Graduates in the Spotlight

Hieu Nguyen

Image of Hieu HguyenHOMETOWN: Danbury, Connecticut

MAJOR: Mathematics

MINOR: Economics

WCSU DEGREES:  Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Mathematics

ACTIVITIES: Kathwari Honors Program (2014-18), Math Club (2015-17),  Rotaract Club (2015-16), math tutor at Math Clinic (2015-18) and Math Emporium (2016-17), Western Connecticut Regional Adult & Continuing Education (2016-18), Tutoring Resource Center (2014-16), EAP (2015-17), IT HelpDesk Specialist (2017), Undergraduate Research Assistant (2014-17),  Graduate Research Assistant (2017-18), Joint Mathematics Meeting Conferences (San Diego, CA; Atlanta, GA; Seattle, WA) (2015-17), WINR Symposium at Brown University (2017), Mathematical Association of America Conference (Washington, DC, 2014), WSEAS Transactions on Signal Processing Conference (Spain, 2016), Western Research Day (2015-17), International Conference on Mechatronics Engineering and Computer Sciences (2018)

INTERNSHIPS: Automation Artificial Intelligence Lab (summer 2017 and 2018) in China

HONORS AND AWARDS: Dean’s List (2014-17); 3.97 GPA; Graduating Summa Cum Laude; JMM Outstanding Presentation Award (2016); Gloria Brunell Award in Mathematics (2017); Honorable Mention, The Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (2017); Professor Edwin Rosenberg Scholarship (2015-16); Barden’s Honor Students International and Domestic Travel Scholarship (2017); WCSU Alumni Association Scholarship (2016-17); Roberta B. Willis Scholarship (2016); W. Jason & Ellen Hancock Scholarship (2016); Tao Endowed Scholarship for Peace (2016-17); 2018 Provost Award for “Best Student Poster” at Western Research Day



Hieu Nguyen decided to come to WestConn because it was affordable and close to home. “I was planning to transfer to a bigger university after a year or two, but then I realized WCSU is the institution that would help me grow as a person, not just academically,” he says. “WCSU has a small class size compared to other universities, so it was easy for me to get in touch with the professors and get their guidance when I needed it.”

That guidance definitely helped, because in 4.3 years, Nguyen obtained both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mathematics.

Uncertain of what he wanted to do in his future, Nguyen majored in Mathematics. “The reason was that Mathematics is the core of many fields (Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, Finance, etc.). By majoring in math, it gives me more freedom in my future, and the knowledge is applicable to most fields.”

Math Department Chair Dr. Stavros Christofi and Kathwari Honors Program Director Dr. Kukk are two faculty members who left an impression on Nguyen. “They helped me to become a moral and compassionate student,” he says. Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Xiaodi Wang was Nguyen’s academic mentor. Nguyen says, “He helped me discover what I wanted to do in the future, connected me with other experts in the related field, and pushed me beyond my limits.”

Asked what he will remember most about his WestConn experience, Nguyen says, “Having the opportunities to conduct research with the department faculty members will be what I remember most. Research experience gave me a purpose and helped me determine my future career path. It encouraged me to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Science upon graduation.”

After graduation, Nguyen plans to attend the Ph.D. program in Computer Science at Michigan State University to enhance his knowledge in the field of Artificial Intelligence. He also plans to participate in summer internships in order to get more hands-on experience. Upon finishing his Ph.D., Nguyen aims to look for a post-doc position or join the private sector.”

His advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Everyone is talented in their own way, so get involved and allow the university community to flourish that unique talent. If you’d like to get research experience as an undergraduate, make sure to contact the professor of interest ASAP.”