1972 - 1979

Dr. Myint Thein *

Dr. Myint Thein (M73) did his Ph.D. at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. His pen name is Ba Thein (Altanta).

He wrote articles for RIT Alumni International Newsletter and Swel Daw Yeik Sar Saung for Singapore SPZPs.

The topics cover

  • An Apology to Sayagyi U Ba Toke
  • Saya S. Arya
    Some students poking fun at Saya’s pronunciation
    Saya complained to Sayagyi U Ba Than
  • RUBC / Rowing
    He rowed for RIT
  • Hovercraft
  • IDC Kerosene Stove / Call for donation to SPZP
  • Visit to the alma mater

He found his life love in his old school mate (T73). They wed around SPZP-2000.

He gave me a book that he bought in Myanmar. The author Kyi Aye (Yamethin) wrote about Minthuwun, U Tin Aye (Shan Pyay), U Thein Pe Myint, and Daw Khin Kyi.


My Apology to Sayagyi U Ba Toke, Sayas, and Sayamas of RIT

Sayas and Sayamas are truly the unsung heroes of our lives. For them, it is hard to know the fruits of their formidable efforts. They have made a positive difference to our lives. However, often they are overlooked in nowadays society. Now, due to the invaluable efforts initiated by a group of people, we have a great opportunity to praise show our gratitude.

I have learned that Sayagyi U Ba Toke will come to the Pu Zaw Pwe, 2000. I am writing this article to apologize for my silly act that I did about some 25 years ago at RIT.

An early afternoon in the beginning of a summer at the RIT. My 6 years of study was close to completion. I was waiting for a mathematics class and standing on the breeze-way which connect the second-floors of the Building 1 and Building 2. The sun was shining well, and as usual, the wind was blowing so strong that the yellow leaves were floating in the turbulent air. The “Kha Yay” trees at the end of the Textile Department are swaying back and forth in the gusty winds. They were reminding me of the unstable, impermanent nature of human life.

I was thinking deeply of the future. “I don’t want to leave the RIT yet. I have enjoyed here very much. What I should do? ” I could not find out any decent means to lengthen my happy student-life at RIT.

The next class at 1 p.m. would be “Selected Topics in Mathematics” taught by Sayagyi U Ba Toke at Room 1/3-16. It was a large lecture theater with about 200 foldable seats, located on the third floor, north-east corner of Building 1, adjacent to Chemistry laboratories.

The bell rang and I went into the class. I took a seat in the rear section of the class. In our class, there were about 120 students. There were only 2 female students in the class so that no much reasons for distractions from paying attention to the teachings. However, I was still thinking deep. Through the wide glass window panes, I could see the F-27 Fokker Friendship airplanes flying in and out of the Mingaladon Airport.

Sayagyi U Ba Toke entered into the class, stepped onto the stage, and immediately started to teach. He said, “Today, I am going to teach ‘Functions and Relations'”. I thought it was a boring topic and would not be much useful in the future. My mind was wandering all over the universe.

Sayagyi’s solid profile standing firmly before the students and his commanding voice were dominating the entire class. I was able to see his joy and enthusiasm on his face. Skillfully using the blackboard, he was explaining articulately about the mathematical functions and its indispensable applications to every discipline of engineering.

Sayagyi continued to talk about the ‘Domain and Range’. A friend sitting next to me made an unfavorable comment, “What is this DOMAIN about? For what use?” I supported his comments by a nod. Just a nod. The disrespectful act returned its reactions about 10 years later.

I got a rare and invaluable opportunity to pursue further study in the United States. I was taking a course ‘Viscous Flow Theory’ taught by a well-known professor. There were about 30 students from different parts of the world. About half of them were from Germany, Switzerland, and east-European countries. On that day the professor was talking about the Navier Stokes Equation and its solutions. At one point, he talked about using the ‘time-space DOMAINS’ in the numerical methods to solve the second order – nonlinear partial differential equations.

The word ‘DOMAIN’ shocked me like a thunder. Enormous fear pushed out sweats all over my body. I realized that my bad deed had finally rewarded me the bad result. I didn’t know anything about DOMAIN, except its name. Sayagyi U Ba Toke’s solid figure and his distinctive face appeared on my mind. “Yes, obviously, I did a big mistake. Now, at this place, at this time, who would kindly teach me ‘DOMAINS’. In Rangoon, while Sayagyi U Ba Toke was teaching with great and pure ‘Cetana’, I didn’t take it with respect”. I felt an unforgettable remorse. After this incident, although I paid the price for my bad deed by spending long late-night hours for the whole semester with nightmares to understand the subject, I did not do well at the exam.

