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 and free for all. 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!


Mathematical Optimization for Machine Learning and Decision

Speaker: YINYU YE, K.T. Li Professor of Engineering, Department of Management Science and Engineering and Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, Stanford University

Wednesday, August 17, 2022 | 4.30 – 5.30 pm (Hanoi time)
C202 | Zoom Meeting

Abstract: We present a few recent mathematical optimization case studies driven by Machine Learning applications. We show how newly developed (convex) optimization models and numerical algorithms can be effectively used to achieve solution efficiency and near optimality in many fields. They include Wireless Ad-Hoc Sensor Network localization and tracking, Energy Management System and Optimal PEV Charging/Discharging, Dynamic Unit-Commitment algorithms to balance demand and supply in large Power-Grids,  an efficient Divide-and-Conquer algorithm for vehicle assignment and routing.

Bio: Yinyu Ye is currently the K.T. Li Professor of Engineering at Department of Management Science and Engineering and Institute of Computational and Mathematical Engineering, Stanford University. He received the B.S. degree in System Engineering from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering-Economic Systems and Operations Research from Stanford University. His current research interests include Continuous and Discrete Optimization, Data Science and Application, Algorithm Design and Analysis, Computational Game/Market Equilibrium, Metric Distance Geometry, Dynamic Resource Allocation, and Stochastic and Robust Decision Making, etc. He is an INFORMS (The Institute for Operations Research and The Management Science) Fellow since 2012, and has received several academic awards including: the inaugural 2006 Farkas Prize on Optimization, the 2009 IBM Faculty Award, the 2009 John von Neumann Theory Prize for fundamental sustained contributions to theory in Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the inaugural 2012 ISMP Tseng Lectureship Prize for outstanding contribution to continuous optimization (every three years), the winner of the 2014 SIAM Optimization Prize awarded (every three years), the 2015 SPS Signal Processing Magazine Best Paper Award, etc.. He has supervised numerous doctoral students at Stanford who received various prizes such as INFORMS Nicholson Prize, Student Paper Competition, the INFORMS Computing Society Prize, the INFORMS Optimization Prize for Young Researchers. According to Google Scholar, his publications have been cited 50,000 times.

A New Generation of Targeted Therapies for Cancer, Autoimmune, and Infectious Diseases

Speaker: Dr. Philip S. Low, Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery & Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry – Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University

Monday, May 30, 2022 | 4.30 – 5.30 pm (Hanoi time)
Ball-Room G104 | Zoom Meeting

Abstract: We are exploring the use of high affinity targeting ligands to deliver attached drugs specifically into diseased cells, thereby simultaneously improving their potencies and reducing their off-target toxicities. For this purpose, we have designed targeting ligands for many human cancers, viruses and virus-infected cells, bone fracture surfaces, inflammatory macrophages, regulatory T cells, cancer associated fibroblasts, myeloid derived suppressor cells, antigen presenting cells, and tumor associated fibroblasts among others. Our tumor-targeted fluorescent dyes (one FDA-approved, two in clinical trials) are beginning to revolutionize cancer surgeries by enabling surgeons to find far more malignant lesions than previously possible. Our PSMA-targeted DOTA conjugate (177Lu-PSMA-617; phase 3 completed; awarded Breakthrough Status) has generated more than 40% response rates in refractory metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, offering hope for patients with previously untreatable tumors. Our tumor associated macrophage-targeted TLR7 agonists and regulatory T cell targeted immune stimulants enable the suppression of growth of nearly all solid tumors, and our universal CAR T cell therapies (clinical trials in 2022) have repeatedly shown an ability to eradicate solid tumors in animals. Our recently launched bone fracture-targeted anabolic agents (clinical trials in 2022) are reducing fracture healing times in animals by more than 60% while generating repaired bone that is stronger than healthy bone, and our fibroblast activation protein-targeted PI3K inhibitor (preclinical) is halting fibrosis in animal models of fibrotic diseases. Our influenza-targeted immunotherapy is 80X more potent than Tamiflu, and similar targeted immunotherapies for other viral diseases are undergoing development. Finally, our therapy for malaria (phase 3 clinical trials in SE Asia) is eliminating parasitemia in all patients in <3 days, and our nontoxic treatment for sickle cell disease (phase 1 clinical trials) shows promise for alleviating the causes of SCD. In my seminar, I will briefly summarize the structures, biological activities, preclinical data and clinical results (where available) for each of these therapies.

