Scientist Profile

Photo

Vidal A. Tan

Engineer, Most Outstanding Civil Engineer (1921)

Expertise:

Dr. Vidal A. Tan is recognized for his important contributions in the field of Engineering Tan was born to Gonzalo Tan and Clemencia Santeco on April 28, 1893 in Bacolor, Pampanga. One of the first students of UP, having enrolled in June 1910, he graduated in 1913 with a degree in liberal arts. Tan later went to Cornell University as a government pensionado to finish his civil engineering degree and at the same time a Master of Arts degree. He began teaching at UP as an assistant instructor in mathematics in 1918, and later on became associate professor of mathematics in 1920. Promoted to the rank of full professor in 1922, he served as the acting head of the Department of Mathematics until 1923. Tan later became a fellow at the University of Chicago, and earned a doctorate in mathematics (cum laude) from that university in 1925. He was the first Filipino to do so. On that same year, he became the official chair of the UP mathematics department. In 1926, he was given the task of handling student registration, but was not officially designated as the official school registrar. At the same time, he served as a civil engineer-consultant at the Metropolitan Water District until 1928. From 1931 to 1933, Tan became a member of the university's Board of Regents, and was later on named as the first head of the College of Arts and Sciences in UP Baguio in 1938. A year later, he was made dean of the College of Engineering until 1949. In 1949, Tan left UP to serve as the president of the Far Eastern University until 1951. This did not mean the end of his involvement in UP, however; he was appointed as a consulting engineer of the Executive Committee on Development and Construction in the same year. The committee was tasked with the university's relocation to Diliman, Quezon City after the destruction of the original campus during the liberation of Manila in World War II. Tan returned to UP in 1951 as university president, succeeding Bienvenido Gonzales. He served as president until 1956. In his honor, the building of the National Institute of Science and Mathematics Education was named after him. The building also houses the UP Information Technology Center (UP ITTC). He also held the chairmanship of the UNESCO National Committee of the Philippines from 1952-1956, also serving as the editor of the NRCP Bulletin. He was eventually elevated to the rank of chairman emeritus of that institution in 1957..

Association

    • National Research Council of the Philippines, Chairman
    • Phil. Historical Committee, Member
    • United Nations Assoc. of the Philippines, President
    • Phil. Amateur Athletic Federation, Member
    • Friends of the Lepers, Member
    • Phil. Columbian Assoc., Member
    • Phil. Assoc. for the Advancement of Science, Member
    • Quezon City, Member
    • Academy of Political and Social Science (U.S.), Member
    • Phil. Statistical Assoc., Member
    • Phil. Mental Assoc., Member
    • American Assoc. for Engineering Education, Member
    • College English Teachers Assoc., Honorary President
    • Sigma Xi, Member
    • Sigma Pi Sigma, Member
    • Phi Kappa Phi, Member
    • Phil. Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Member

Employment

    • Univ. of the Philippines, Asst. Instructor to Prof. and Head Dept. of Mathematics, 1914 - 1937
    • College of Liberal Arts, Secretary, 1926
    • Univ. of the Philippines, Registrar, 1926 - 1928
    • College of Liberal Arts, Acting Dean, 1929 - 1931
    • College of Liberal Arts, Acting Dean of Men, 1930 - 1933
    • Board of Regents, Member, 1930 - 1933, 1951
    • College of Liberal Arts, Dean of Men, 1933 - 1935
    • Colllege of Arts and Sciences, Baguio, Dean, 1938 - 1940
    • Univ. of the Philippines, Dean College of engineering, 1940 - 1949
    • Far Eastern University, President, 1949 - 1951
    • Univ. of the Philippines, President, 1951 - 1956
    • Bureau of Public Works (Part time), Civil Engineer, 1918 - 1923
    • Metropolitan Water District (Part time), Civil engineer, 1925 - 1928
    • Board of Review for Moving Pictures, Vice-Chairman, 1945 - 1954
    • Government Reorganization Commission, Member, 1947
    • Executive Board, Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Member, 1950
    • Board of Trustees, Arts Council of the Phil., Chairman, 1951
    • Board of Directors National Power Corporation, Vice-Chairman, 1951 - 1955
    • National Catholic Committee, Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Member, 1951
    • Board of Directors, U.S., Educational Foundation, Member, 1951
    • UNESCO National Commission of the Phil., Chairman, 1952 - 1954
    • Committee on Coordination of Education Assistance, Member, 1952
    • Science Foundation of tyhe Phil., Vice-President, 1952
    • Roxas Memorial Commission, Member, 1953
    • SEA Board of Scholarships & Exchange of Professors and Students, Chairman, 1953
    • Advisory Board of In-Service Training, Member, 1954
    • Advisory Board of In-Service Training, Member, 1954
    • Advisory Board of In-Service Training, Member, 1954
    • Asian Relations Council, Member, 1955
    • Board of National Education, Member, 1955
    • Jose Rizal Centennial Commission, Member, 1955
    • Science Advisory Committee, Member, 1955
    • Board of Trustees, Phil.-Amer. Cultural Foundation, Chairman, 1959 - 1960
    • Quezon City, Councilor, 1960

