November 16, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Mathematics Professor Quoc Phong Vu, 1954-2015

Dr. Quoc Phong Vu, Professor of Mathematics at Ohio University, passed away in October in Vietnam. He had been an OHIO faculty member since 1992-93, having been promoted to professor in 1999.

DR. Quoc Phong Vu

Dr. Quoc Phong Vu

Vu has four sons, and two of them are now students at Ohio University.

Vu was a humble, friendly, nice and good person always willing to help people when they needed it. He contributed greatly to the department, serving as member and chair of visiting committee, promotion and tenure committee, graduate committee, and evaluation committee. As chair of the graduate committee, he brought many excellent students from Vietnam. In department meetings, he shared his opinions and ideas with colleagues.

“He was an avid motorcyclist, and he was fluent in four languages—English, French, Russian and Vietnamese,” adds Mathematics Chair Dr. Todd Eisworth. “He lived in my neighborhood, and was very kind to my children when he would see us out for walks. They always point out ‘Dr. Vu’s house’ when we go for walks. He had very young children of his own, the youngest is still not even 1 year old,” in addition to the two older sons.

Before coming to Ohio University, Vu was a member of the Institute of Mathematics in Hanoi, working as a principal researcher. He was also a research fellow of the Max Planck Institute of Math in Germany.He also served as a visiting professor at universities in Japan, Germany, France and Korea, as well as the University of Iowa.

Phong received PhD degree in Mathematics from Karkiv State University (former Soviet Union) at the age of 24, followed by a Dr. Sc degree. His dissertation was on “Some Questions of the Spectral Theory of Operators in Banach Spaces.”

He co-authored 69 publications, including most recently a March 2015 article on “Stability and Asymptotic Behavior of Systems with Multi-time” in the Vietnam Journal of Mathematics. He co-authored the book Calculus in 2014.His research interests included functional analysis, Co-semigroups, stability theory of evolutionary equations.

In 2005-06 Vu received an HP Technology for Teaching grant to HP wireless Tablet PC technology to enhance learning in engineering, math, science, computer science or business courses. His project was designed to enhance the teaching of Matrix theory.

“Matrix theory is one of the most popular upper-level undergraduate courses offered in our department,” said Vu at the time. “But the teaching and learning of matrices involve a lot of time-consuming calculations, which often are repetitive but are necessary for demonstration of the theory and applications. As a result, instructors may not have enough time to cover theory and applications or to engage students in the learning and exploration of matrices. The mobile lab given by the HP Grant program will enable us to install some technology tools so that students and instructors can collaborate in the learning process.”

Vu was an advocate for higher education, especially in his native Vietnam. In an interview with, he said he sought strong action to increase the quality of the University of Vietnam, which he wanted to become among the top 200 universities in the world and to produce a Nobel Prize in science winner.

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