Bio: Dr. Philip S. Low is the Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University.  Dr. Low has spent over 35 years designing targeted imaging and therapeutic agents for the diagnosis and treatment of many human diseases. Included among the diseases for which he has developed therapies are malaria, multiple cancers, sickle cell disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, bone fractures, rheumatoid arthritis, and several virus infections. Seven drugs from Low’s research are currently undergoing human clinical trials, one of which (Cytalux) was approved by the FDA in November 2021 and a second (Pluvicto; Lu-PSMA-617) received “Breakthrough Therapy Status” from the FDA and was approved in March 2022.  To accelerate development of his drugs, Low has founded seven successful companies (Endocyte Inc., OnTarget Laboratories Inc., Umoja Biopharma, Morphimmune Inc., Novosteo Inc., Eradivir Inc. and ErythroCure Inc.). Low has published over 550 scientific articles (H-index of 115) and has over 200 US patents/patents pending. Low has also been recognized with many national and international awards, including the AACR Award for Chemistry in Cancer Research, the ACS Award for Cancer Research (Sosnovsky Award), an NIH MERIT Award and the ACS Award (Esselen Award) for Chemistry in the Public Interest among others. In his spare time, Low likes skiing, hiking, golfing and playing with his grandkids. Dr. Low received his B.S. in Chemistry from BYU (1971) and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UCSD (1975).

Organic Solar Cells and the Future Energy Challenge

Speaker: Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry; Director, Center for Polymers and Organic Solids; University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Friday, April 22, 2022, 8 am- 9 am | Zoom Meeting

Abstract: The development of alternative energy sources is now recognized by government, society and the global community as an urgent need. Solution-processed organic solar cells potentially offer low cost, large area, flexible, and light-weight alternative energy sources for indoor and outdoor applications. These devices are based on organic semiconductors, a class of carbon-based materials that can be synthesized to have band gaps from the UV to the near infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Organic semiconductors are attractive due to their unique properties: light weight, mechanical flexibility, low cost, low-temperature processing, and simple fabrication methods from solution such as roll-to-roll coating, spray coating or ink-jet printing into desired size and shape. Such materials are expected to form the basis of new technologies — called the Organic Electronics. OSCs have been implement in commercial products such as displays and lightings and have potential applications in transistors, solar cells, photodetectors, thermoelectrics, ratchets, sensors, neuromorphic computing, and bioelectronics. In this talk, I will discuss the future energy challenge, the development of organic solar cells, and their potential applications in building integration and greenhouses.

Bio: Thuc-Quyen Nguyen is the Director of the Center for Polymers and Organic Solids (CPOS) and professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Professor Nguyen received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. From 2001-2004, she was a research associate in the Department of Chemistry and the Nanocenter at Columbia University working with Professors Louis Brus and Colin Nuckolls on molecular self-assembly, nanoscale characterization and devices. She also spent time at IBM Research Center at T. J. Watson (Yorktown Heights, NY) working with Richard Martel and Phaedon Avouris on molecular electronics. She joined the faculty of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at UCSB in July 2004. She is co-authored 278 publications and 3 book chapters that received over 32,000 citations and gave over 290 plenary/keynote/invited talks at national and international conferences, universities, and companies. Recognition for her research includes the 2005 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, the 2006 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the 2007 Harold Plous Award, the 2008 Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award, the 2009 Alfred Sloan Research Fellows, the 2010 National Science Foundation American Competitiveness and Innovation Fellows, the 2015 Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award, the 2016 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the 2019 Hall of Fame – Advanced Materials, the 2019 Beaufort Visiting Scholar, St John’s College, Cambridge University, the 2015-2019 World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds; Top 1% Highly Cited Researchers in Materials Science by Thomson Reuters and Clarivate Analytics, the 2019 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Stanford University’s 2020 list of the World Top 2% Highly Cited Scientists, the 2020 UCSB Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor Award, and the 2021 Women in Materials Science by Advanced Materials. Her current research interests are doping in organic semiconductors, charge transport in organic semiconductors, bioelectronics, and device physics of organic solar cells, ratchets, transistors, and photodetectors.

Global Cancer Research: Opportunities and Challenges 

Speaker: Xiao-Ou Shu, M.D., MPH, Ph.D. Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, Professor of Medicine
Associate Director for Global Health, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Co-Leader, Cancer Epidemiology Program, VICC

Thursday, March 24, 2022, 8 pm- 9 pm | Zoom Meeting

Abstract: Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, claimed 10 million lives in 2020. Cancer incidence and mortality vary greatly geographically and across populations, owing largely to differences in environmental exposures, lifestyle and access of quality health care, and to less extent, genetic make-up. Low-and-middle-income countries shoulder most of the cancer burden. In 2020, approximately 70% of the cancer death occurred in low-and-middle-income countries.  By capitalizing on the differences in cancer spectra, genetic structure as well as unique pattens of lifestyles and environmental exposures in different populations, international studies provide exceptional opportunities to improve the understanding of cancer etiology and progression. This talk will introduce how global cancer research has facilitated scientific discovery, contributed to reduction of the cancer disparity.

