Vietnamese professor awarded 2020 Sloan Research Fellowship

by NDO16 February 2020 Last updated at 16:26 PM

Professor Vu Ngoc Tam, the only Vietnamese to be honoured with a 2020 Sloan Research Fellowship.
Professor Vu Ngoc Tam, the only Vietnamese to be honoured with a 2020 Sloan Research Fellowship.

VTV.vn - Vu Ngoc Tam, a young Vietnamese professor working at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, USA, has been honoured as a 2020 Sloan Research Fellowship recipient.

Awarded annually since 1955, the prestigious 2020 Sloan Research Fellowships were granted to 126 outstanding young researchers working in the US and Canada, in recognition of their distinguished performance and unique potential to make substantial contributions in eight scientific and technical fields, including chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics.

The 1983-born Vietnamese professor was honoured for computer science within the list of 126 winners announced by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation on February 12.

As the founder and CEO of the Earable Inc., Tam’s honour to be granted the 2020 Sloan Research Fellowships in recognition of his scientific research in wearable and wireless technology, focusing on the invention of devices that help aid and improve the quality of human health and life.

He has invented and is developing a type of wireless smart earphone called Earable, which collects, tracks and analyses brainwave signals, eye and facial muscle movement and a wide range of other biological signals.

In the very near future, this device will be able to help doctors monitor and analyse the quality of sleep, thereby providing the necessary treatment regimens for some sleep disorders and improving reduced concentration. Earable is also expected to reach individual customers with sleep problems, with an estimate of 26 million in the US alone and 2.1 billion worldwide.

The smart earphone Earable by Prof. Vu Ngoc Tam which helps improve the quality of sleep.

The smart earphone Earable by Prof. Vu Ngoc Tam which helps improve the quality of sleep.

In addition, Earable earphone can detect drivers’ drowsiness while driving, thereby reducing and preventing traffic accidents, as well as providing early detection of seizures, warning of distraction of employees working in the workplace or production lines, and supporting stress relief, meditation, pain relief and many other useful effects.

With the desire to commercialise Earable technology quickly and effectively, Tam has established Earable Inc. in both the US and Vietnam to realise his ambition. The company now has more than 15 employees and is rushing in the stages necessary to launch the Earable smart earphone product later this year.

The company, which is directly managed by Professor Tam, has attracted nearly US$4 million from major investment funds from Silicon Valley, the Republic of Korea, and especially the maximum funding of VND10 billion from VinTech Fund by VinTech City, a member company of Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup.

Tam said that the Sloan Research Fellowship is a valuable recognition from the prestigious scientific community for him, which gives him a great motivation to continue on the path of scientific research, and at the same time developing Earable with the desire to improve people's mental abilities and health.

Tam graduated from Hanoi University of Technology and received a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Rutgers University (USA). In 2013, Tam was invited to work at the University of Colorado Boulder as the founding director of the Mobile and Networked Systems (MNS) lab at the university.

Prior to the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship, Professor Tam received two Google Faculty Research Awards in 2014 and 2018, a 2019 NSF Career Award and a series of awards and nominations for the "Best Paper" in the world's leading science and technology conferences, such as ACM Mobicom, ACM Sigmobile, CACM Research Highlights and Sensys.

Furthermore, it is impossible not to mention the 25 patents that he already owns and is continuing to register. He has established two companies, Now Vitals and Earable, in the US. The Earable smart wearable earphone to monitor and improve sleep quality is Tam’s the latest project.

Awarded annually since 1955, the Sloan Research Fellowships honour scholars in the US and Canada whose creativity, leadership, and independent research achievements make them some of the most promising researchers working today.

Past Sloan Research Fellows include many towering figures in the history of science, including physicists Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann, and game theorist John Nash. Fifty fellows have received a Nobel Prize in their respective fields, 17 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, 69 have received the National Medal of Science, and 19 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics, including every winner since 2007.

Nearly 1000 researchers are nominated each year for the 126 fellowship slots. Winners receive a two-year, $75,000 fellowship which can be spent to advance their research.


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