In 1988 we were the first students at Budapest University of Economic Sciences, to study Economics Theories by Samuelson-Nordhaus called the ‘father of modern economics, in place of the usual teachings of Marx’s theories of Political Economy and Macroeconomics. This period of transition was very hard for the students and teachers alike, and the lessons being taught by the teacher – who was probably 2 lessons ahead of the students – explained the theories of mathematical formulas at the blackboard.
During a 3rd lesson, a Vietnamese student interrupted the teacher, ‘Sir your mathematical formula has a mistake.’ The teacher did not react immediately, going on to inform the students of the next lesson to follow, and he will get back with the proper formula.
The next lesson was taken by another teacher, who was not informed about the mistake in the mathematical formula at the previous lesson. At about 20 minutes into the lesson, another Vietnamese student stopped the teacher: ‘I am very sorry, but this formula – a new one – on the blackboard has a mistake, it should be improved.’ This teacher was not on top of the mathematics and tried to lead the lesson onto another direction.
Making the lesson shorter and at the end of the semester, when we finally received the student book from the Department of Microeconomics, the 280-page book had a 30-page attachment, containing the mistakes in the mathematical formulas.
Thanks to the excellent Vietnamese students, the teachers could alter all the mistaken mathematical formulas…. Then I noticed, that all the Vietnamese students are really very strong in mathematics. Among these Vietnamese students was our friend in the dormitory, Bi Tue Hi, that we nicknamed Breki (Frog) – because his face looked like a frog. He became a very good software programmer-economist in the 90s in Hungary. At the time, this was very rare in our country.