and patient clinical care in driving innovations that improve health outcomes.  Using real-world examples, he will illustrate how these measures bridge research across the university and unite faculty, staff and trainees in a common higher purpose for the public good.

Dr. Gaulton is Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, and is Vice Dean and Director of the Center for Global Health. He is also Project Director of the VinUni-Penn Alliance. His research spans virology and immunology, and he has held multiple local/national leadership positions over a 35+ year career.

2020 Distinguished Lecture Series

November 25, 2020

Prof. Mark Campbell

John A. Mellowes ’60 Professor in Mechanical Engineering

Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

See the detailed biography at Cornell Engineering faculty’s page 



Autonomous, self-driving cars have the potential to impact society in many ways, including taxi/bus service; shipping and delivery; and commuting to/from work. This talk will give an overview of the history, technological work to date and challenges, and potential future impact of self-driving cars. A key challenge is the ability to perceive the environment from the cars sensors, i.e. how can a car convert pixels from a camera, to knowledge of a scene with cars, cyclist, and pedestrians. This perceived information is typically uncertain, constantly being updated, yet must also be used for important decisions by the car, ranging from a simple change to lanes, or stopping and queuing at a traffic light. Videos, examples, and insights will be given of Cornell’s autonomous car, as well as key performers such as Google/Waymo and car companies. We can then hypothesize together of how our future will look as this amazing technology continues to unfold!

December 9, 2020

Changes in Most Essential Lifeline: The Food Supply Chain

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted, many times over, the complex and vital role that the food supply chain plays in meeting the basic needs of consumers around the world.  Changes in consumer buying patterns, food production, distribution bottlenecks and new governmental restrictions have added immeasurably to the challenges of bringing food to households.  This seminar will discuss the functioning of the global food system and the disruptions that have beset it as a result of the pandemic.  Various outcomes for the future of the food supply chain, food companies and consumers will be explored.

December 12, 2020 – January, 2021


Joseph Halpern
Professor of Computer Science
Joseph C. Ford Professor of Engineering
Cornell College of Engineering
Professor of Mathematics
Cornell College of Arts and Science
See the detailed biography at Cornell Business faculty’s page.

VinUniversity and CECS are pleased to announce a lecture series by Professsor Joseph Halpern from Cornell University who is an expert on the logic behind the math of everyday events.

This 3-part lecture series includes some fascinating insights on game theory, the uncertainty that rules our daily life and to which extent common knowledge affects our decisions. The talks are appropriate for a general audience since it does not require knowledge in mathematics. Thus, whether a high school or university student, or a distinguished professor, everyone will learn something new. The only thing you need to bring with you is your curiosity. Part of the talk is interactive, so you will have the chance to actively participate, in an effort to give answers to fundamental philosophical and practical questions.

  1. Knowledge and common knowledge in multi-agent systems

Time: 9:00AM, December 12, 2020

  1. Using Multi-Agent Systems to Represent Uncertainty

Time: 8:00PM, December 18, 2020

  1. Actual Causality: A Survey

Time:  January 2021 (exact date TBD)

December 16, 2020

Integrating Teaching, Research, and Industry Relations for Synergy and Relevance 

The aim of this talk is to develop the ideas that teaching, research and industry relations are complementary.  By industry relations, I mean interacting with industry, selecting research problems of interest to industry, and writing for the industry audience. I will use two personal examples of the linkage between the three areas. The first example, in the domain of workforce scheduling, developed from my dissertation and main research agenda pre-tenure.  That lead to a complex scheduling black-box program I created for a large hospitality company, a primer series of four industry-oriented reports, and to material that I still use in class.  The second example, restaurant operations optimization, was driven by an Excel®-based simulation model I created for an undergraduate class.  The evolved into a research tool which lead to 13 academic papers and 9 industry-focused reports and tools.  I will show a short demo of the current version of the teaching simulator, which continues to evolve as students use it in class.