Bio: Dr. Xiao-Ou Shu is an Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, co-leader for the Cancer Epidemiology Program, and Associate Director for Global Health at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. She has been consistently funded by US National Institute of Health since 1996, serving as the principal investigator for more than 23 major research grants and 3 training grants. Dr. Shu has over 35 years of experience in conducting large-scale epidemiological studies on cancer and other chronic diseases. She is the PI of the Shanghai Men’s Health Study (SMHS) and a leading investigator of the Shanghai Women’s Health Study (SWHS), two cohorts that contribute over 130,000 participants to the Asia Cohort Consortium (ACC). She is a founding member of several large epidemiologic consortia, including the After Breast Cancer Pooling Project (ABCPP; N=18,000), the Asian Genetic Epidemiology Network for Obesity-Related Traits (AGEN-Obesity; N=134,500) and the Calcium and Lung Cancer Pooling Project (N=1,900,000), for which she is the lead investigator. Dr. Shu has more than 1000 publications in peer-reviewed life science journals, with a H-index of 134. She was recognized by Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics as a “Highly Cited Researcher” in 2015, 2016 and 2018. Her research has contributed immeasurably to our understanding of genetic, lifestyle and clinical determinants of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer risk and prognosis, and her research findings have lead change of national recommendations.


Innovations for Business Transformation in Developing Economies

Speaker: Hau L. Lee, Ph.D., Professor of Operations, Information and Technology, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University; Academic Advisory Board Member, VinUniversity

Saturday, January 15, 2022, 10 am Hanoi time | Zoom Meeting


Abstract: Business development in developing economies usually face significant challenges due to resource, infrastructure and market constraints.  To overcome such challenges, innovations in multiple dimensions – product, process, business model, and leveraging the ecosystem of partners – are necessary.  In this talk, I will describe the key elements of such innovations, with examples drawn from Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, to show how tremendous values can be created.

Bio: Hau L. Lee is the Thoma Professor of Operations, Information and Technology at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.  He was the founding faculty director of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED), and is the current Co-Director of the Stanford Value Chain Innovations Initiative.

Professor Lee’s expertise is on global supply chain management and value chain innovations.  He is also interested in how innovating with the value chain can bring forth economic and welfare development in developing economies.  He has published widely in top journals on supply chain management.  He was inducted to the US National Academy of Engineering, and elected a Fellow of MSOM, POMS; and INFORMS.

In 2006-7, he was the President of the Production and Operations Management Society.  His article, “The Triple-A Supply Chain,” was the Second Place Winner of the McKinsey Award for the Best Paper in 2004 in the Harvard Business Review.  In 2004, his co-authored paper in 1997, “Information Distortion in a Supply Chain: The Bullwhip Effect,” was voted as one of the ten most influential papers in the history of Management Science.  His co-authored paper, “The Impact of Logistics Performance on Trade,” won the Wickham Skinner Best Paper Award by the Production and Operations Management Society in 2014. In 2003, he received the Harold Lardner Prize for International Distinction in Operations Research, Canadian Operations Research Society.

Besides extensive consulting, he co-founded DemandTec, a price-optimization company that went public in NASDAQ in 2007.  He was the founding chairman of SCM World, which was acquired by Gartner in 2016.  He is currently an independent non-executive director of Synnex and the Lion Rock Group.

In 2011, Lee led SEED upon the receipt of $150 million from Mr. and Mrs. Robert King to the Graduate School of Business.  SEED’s goal is to use entrepreneurships and innovations to support poverty alleviation.  Lee led the team to set up the first SEED Innovation Hub in Ghana, and worked with hundreds of small enterprises in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Cort d’lvoire, to scale up their businesses and increase local employment.  SEED research grants also allowed Lee to supervise students conduct value chain innovation research on sheep ranching in Patagonia, Argentina.  Between 2009-2014, Lee received a research grant of $2.3 million from the Gates Foundation to conduct research on supply chain performance evaluation based on innovations using Riders for Health’s fleet management in Zambia.

Professor Lee had degrees from the University of Hong Kong, the London School of Economics, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and the University of Macau.

Understanding what it means to understand something: Implications for Human and Machine Learning

Speaker: Sanjay Sarma, Ph.D., Vice-President for Open Learning, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Wednesday, December 22, 2021, 8 pm Hanoi time | Zoom Meeting


Abstract: Do you know what it means to truly learn something? You probably do, but it’s probably hard to describe that aha feeling. Precisely how we learn is not fully understood. We explore this question and also examine the difference between implicit learning and explicit learning. Implicit learning happens intuitively, almost unconsciously. Explicit learning is that which can be codified, and transmitted through a curriculum. Most education and educational reform today focuses on explicit learning — books, instructions, formulas, and tests. But true mastery is implicit. We will explore these concepts, and then ask the question about machine learning. Today, supervised machine learning is based on labeled datasets. This is explicit training of the machine. We will explore whether machine learning can be used for implicit learning.