Award

    • U.P. Fellow, Cornell University, 1916-1918
    • U.P. Fellow, University of Chicago, 1923-1925
    • Most Outstanding Civil Engineer, Board of Examiners, Bureau of Civil Service, 1951
    • Cum Laude, Ph. D., University of Chicago, 1925

Education

    • University of the Philippines, A.B., 1913
    • University of the Philippines, C.E., 1918
    • Cornell University, M.A., 1918
    • University of Chicago, Ph. D., 1925

Publication

    • Tan, V.A., (1953) The role of man science
    • Quezon City, U.P. Press
    • Tan, V.A., (1935 F) Our foreign scientific relations
    • National Research Council of the Philippine Island , No. 03
    • Tan, V.A., (1953) The congresses: an appraisal
    • Quezon City, University of the Philippines
    • Tan, V.A., (1934) Applied arithmetic for the Philippine high schools
    • Boston, D.C., Heath
    • Tan, V.A., (1924) Modern high school arithmetic for the Philippines
    • Manila Associated Pub.
    • Tan, V.A., Perez, F., (1935) Plane and spherical trigonometry
    • Manila, Education Supply Volume 06;
    • Tan, V.A., Perez, F., (1935) Freshman mathematics
    • Manila, Educational Supply Volume 07;
    • Tan. V.A., Perez, F., (1936) Table I. Common logarithms of numbers from 100 to 10,000 to five decimal places. Table II. Common logarithms of the trigonometric functions from 0o to 90o at intervals of one minute to five decimal places. Table III. Actual values of trigonometric functions from 0o to 90o at intervals of one minute to five decimal places
    • Manila, Educational Supply
    • Tan, V.A., (1939) General mathematics
    • Manila, Macaraig Publishing Co Volume 07;
    • Tan, V.A., (1940) General mathematics
    • Manila, Macaraig Publishing Co
    • Tan,V.A., (1948) Message of quiet; a collection of poems and essays
    • Manila, Community Pub. Volume 10;
    • Tan, V.A., (1948) Modern college Algebra
    • Manila, Macaraig Publishing Co
    • Tan, V.A., Roseburg, A.G., (1950) Adventures in learning
    • Bardaven Book Co
    • Tan, V.A., Perez, F.A., (1950) Plane and spherical geometry
    • Manila, Macaraig Piblishing Co Volume 07;
    • Tan, V.A., (1952) The role of our state university
    • Quezon City, University of the Philippines
    • Tan, V.A., (1953) Medicine in the Philippines
    • Journal of the Philippine Medical Association Volume 29;, No. 05
    • Tan, V.A., (1953) The wisdom to know the difference
    • Philippine Journal of Surgery Volume 08;, No. 02
    • Tan, V.A., (1954) Science in education
    • Science Foundation of the Philippines
    • Tan, V.A., Perez, F.D., Favila, R.A., (1956) First Course in college algebra
    • Manila, Macaraig Publishing Co
    • Tan, V.A., Perez, F., (1957) Plane and spherical trigonometry
    • Manila, Macaraig Publishing Volume 06;
    • Tan, V.A., (1957) Plane and spherical trigonometry with solid geometry
    • Manila, Macaraig Publishing Co Volume 07;
    • Tan, V.A., (1958) Modern college algebra
    • Manila, Macaraig Publishing
    • Tan, V.A., Tiojanco, R., (1958) Arithmetic for community living
    • Manila, Associated Pub., Inc Volume 13;

Trainings

    • Annual Meeting of the American Assoc. of Colleges of Pharmacy, 1933, Wisconsin
    • Conference on Admission of Manchukuo into the Olympics, 1934, Shanghai
    • Annual Meeting of the American Assoc. of Colleges of Pharmacy, 1936, Texas
    • Seventh General Conference, UNESCO, 1952, Paris
    • Meeting of Working Party of UNESCO, 1953, Paris
    • General Conference of the Internatiol Assoc. of Universities, 1955, Istanbul, Turkey
    • Rangoo-Hopkins Conference of Southeast Asian Studies, 1955, Rangoon, Burma
    • Conference of University Heads, 1956, Bangkok