Curator: Dr. Allan B. Cruse, Professor Emeritus, Computer Science and Mathematics, University of San Francisco

                    Getting Acquainted with Contemporary Romania

                Course Introduction and Overview

"Have you been in Romania?   Have you seen this country?   It's
beautiful!   It's this crazy mix of modern and old!"

American traveller Terry Church, interviewed on her third visit to Romania, 1 December 2011

    A famous American software entrepreneur named Bill Gates was not too busy a decade ago to take notice of Romania, a country in Eastern Europe with immense human potential in terms of the talent and ambition of its young people, especially in technical fields, such as mathematics and computing, multilingual facility, and a cultural affinity with the West.

    Soon a majority of Silicon Valley's larger firms, such as Intel, Oracle, Adobe, HP, Google and Yahoo, had followed Microsoft's lead in importing software engineers from Romania for their California workforces, and had established robust subsidiary operations in Romania's capital city of 1.9-million people: Bucharest. (Only four US cities are larger, according to Wikipedia.)

    This online 'Minicourse' aims to highlight unique attributes of Romania's culture which may account for its present day importance to the United States, something which seems to be not yet generally recognized among average Americans outside the Information Technology business-sector, due probably to the infrequency of coverage by our regular mainstream media -- until recently.

    "Never understimate the importance of culture in creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem," writes Professor Bill Aulet, who directs the MIT Entrepreneurship Center in the U.S. and also conducts business-mentoring seminars in Romania.    

In this brief video, shot in Bucharest, Bill Aulet outlines seminar topics he will cover. Our inclusion of this video is not meant to imply any endorsement of our Minicourse by Professor Aulet, or by MIT, but rather to make the point that an academic visiting from America can address a student audience in Bucharest in English, confident of being understood, as is apparent in this clip.

    Nonetheless, some of the best video-clips dealing with Romania which we found online contained some dialog or subtitles in the Romanian language, and thus may not be totally understandable to English-only viewers, yet we believed the actions and/or scenery would transcend that language barrier. Still, wherever possible, we have preferred to include videos which used English exclusively.

    Before plunging into the grim topic of Romania's communist era (1965-1989), and the overthrow in 1989 of its repressive dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, we offer below a quick introductory video-overview of the country. The Ceausescu regime, gone for more than two decades, still occupies a presence in the Romanian consciousness, much as the terrorist attack of 9/11 in the U.S. continues to preoccupy Americans.

This Is ROMANIA (3 minutes)

Launched on 26 MAY 2013; last updated on 18 SEP 2014