Now, welcoming the noble occasion “Saya Pu Zaw Pwe of 2000 at San Francisco”, I do apologize for my unintentional bad deeds to all the Sayas and Sayamas who taught me generously with pure ‘Cetana’. Physically, verbally, and mentally, from the deep bottom of my heart, I do beg your kind pardon.

For any failure or obstacle in my studies in the past, present, and future, it is entirely due to my incompetence, NOT because of the teachings of my Sayas and Sayamas at RIT were inferior.

The primary reason why I am surviving today is the invaluable-unparalleled teachings of my Sayas and Sayamas of RIT. I would like to exclaim that “What our Sayas and Sayamas taught at RIT is ‘Absolutely Superior’ to the teachings at all over the other engineering universities in the world.”

Yours Respectfully,
Ba Thein Atlanta, GA

Saya U Ba Toke


Saya S. Arya and Sayagyi U Ba Than

Under the leadership of Ko Maurice Chee (M 75), a group of RIT alums is planning to honor Ko Hla Min. To keep RIT alums connected and informed, since 1999 Ko Hla Min has voluntarily tirelessly posted weekly RIT-Updates. While reading his recent RIT-Updates, I remembered an event happened in our third year 1970.

During our six years at RIT, most of Mechanical students have almost never seen laughing or smiles of our Sayagyi U Ba Than and Sayagyi U Aung Khin. In third year Sayagyi U Ba Than taught us a major engineering subject “Strength of Materials”. Then, the typical class format was a 50-minute lecture followed by 50-minute tutorial classes comprised of 30-35 students.

Saya Arya was one of the tutorial teachers. Since his parents are Indian descendants, Saya Arya’s accent on Strength of Materials terminologies and vocabularies were unique and distinctive.

In the class of 1966-1972 Mechanical, there were some life-is-so-good die-hard native-Rangoon day-students included. They were neither quiet nor strictly-obedient students. Since they were one year senior to us, we learned and inherited a lot of extra-curricular activities, trades, and tricks from them.

One day, news went viral. The event took place in the tutorial class room on the third floor, near the English Department. In the tutorial class, while Saya Arya was writing differential equations on the blackboard, students were teasing and playing each other behind him. One of them threw a ZeeThee to his friend sitting in the front row. It missed him – hit the desk – bounced and hit the blackboard. Without delay, Saya Arya asked the class: “ZeeThee pauk tar Bu Thu Le ?”

One or two students answered promptly: “Bu Thee Booo”.

Saya Arya rushed to Sayagyi U Ba Than’s office. A group of students were summoned and questioned. They explained and appealed. Sayagyi U Ba Than could not hold his straight tight face and broke into laugh. Only a few students would know the exact true story what happened.

After the incident, there were floating quotes in the RIT campus for a while. Questions and Answers. If somebody threw paper-arrows from behind, then asked:

. . . Bu Thoo Le ? . . . . Bu Thee Booo !

It was 46+ years ago. In the evenings and weekends, yells and shouts occasionally roamed on the broad windy empty corridors of RIT. The clocks hanging overhead did not mind. Swel Daw trees were green and thrived and bloomed.

During the Adhamma era, our mother RIT was labelled “The Mother of The Rebels”. Swel Daw trees were also punished. With tears, we heard and read the news. Now, the situations of the mother country have been changed, generally. Mother RIT is welcoming back her sons and daughters coming back from the other side of the world. In this coming December last-week of 2016, mother RIT is going to celebrate Global RIT Reunion.

Last 17 years, in his weekly RIT Updates “Gone But Not Forgotten” (GBNF), U Hla Min has occasionally posted the short bios of RIT alums who have abruptly or unwillingly or unexpectedly left us. Gone with The Wind.

For some of 1960s and 1970s graduates mother RIT born, this Reunion may be the last one to meet and hug their classmates together at this very holy place.


May All You See Broad Smiles Again.

Myint Thein (M 73)


An Echo from RIT

by Maung Ba Thein (Atlanta)

In October 1999, I visited my alma mater, RIT. I was very excited to see the campus totally green covered by grown trees. According to the newspapers, in 1999 the rainfall was the highest in Yangon since 1872, one year after the precipitation data were started to record at Kaba Aye station.

First I went to the main portico. Its splendid 12 columns were standing straight and firm in the morning sun. With dignity, they were still sustaining the weight of huge concrete roof. I suffered a sad feeling of having to leave them behind. I was standing still for a moment on its steps. From there, I saw the windy space right under the ‘Set Hmu Hall’. There used to be Registrar U Hla’s office on the left, a big bulletin board and the library on the right, and in the middle two English newspaper reading-stands (Guardian and Working People’s Daily provided by the registrar’s office). At this place every morning we would stand and explore the outside world’s events during the height of the Vietnam War. It used to be so windy at this place that while reading we had to use our both hands to hold down the newspaper.

