For archive (Updated on February 26, 2019)
This is a compilation of posts (9) to (15).
Memories of UCC (9)
Saya Ah Thay Lay
Saya was an entrepreneur in his school days. He supposedly paid his school fees from his winnings from “Ta Chut Hmout” (SHOW or FIVE CARD POKER) and similar games. With great control and having excellent strategies, he was never victimized by “over-emotional” card players. He was also good in sports : as a “lifter” in volleyball and as a “smasher” in table tennis. He joined the Department of Commerce, Institute of Economics as tutor and later transferred to UCC as Application Programmer. His mentors include Saya Dr. Khin Mg Kyi (who attended the University as a monk & is known for his debating style). Saya Ah Thay Lay is equally good as his mentor and may be even better.
Saya did further studies in the United Kingdom. Saya found his soul mate Daw Than Than Tint at UCC. They and their family members (son, daughter-in-law) operate ACE and its subsidiaries. He co-founded MCC (“training & services” company) with a fellow alumni/saya (U Tin Win Aung). He and his spouse have served in various capacities (President …) in Computer Organizations such as MCF (Myanmar Computer Federation).
He is an example of “Great men are short”.
Some young people might not realize that Burma had talented people in Arts, Science, Social Science, Medicine, Engineering, and Fine Arts.
The following is a partial list of World Class Economists.
● Dr. Solomon served as Dean at Stanford University and Economic Adviser in the Nixon Administration.
● Dr. Hla Myint is revered at Oxford University.
● Dr. Tun Thin was one of the pioneers at the Faculty of Social Science, University of Rangoon. He is highly regarded by IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank.
● Dr. Tun Wai is a renowned Economist.
● Dr. Ronald Findlay was a Gold Medalist at MIT. He served as Research Professor at the Institute of Economics. He then served as Dean at Columbia University.
Memories of UCC (10)
Feedback from UCC alumni
I have received several feedback (mostly as comments). I will share some of them.
U Zaw Tun (Singapore) wrote : Saya, we should produce a book after you are done.
Sayama Daw Mu Mu Myint (Professor, UCSY) wrote : ICST/UCSY will celebrate the 30th Anniversary in March, 2018. A magazine will be published to commemorate the Anniversary.
U Khin Maung Zaw (EC76, Designer and Web Master of the “original” ex-RIT web site) wrote : KJ, thanks much for posting these old stories, sharing with the rest. We really had many interesting and amazing characters there in those days. We, the three so-called musketeers, made things much more interesting, pushed the envelope so to speak. But thanks to all the Sayas – Saya Paing, Saya Myo, Saya Lay and seniors like you, UTAG etc, we were able to do whatever we felt like it there. I know for sure that we offended many people there, but with the great rapport and support from many of you, our mischievous acts, intentionally or not, were pretty much forgiven. Like I said a few times here, those were the good old days.I would like to thank all of you for what we did there, and sincerely ask for your forgiveness if we, especially myself, indeed offended any of you. I am indebted to all of you. Sayas, seniors, contemporaries, as well as some juniors, as I learned a lot while I was there.
U Tin Win (EC71, RIT, UCC, FRI …) wrote : In my days in UCC, UTAG was CE and ICL computer’s printer was line printer and it could print only 120 char/line. To get 160 char/line, UTAG modified the line printer by joining the original plastic printer shaft with another short shaft. One day, he came to the engineering workshop and said he would modify it. First he cleaned the desk workplace where he would join the shafts. At that time, one apprentice engineer (Ko Khin Maung) came into the room and saw UTAG cleaning the desk. Then, KKM, shouted, “Whoo!.. actually modification of printer is just Cleaning the desk”.
Daw Myint Myint Thein (Susan) phoned : I felt young again reading about the good old days at UCC.
Memories of UCC (11)
Programmer & Musician
Some may not know Mra (Arakanese for Mya), but he (U MRA TUN) owns a set of equipment — Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Bass Guitar, a set of Drums, and audio equipment — to form and lead a band. He was the leader of a band called TAMPS. The band’s name is formed from the initials of the members : Tin Aung, Austin Xavier, Mra Tun, Pierpont Morgan and Sidney Sann Aung. He was a Mathematics major and joined UCC as an applications programmer. There were some difficulties in finding a suitable university in the United Kingdom. He received an offer from the University of Belfast, Northern Ireland but there was violence notably in connection with IRA [Irish Republican Army]. He ended up migrating to the United States. He continued to jam with the local bands in Southern California.
