BMF Analytics delivered at the 2023 VIASM-HANU Conference

Minh-Phuong Thi Duong
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

November 7, 2023

“At first, the birds do not dare to come near the fields, but once they learn the bogeymen are nothing but straw and bamboo, they finally come and eat for their pleasure”.
— In “Bogeyman”; The Kingfisher Story Collection (2022).

The Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics (VIASM), founded by Prof. Ngo Bao Chau, a 2010 Fields Medalist, cooperated with Hanoi University (HANU) on November 3 and 4 to organize the two-day academic event about mathematical applications in Social Sciences and Humanities teaching. During this event, “BMF Analytics” (referred to as “BMF” [1]) was brought to the audience as a promising analytical method in social science and humanities research.

Photo 1: The BMF Class at the 2023 VIASM-HANU course (photo provided by HANU)

More than 40 lecturers and researchers from various institutions, including Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Hanoi University, Foreign Trade University, VNU University of Science, Thuy Loi University, and the Banking Academy of Vietnam gathered over the two-day course to explore the applications of the BMF method. Dr. Minh-Hoang Nguyen, co-founder of the SM3D Portal, was the primary instructor, providing theoretical foundations of the computing method and practical guidance [2].

The course consists of two main components. The first component centered around the theoretical foundations of the BMF method and its practical application in quantitative analysis, Bayesian statistics, and Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) computations with the bayesvl software [3]. Then, the instructor and participants collaborate to apply the method in conceptualizing and developing a specific research topic using a US dataset created by Distler and Scruggs [4]. The approach has a high pedagogical meaning of directing the collaborative effort to create a scientific result, i.e., a complete study ready for peer review and publication. Given the approach, the cheery spirit of Kingfisher has been brought alive [5]; participants’ enthusiasm and concentration are maintained throughout the course, making the learning environment stimulating and productive.

Photo 2: The comparison of MCMC analysis results between Dr. Nguyen and the participants provides a basis for collaboratively analyzing, evaluating and interpreting the results (photo provided by HANU).

In addition to collaborative research on applying the BMF and implementing MCMC calculations, the course also explores the philosophical and epistemological aspects of statistics and mathematics in social sciences and humanities, encouraging researchers to engage in discussion and examination of these themes.

The outcome of the course was a comprehensive manuscript, finalized and published as a preprint on PhilPapers on November 5, allowing other scientists to access, evaluate, and provide feedback [6]:


[1] Vuong QH, Nguyen MH, La VP. (Eds.). (2022). The mindsponge and BMF analytics for innovative thinking in social sciences and humanities. Walter de Gruyter GmbH.

[2] Nguyen MH, Jones TE. (2022). Building eco-surplus culture among urban residents as a novel strategy to improve finance for conservation in protected areas. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 9, 426.

[3] La VP, Vuong QH. (2019). bayesvl: Visually learning the graphical structure of Bayesian networks and performing MCMC with ‘Stan’.

[4] Distler LN, Scruggs CE. (2020). Survey data on perceptions of water scarcity and potable reuse from water utility customers in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Data in Brief, 29, 105289.

[5] Vuong QH. (2022). The Kingfisher Story Collection.

[6] VIASM-HANU 2023 BMF Class. (2023). Effects of water scarcity awareness and climate change belief on recycled water usage willingness: Evidence from New Mexico, United States.

tags:   BMF analytics