I walked to the east of main building. I came across an old green Mazda pickup truck anchored in the car parking lot. It might be at least 35 years old and expired. It took me back to the days at RUBC. This old truck had served us as a ferry to RUBC at Inya Lake from RIT and Thazin Hall (Hlaing Campus), 3 afternoons a week for two years. Sometimes two trips a day. Because of its transportation, we successfully recruited female members to our RIT Rowing Club. At the 1972 RUBC Annual Regatta, RIT Rowing Club competed in full strength including (for the first time) 4 crew of Women’s Eight, breaking our RIT Rowing Club’s tradition of ‘All Guys’.

I walked to the north along the concrete driveway, made a pause between Buildings 1 and 2, and looked up. I saw the corridors where we used to stand, watch, shout, cheer, and laugh. On these corridors, our butts and the floors had kissed each other uncountable times during the rainy seasons.

I continued roaming down the road. The trees were still welcoming me. All were green and had grown well. On my left I could see the Building 2 where Departments of Textile, Electrical, Mining & Petroleum, Physics, and machine shops were located. On my right, in the lower triangular terrain, annexed Buildings 5, 6, 7, and 8 where housed the Architecture, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering Departments were sitting quietly under the blazing sun. I heard a jet flew out of the Mingaladon Airport making a loud roar.

At the Mechanical Engineering Department, I met Saya U Khin Mg Tin and Saya U Kyaw Aye. I was looking for Saya Aryar (Strength of Materials) to apologize him. Instead of learning respectfully what he taught in the class, I made jokes with my classmates on his accent. For these silly acts, (in the past, present, everyday, everywhere) I was/am paying the price. Many people hardly understand my speaking. For me – frustrations, arguments, ridicule, shame, unconstrained anger, refusals for the service, etc. You name it. I had it. They were common for me.

At the Metallurgy Department, I met Saya U Tin Mg Nyunt and U Nyunt Htay. We went to the food court. The restaurants ‘Nway-Aye’ and Aung Theik Pan’ were still running. I assumed that the cafe owned by ‘U Chit of Blacksmith’ would be also doing well. In the courtyard the Padauk trees were growing well and providing the patrons a green canopy.

On the other side of the concrete driveway, I could see the soccer-field where we enjoyed crazily in the mud and rain like buffaloes. Our “loyal fans” of the G-Hall might be watching our games or might be suppressing their intense hunger watching the clock for dinner. In reality, they saw us as the reincarnations of the ‘Ah Yee Gyees’ (who faithfully practiced self-torturing exercises to purge their body from Kilesa (mental defilement) of the Bagan era before His Majesty King Anawrahta stripped them off, booted out from their dwellings, and sent to the elephant and horse stalls to pick up the animal-made fertilizers.

The trees had grown so well that I could hardly see our great sisters’ G-Hall. Next I saw were the infirmary and the resident quarter for the faculty and staff.

Then I went to the west of the main building to see the small entrance behind the BPI bus stop on Yangon-Insein Road. On Friday mornings, we used to buy the ‘Set Hmu Thadin Zin’ at this gate. I was surprised to see that the entrance had been widened to about 10 feet.

In our days, it was only about 3 feet wide. Two students could barely pass simultaneously this gate without touching each other. To emphasize the width of the entrance, one of my friends used to brag that “In this RIT campus, there were many female students who were Ma’ Loot Ma’ Kinn Phyit with me”.

I came back to the oval lawn in front of the main portico. There was no water rising into the air at the fountain as it was the same in our days. However, flowers were blooming. I learned that there was a graduation ceremony on that morning for completing a diploma program. I saw some young female students with brand-new crispy dresses moving to and fro in the oval garden. Some of them were standing / sitting / lying on the grass in a variety of postures for the zooming cameras. A great photo-opportunity for them at this age, time, and place. I stood gazing at their agility, youth, and smiles. I was thinking very deeply.

In the south, I could see the dormitories A, B, C, and D Halls sitting quietly at a distance waiting for my visit. Again, my mind took me back to the old days.

Suddenly, I thought I heard – from a 30-year distance – somebody from the top-floor corridor of hostel A-Hall roared like a lion at his highest volume:
Ma’ Pyawwww Ma’ Sheee Ja Ne Byoooooooow !