The UNITED KINGDOM is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Mra worked as an independent consultant and as a contractor for IBM. Most of his projects are related to maintaining or enhancing COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language), considered as a “dead language” by some. Recently, he had a project assignment in Sacramento, the Capital of California. He came down to meet and greet Saya Paing at Rafi’s house.
His spouse Mary Hundley is the sister of Bo Bo Han (Tony Hundley, vocalist).
Memories of UCC (12)
In most of my original posts, I used abbreviations and nicknames. Some names and terms may be cryptic to those who had not been to UCC or worked there. For example, I would use “Saya Chit” to refer to Saya Dr. Chit Swe, Founder/Director of UCC and my mentor. In the revised posts, I have added actual names and terms.
I have a reasonably good memory, but it is far from perfect. When I am in he flow” or in “the zone”, words flow off my mind with ease. I am not relying on notes and documentation for the posts. There will be unintentional errors, typos, and omissions.
Using the feedback, I have corrected the posts. The following are some who had connections to UCC and its employees. Ko Tauk Tun (Micky), Ko Ba Than Aye (Myo Myint Lay, GBNF), and Ko Myint Oo (Phaung Gyi Training School) are some people who had fun and quality time at UCC as volunteers.
Saya Paing had recruited Ko Charlie Tseng (EC70), but he managed to migrate to the United States before the UCC employees were “selected and validated” by PSC (Public Services Commission). Ko Charlie formed a company called VersaSoft with a product that is supposedly easier to use than comparative software such as D-Base software. His spouse Ma Diana Tseng (ChE71) worked for a Division of IBM (International Business Machines). Ko Charlie pays respect to Saya Paing whenever Saya visits the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ko Lucas Lee (SPHS 66) is a classmate of Ko Charlie (Myint Lwin, Burma Judo Champion). Ko Lucas is a Physics major. He volunteered when UCC was stationed at Mandalay Hall in the main campus. He migrated to the United States. He joined the armed forces and received training in electronics. Later, as a Veteran, he was offered a job at HP (Hewlett Packard). He had a liver transplant many years ago and is doing well.
Ko Toung (Tom Liu, EC69) attended some courses at Mandalay Hall. He migrated to the United States. He did graduate studies about the same time as Ko Khin Maung Oo (Ivan, M69). He lives in Trumbull, Connecticut. He is retired and often travels to Hong Kong to spend time with his son and grandchildren. He took us to visit Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
Memories of UCC (13)
Saya DTM (DR. TIN MG, GBNF) is the son of Saya Kar (Mathematics), who served as Minister of Education in the Caretaker Government. Saya’s brothers include U Aye Mg, Dr. Thein Mg (EENT). Saya joined the Department of Mathematics as Tutor. He went for further studies in UK. Upon his return, he was promoted to Lecturer. He succeeded Saya Chit as Director of UCC.
Department of Computer Science
During his tenure, DCS was established with Saya Lay as Professor and Saya TAG as Associate Professor. I was Lecturer.
Institute of Computer Science and Technology
In 1987, ICST was established with Saya as Rector.
There were four Departments :
● Hardware Technology
● Software Technology
● Information Systems [IS]
● Computational Mathematics.
Saya Lay was Professor of Information Systems. Saya TAG was Associate Professor of Hardware Technology. I was Associate Professor of Software Technology. Bachelor degree courses in CS (Computer Science) and CT (Computer Technology) were given. In the first batch, there were 30 CS and 15 CT students.
Some Alumni of ICST
I met Mi Hnin Thin Myaing (Roll Number One in CS) at Sae Taw Win 2 Dhamma Center, Sebastopol, California. She was then a “Major” in the US Navy. She is a Dental Surgeon.
Recently, her mother showed the photo of MHTM and proudly said that my former student is now a Navy Commander (equivalent of Lieutenant Colonel).
I met and then lost track of Ye Htut Aung (a top student in CT). He was working as a DBA in Southern California (in Los Angeles and San Diego).
During my visit to Sydney in 2006, Aye Aye Kyaw Zin (daughter of my classmate U Kyaw Zin [EP69]), Su Su Hlaing and Win Pe treated me to dinner.
I met several CS and CT students in Singapore. One said, “You were telling a lot of jokes. I did not learn much.”
San Yin Myint [2nd Batch] attended the First RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe as a guest of her cousin U Hla Myint Thein (Maurice, M75), co-Chair of SPZP-2000. SYM’s aunts Dr. Betty Chu (Pathologist) and Daw Muriel Tun Gyaw (Principal of No. (2) Latha SHS) were also present as Guests in that event in October, 2000. I was Chief Editor of “RIT Alumni Newsletter”, which is partly responsible for getting the sayas and alumni get reconnected [after many years] electronically and physically. SYM and her friends invited me to their gathering during my past visits. She requested me to attend the 5th ICST/UCSY Acariya Pu Zaw Pwe held on January 14, 2018.