Bio: Sanjay Sarma is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and Vice President for Open Learning at the Institute. He overseas OpenCourseWare, MITx, MicroMasters, the new MIT Integrated Learning Initiative and the Jameel World Education Lab at MIT. As a researcher, he co-founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT and developed many of the key technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide. He was also the founder and CTO of OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) in 2008. Between 2010 and 2012, Sarma led MIT’s team to establish the Singapore University of Technology and Design. He serves on the boards of Hochschild Mining (LON: HOC), GS1US, EPCglobal and several startup companies. Dr. Sarma received his Bachelors from the Indian Institute of Technology, his Masters from Carnegie Mellon University and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He has previously worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK, at Lawrence Berkeley Labs and at OATSystems. His current research interests are in Internet of Things, street scanning, sensing, RFID, autonomy, cybersecurity, logistics, manufacturing and education. He is the Author of 3 books including The Inversion Factor, Grasp, and Workforce Education. Learn more about the speaker at

Advancing the Frontiers of Academic Research and Innovation for Global Impact 

Speaker: Susan Martinis, Ph.D.

Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Member of the VinUniversity Academic Advisory Board

Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 8 pm Hanoi time | Zoom Meeting


Abstract: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of America’s leading research institutions, and our ecosystem for innovation and discovery is unique in origin, scope and scale. Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Susan Martinis will discuss how a university, founded 150 years ago to teach agriculture and science, became an engineering powerhouse, the nation’s leader in National Science Foundation (NSF) funding, and an acknowledged leader in interdisciplinary and convergent research that spans the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Energy (DOE), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of Defense (DOD). She will highlight how the university’s research enterprise pivots to new opportunities and challenges, including tackling COVID-19, and showcase some of the ways that the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation helps researchers respond to emerging issues for global impact. And she will look to a bright future where industry, academia, and communities partner in unique ways to support economic development and quality of life for people around the world.

Bio: Susan Martinis is Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she provides leadership for the campus-wide interdisciplinary research institutes, promotes new research initiatives, and oversees the administrative and business processes that ensure the safe, ethical, and productive conduct of research at Illinois.

Dr. Martinis, the Stephen G. Sligar Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Professor of Biochemistry, studies the mechanisms, evolution, and biomedical applications of protein synthesis and RNA-protein interactions. She is a successful researcher, engaged in entrepreneurial activities and corporate partnerships; a committed educator; and an experienced administrator.

The (Un)known-(Un)knowns of COVID-19 Transmission – An Engineer’s Perspective

Speaker: Rajat Mittal, Ph.D.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. Member of the VinUniversity Academic Advisory Board.

Wednesday, Sept 15, 2021, 8 pm Hanoi time

Abstract: COVID-19 spread across the world with a speed and intensity that laid bare the limits in our understanding of the transmission pathways of such respiratory diseases. After much confusion and misinformation, there emerged a consensus that airborne transmission from very small respiratory droplets is the most important route for the spread of COVID-19. Each stage in this transmission pathway is mediated by complex flow phenomena, ranging from air-mucous interaction inside the respiratory tract, turbulence in the exhaled jet/ambient flow, to inhalation and deposition of these aerosols in the lungs. Given the emergence of the Delta-variant and the resurgence of infections in many communities, the importance of communicating infection risk across scientific disciplines, as well as to policy/decision makers, is more important than ever. Inspired by the Drake Equation that provides a framework to estimate the seemingly inestimable probability of advanced extraterrestrial life, we propose a relatively simple model for estimating the risk of airborne transmission of a respiratory infection such as COVID-19. The model incorporates simple ideas from fluid dynamics with known factors involved in airborne transmission and is designed to serve not only as a common basis for scientific inquiry across disciplinary boundaries, but also be understandable by a broad audience outside science and academia.

Bio: Rajat Mittal is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) with a secondary appointment in the School of Medicine. He received the B. Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur in 1989, and the Ph.D. degree in Applied Mechanics from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in 1995. His research interests include fluid mechanics, computing, biomedical engineering, biofluids and flow control. He is the recipient of the 1996 Francois Frenkiel Award from the Division of Fluid Dynamics of the American Physical Society, and the 2006 Lewis Moody, and the 2021 Freeman Scholar awards from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Physical Society, and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is associate editor of the Journal of Computational Physics, Frontiers of Computational Physiology and Medicine, and the Journal of Experimental Biology, and on the editorial boards of the International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering, and Fluids (an MDPI journal).

April 14, 2021, 5:00 – 6:00PM


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.