Lu-An Tang

Researcher, Autonomic Management Department
NEC Laboratories America, Inc.

Office: NEC Laboratories America, 4 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: 1-609-951-2692
Email: ltang [at]; leon.tang82 [at]



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So What is Your Real Name?

After making lots of people confused about my name(s), I thought to tell the story of my name. The story starts on April 8, 1982 when my parents gave their son the name "Lu An" (The second character of "Lu" is the "u" with two points over it). "Lu" means "green" and "An" stands for "river bank" in Chinese (
The Chinese character of my name is ). Actually the name comes from a famous ancient poem "The vernal breeze rejuvenates the willows and brings the green back to the the Long river's banks". The author, Wang Anshi, is one of the Eight Greatest Prose Masters of the Tang and Song Dynasty.

"Lu An" is indeed a beautiful Chinese name, most people would remember my name at a first glance. And it is almost an unique name among the 1.5 billion Chinese population. :)

However, this proud name brings me a lot of troubles when translated into English. The second character of "Lu" is not in the alphabet, "u" is like "u" but with two tiny points on it. In the Microsoft Chinese input method, you have to type "Lv" to get this character. So I use "Lv-an" as my English name, taking GRE, TOEFL and publishing papers before 2007. But when I got my passport, I found the officers just removed the two points on "u". My given name is changed as "Luan", and on my U.S. Visa, it is "Lu An". From then on, my nightmare begins, I was questioned by custom's officers, denied for registration due to inconsistent names in I-20 and Visa, asked from background check of verifications about GRE and TOEFL, received credit cards and bills with strange typos... By now you should really be sympathizing with me. If not, I just list some of my "nicknames", all of which have been called by people, printed on bills and seen in letters:

1. Juan Tang (on my first BoA debit card, Juan is actually a popular Hispanic name)

2. Luan Tang (on my second BoA debit card, "Luan" has some quite bad meanings in Chinese, it means "chaos and disorder")

3. Lu A. Tang (actually they are still use it on most bills)

4. Lu Tang (this is also frequently called, or just simply "Lu")

5. Lu Ann Tang (on my first BoA credit card, it looks like a girl name)

6. Luna Tang (appears on letters sent from Capital One, looks more like a girl's name)

7. Aou An Pang (on the bill of American Water, it took me quite a while to clarify the spelling of "L" from "Ao", and "T" from "P" in phone call)

Since the Visa is the most important certification materials, I requested for new I-20 and changed all of my formally registered documents to "Lu An Tang", however, when I renewed my F-1 Visa, the name changed to "LuAn Tang". In the publication, I usually use "Lu-An Tang" ("Lv-an Tang" in the papers before 2008). You can call me with any of the above nicknames you prefer. It is fun to have so many different names. ;-)

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