Selection of the 2019 Ta Quang Buu Prize: Difficult decision of the Prize Committee

Speaking on the quality of the nominations for the 2019 Ta Quang Buu Prize at the prize selection meeting held in the morning of April 14th 2019, Prof. Ngo Viet Trung – Chairman of the Prize Committee said, “By looking at this year applications’ quality in comparison with previous years, this year will probably be a difficult year for selecting because all candidates have done excellence scientific works”.

Scientists joined the 2019 Ta Quang Buu Prize Committee, in which Prof. Dam Thanh Son joined online meeting from the US.

The 2019 Ta Quang Buu Prize selection meeting took place with the participants were the Prize organization committee members: Prof. Pierre Dariulat, Prof. Nguyen Duc Chien, Prof. Dam Thanh Son (Physics), Prof. Ngo Viet Trung (Mathematics), Prof.  Ho Tu Bao (Computer science), Prof. Phan Van Tan (Earth sciences), Prof. Le Thanh Hoa (Agricultural science), Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Linh Toan (Pharmacy and Medical) and Assoc. Prof.  Nguyen Quoc Hung (Mechanics).

At the 6th year, the Ta Quang Buu Prize has attracted increasing attention of Vietnamese scientists. It was reflected in the number of nominations and self – nominations. In total 45 applications have recieved, there were 11 applications are nominated by organizations and 34 applications are self – nominated. Thanks to the evaluation of 8 Scientific specialized committees from NAFOSTED, there were 8 applications proposed to the final list. They were in the fields of Mathematics, Physics, Earth and Environment sciences, Mechanics, Engineerings and Technology sciences; Life science – Pharmacy and medical. According to the report of Dr. Do Tien Dung, executive director of the NAFOSTED – the Standing office of the Prize, as in final selecting period, 7/8 applications had more than two international peer reviewers, the last one had one international peer reviewer.

Looking back on the six – year process of organizing and selecting Ta Quang Buu Prize, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Cong Tac evaluated the quality of the prize-winning scientific works as well as the nominated ones: “I have consulted of some scientists working abroad, in recent years, the quality of scientific works get improved. This is very good information. Moreover, nowadays, Vietnam has many awards and prizes but The Ta Quang Buu Prize still has got a certain position in the domestic scientific community as well as the Vietnamese scientific community working abroad”. Emphasizing on the quality of the Prize, he expressed “The Prize continues expanding through year by year and the Prize’s prestige depends largely on the quality of applicants, as well as the rigor in the evaluation and selection process has done by members of organization committee”

The process of selecting outstanding candidates based on serious assessments is the most important factor for the Prize organization committee. Prof. Ngo Viet Trung said that “Each member of the Prize organization committee who is the representative of each sector shall present a candidate of his own sector to the Prize organization committee for discussion and assessment. From there, the entire Prize organization committee will discuss to compare and evaluate all candidates. Base on that, the Prize organization committee shall proceed to the selection by secret ballot”. With an overview, he said, ” If you look at this year applications’ quality in comparison with previous years, this year will probably be a difficult year for selecting because all candidates have done excellence scientific works which were published in top list of prestigious international journal. I hope the worthiest scientific works will be selected”.

Just like every year, the selection criteria for this year’s Ta Quang Buu Prize still focus on the basic elements: It must be an excellent scientific works, conducted in Vietnam and published in prestigious international journal. The nominated author must be the most important contributor to that scientific work, and that scientific work requires at least two thirds of the Prize organization committee’s approval votes to be selected.

The 2019 Ta Quang Buu Prize Ceremony is expected to be held on the 60th anniversary of Vietnam Science and Technology Day.

List of nominees for Main Prize : Le Quy Thuong (Hanoi University of Science, VNU), “Proofs of the integral identity conjecture over algebraically closed fields”, Duke Mathematical Journal  (mathematics); Nguyen Quang Hung (Research Institute for Basic and Applied Sciences – Duy Tan University) “Simultaneous microscopic description of nuclear level density and radiative strength function”, Physical Review Letters (Physics); Dr. Le Trong Lu (Institute of Tropical Technology – Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology) “Synthesis of magnetic cobalt ferrite nanoparticles with controlled morphology, monodispersity and composition: the influence of solvent, surfactant, reductant and synthetic condition”, Nanoscale  (Physics) ; Assoc.Prof.Dr. Bui Xuan Thanh (Ho Chi Minh University of Technology) – ‘Wastewater treatment and biomass growth of eight plants for shallow bed wetland roofs”, Bioresource Technology  (Earth and Environment Science); Assoc.Prof.Dr. Pham Duc Chinh (Institute of Mechanics – Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology) “Consistent limited kinematic hardening plasticity theory and path-independent shake-down theorems” , International Journal of Mechanical Sciences  (Mechanics);  Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Le Khanh Hang (Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology ) Viruses at the Animal–Human Interface in Vietnam, 2003–2010”. The Journal of Infectious Diseases (Life sciences- Pharmacy and Medical).

List of nominees for Young Scientist Prize: Dr. Do Hoang Son (Institute of Mathematics – Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology) “Degenerate complex Monge–Ampère flows on strictly pseudoconvex domains”, Mathematische Zeitschrift (Mathematics); Dr. Nghiem Thi Minh Hoa (Phenikaa Institute of Advanced Studies – University of Phenikaa) “Time Evolution of the Kondo Resonance in Response to a Quench”, Physical Review Letters  (Physics).