A long echo followed. All residents of A-Hall came out of their rooms and joined their leader’s wake-up call by beating loudly nearby bathing-utensils, pots, and pans. And a trembling noise like a thunder.

Today, welcoming the upcoming noble occasion and recalling the echo and tremble which I used to hear often at RIT, let me hail again.
Ma’ Pyaww Ma’ Sheee Ja Ne Byoooow !

We are going to have a once-in-a-life-time gathering at ‘Saya Pu Zaw Pwe and RIT Grand Reunion’ in San Francisco on October 28-29, 2000.


GBNF Frequency

Once, I have learned:

Into the Highlands of The Mind, Let Me Go !

From U Hla Min’s RIT Updates, I read from time to time “Gone But Not Forgotten” (GBNF) news of our RIT brothers and sisters. Recently, I sadly noticed that frequency and recurrence of GBNF news is alarming. Generally, most of us have understood and accepted the occurrence of inevitable death. However, when we face the reality and imminent nearness or arrival of death, it is extremely hard (even to learn GBNF news) for us to cope with. Oh, he/she has gone. He/she did not even say goodbye. Probably, he/she might be so exhausted . . . wrestling tackling and defending the arrival of his/her last breath.

[Yours Truly Falsely (YTF) Notes:] In the not-very-olden days or socialist-shining-glorious days of 1970s of Burma, at funeral wakes and viewings . . friends and relatives used to gather, sit + talk + chew some seeds . . . kind of Kwar-Ce-Hlor or Ney-Gyar-Ce seeds (water melon seeds and sunflower seeds).

YTF doesn’t dare to let anybody near him knows, especially his nephews/nieces or any relatives friends, whenever suffer uncomfortable health problems. Because, YTF have surely noticed that . . .whenever he began just having some intermittent/continuous coughing . . . all of his nephews nieces of near and far associates went out and bought Kwar-Ce-Hlor and Nay-Gyar-Ce . . . make ready, unwaveringly sat and waited . . . anticipating willingly naively for YTF’s demise.

[Confidential, Top secret, bottom Open]. In reality, there may be nobody around him, IF they know YTF = “Naing-gan-jar-pyan RIT Alumni (Return form Abroad, RIT Descendant) has prepared a Will with Nothing for them. They do not know YTF’s regular contributions to Academy Minn Thar Gyi Ko Kyaw Thu + Associates’ Free Funeral Service Society (FFSS).

Am I prepared, Now ? None ! Nothing !

YTF is Still Extremely Greedy.

Wealth under his holy Mattress. Daily counting and re-counting.

At every AM and every PM.

The Guinness Book of World Records might keep my name on top in Greed category.

Yours Truly Falsely,
Maung Ba Thein, Atlanta.

Myint Thein, 1973 Mechanical of RIT.


M73 Hovercraft Project

Dear Saya U Kyaw Sein and U Hla Min,

With respect, regarding the Hovercraft built by mechanical RIT students, I would like to supplement a piece of information on Hovercraft of RIT.

I am not aware of any information about the thesis or papers existed before 1973, related to the Hovercraft. This Hovercraft physical-model, based on a lawn mower, was built by a team led by Saya U Tu Myint and a group of 1973 final-year Mechanical students. They include

  • Ko Hla Win (Mechanical One)
  • Ko Khin Maung Cho (Lu Ye Chun)
  • Don D Silver
  • Saxon Sein

They were among the top students of our class. The Hovercraft was successfully tested in the lake located near the Insein Locomotive yards. Ko Hla Win is now working in Singapore. On those days, many people wished to have a test drive of this craft.

While training hard in Inya Lake – Rangoon University Boat Club, (where we were dreaming under the scorching sun of becoming RUBC golds) sometimes we missed the classes. Ko Hla Win often kindly shared us his lecture-notes, learning, knowledge, and also, of course, his neatly completed solved home works. Our group, senior members of RIT Rowing Club of 1972-73, owe Ko Hla Win and his Hovercraft-group a lot for their precious kindness and help, which also contributed to our successful graduation from RIT.

In Saya U Kyaw Sein’s Facebook RIT photos (one posted by Ko Thura Thant Zin), 1972-73 RIT Rowing Club photo shows our group (none of us were physically big-tall Goliath). Two of our friends have prematurely – permanently left this world. I wish they should have waited to witness the revival of our Mother RIT and Mother country.

[Dr.] Myint Thein (M73)


IDC Keresone Stove

Dear U Hla Min + RIT Brothers + Sisters:

.. who were/are tirelessly offering participating joining efforts, energy and time .. planning organizing implementing SPZP-2012 and Revitalization of our Mother-RIT.