Saya Zaw used to comment that I digress a lot. Many people may be surprised to know that I grew up reading encyclopedias and dictionaries and listening to “real life” stories (that are often stranger than fiction). Since I belong to several circles (RIT, UCC, SPHS, BRS …), I tend to throw in links and cross-references.
Saya DTM continued to implement the Vision and Mission set by the UCC Founders, and managed to go further. We miss you. Saya did not live long enough to see 26 batches (from ICST and UCSY) host the 5th Acariya Pu Zaw Pwe on January 14, 2018. The 4th Pu Zaw Pwe took place in 2011. San Yin Myint and her friends posted a “Live” Facebook session of the Acariya Pu Zaw Pwe. Saya Thein, Bo Htay, Saya U Myint Swe, Sayama Judy and I gave short speeches at the Pu Zaw Pwe.
Memories of UCC (14)
Saya Dr. F Ba Hli
Saya received Sc.D . (Doctor of Science) from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). At MIT, Saya helped “fresh” scholars including Saya Dr. Aung Gyi and Saya U Min Wun acclimatize with the environment and studies.
His father Sayagyi U Ba Hli served as the first native Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Rangoon University. Sayagyi U Ba Hli is credited with the idea of “TWINNING” RU with prestigious Universities (such as MIT and Harvard) in the United States, and for sending State Scholars to pursue undergraduate and graduate programs with the “goal” of replacing Contract Lecturers [from India] with native sayas.
Saya served as DG (Director General) of UBARI (Union of Burma Applied Research Institute) and Advisor for the Ministry of National Planning. Saya was a prime supporter of UCC Project. Saya served as a member of the Board of Directors and as an External Examiner for the Computer Science graduates.
Ko Htay Aung and Ma Tin Tin Hlaing
Ko Htay Aung (Victor, EC80) is a nephew of Saya U Sein Hlaing . He is the spouse of Ma Tin Tin Hlaing (Saya FBH’s daughter and Saya Myo’s niece). Ko Htay Aung and team “programmed” a PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory) to print Burmese characters on the Cromemco System Three micro-computer. He worked on Burmese Word Processing for Wang Computers. He migrated to Australia. For the past few years, he came back to Yangon to volunteer as an interpreter for the “10-day Meditation Retreat for Foreign Yogis” at the Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha. Ma Tin Tin and her younger brother Ko Thar Hlaing (EC83) are UCC alumni.
During my visit to Sydney (Australia) in 2006, Saya Zaw hosted a UCC reunion and mini-PZP (Pu Zaw Pwe) for Saya Chit and Saya Freddie.
Memories of UCC (15)
Technical Advisor : Saya U Sein Win
Saya Khone Swa (U Sein Win , GBNF) is the younger brother of Dr. Tin U (Medical Superintendent of Children’s Hospital) and Dr. Saw Lwin. Saya was a top student at the University of Michigan. His fellow students gave Saya a nickname : “Hopping” Sein Win for his agility. Saya served as Lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering (EE) at RIT. When EE Department was “formally split” into EC (Electrical Communications, AKA also known as EcE and Electronics Engineering) and EP (Electrical Power), Saya served as Professor of EP. Grape vine says that Saya is an absent minded Professor. Saya married late. One day, Saya drove Sayagadaw to Bogyoke Market. He taught (or discussed with) his students for quite some time and [almost] forgot to pick up Sayagadaw. Saya served as Technical Advisor for UCC. Saya worked closely with U Win Htein (GBNF, Purdue University, PWD) for the design and maintenance of the Electrical Systems (including Motor Alternator, Diesel Generator, Air conditioning …) at UCC. Saya served as Line Judge at the RUBC (Rangoon University Boat Club) Regattas. Saya stays fit by swimming regularly (even when he was visiting Singapore on a business trip). Saya managed the RIT Swimming and Water Polo team. Saya has a vast knowledge. Saya Dr. San Hla Aung (C58) remembers Saya U Sein Win (GBNF) discussing [and may be debating] about Civil Engineering and other subjects. Saya is a Genius.
U Win Htein
U Win Htein (GBNF) was a classmate of Saya Paing at SPHS. Several Paulians were chosen as State Scholars to study in the USA. Saya Paing, Saya Lay and Bohmu Percy chose to study at Stanford University. U Win Htein chose to study Electrical Engineering at Purdue University.
Grape vine says that he had problem with colors. So, instead of reading the color code on the resistors, he would measure them.