In late 1960s, when I relocated to Rangoon, I used to read in newspapers that .. for kerosene stoves – manufactured by IDC (Industrial Development Corporation), Burma:

Meeee-Hpo Pyet Yin – Pyitt Ma Htarr Par Ne.
Kyune-Daw Arrrr Gyeee Ceit Soe De”
{Don’t leave Your Stove Broken – I am Extremely Annoyed.
Advertisement by IDC Yay-Nan-Cee MeeePho}.

Recently, reliable news arrived. Under new Management – new Leaderships – new System .. our Mother-RIT has been re-opened. Naively, I am pleased. NOW, at least we see the dawn. Reclaiming the RIT Glorious status which we have held and enjoyed is not a quick and easy task. However, it is not an impossible dream. If we can realize our Mother-RIT’s recovery within a decade, I would claim “An Unbelievable Success”.

It took more than 60 years of precious intellectual investments for Mother-RIT to attain internationally recognized position and to stand up distinctly among Asia countries .. so that, again, it will take considerable time to successfully regain recover her strength and vigor.

I was not aware of, (also did not believe/accept) that our Mother-RIT was virtually closed. I assumed those news are rumors. I thought, there might have been a few undisclosed issues those I missed and should be aware of. I did not know that although it was a public university, it became a place of OFF-limits .. for general public and her alumni.

Once, at the entrance U Lu Paw gate, surprisingly I was denied – declined to see my alma mater. It was totally unexpected and I was well stranded. Fortunately, an abrupt heavy downpour of Rangoon’s monsoon rain came down in that early morning – (May be sofa couch of our Celestial King (Tha-Gyar-Minn) had abnormally become rigid-firm-tense) .. my former class-mate who was an RIT retired-professor suddenly emerged at the gate. I was very much elated. I strongly believed that savior has answered my call. He bailed me out. And then I was unconditionally allowed to enter and see my Mother-RIT.

My friend-professor gave me a short brisk tour in the rain. I observed the changes from a substantial distance. I saw our old RIT-Clinic which we often-refuge was still active and breathing well in good shape. Also, A – B – C – D – E- F halls for male students and their once always-busy noisy pots and pans .. open dining-hall .. all were still standing up, except no inhabitant. No smoke at-all.

From a distance, in the rain, I saw a pretty big rocket standing-tall in front of G-Hall. May be it was one of the latest RIT defense Surface to Air Missile systems .. promoting guarding our forever-young treasures RIT-Sisters.

Also, RIT football field was under fertile management by Ministry of Agriculture. We used to play in this holy field in non-negotiable mud .. like water-buffaloes .. under heavy rains. I saw all were green under thick vegetation. May be maintenance budget has been cut.

Across the soccer-field, RIT food-court. I was sure it was not a botanical garden. It used to be a pivotal place bee-hive in our days. It looked like an abandoned island ghost town. I did not see any moving-being any moving-species or moving-object in the food-court. It was totally closed and silent. It’s silence recalled a phrase in my mind. A sign posted at the entry of a food-stall. It read: Ya-Nay Ah-Kyway Loane-Wa Ma-Yaung Ber. (Today – Absolutely, No Credit-Sales). May be too-many student-debtors who no longer afford to pay their debts and declared bankrupt and left the school. National economy might be slightly down.

Not to blame anybody. Mother-RIT is 50 plus years old. In a tropical-season .. under intense wet-hot-dry cycle conditions. Her superstructure seems to be normal. Only inevitable normal wear and tear may be. However, if we don’t attend her (care and maintain), she may expire prematurely.

Now, I think, favorable Time and Tide have arrived. I do not know “How long it will be like under this situation?”.

Now, during this High Tide and Wind (impermanent, always changing),

Now, RIT able-bodied Brothers and Sisters are Tirelessly pushing/pulling .. our abandoned grounded Mother-ship RIT .. to get-off the ground .. Tow to the shore .. for immediate essential repairs.

And then . . resume Her Sails . . Her Heads High-Up in the prevailing Wind . . holding a Huge Genuine Smile on Her Face.

While we were Crocodiles, practicing rowing in Inya Lake Rangoon University Boat Club (RUBC, often . . we were prompted by the cox’s call, to move our oars forward-ready position,

Come Forward ! ! !

Please, don’t seek advice from your spouse.

Bring your Cash, Check-book or Genuine Cey-Ta-Nar.

Sincere Salutations to all my RIT Brothers and Sisters – – for your enormous efforts,

[Dr.] Myint Thein
1973 Mechanical, RIT.
San Francisco, CA.


Categories: 1972 - 1979

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