Looking for insights behind the phenomena

Jeong-woo Cho, age 33, is an Assistant professor at KTH ICT Since 2011. His discipline is Performance Analysis of Communication Networks.

Jeong-woo Cho

Why did you choose to work and teach within Performance Analysis of Communication Networks

- To put it simply, it can be called 'Performance Analysis of Communication Networks'. As a matter of fact, I'm interested not only in 'performance analysis' but also 'economic aspect', e.g., profit distribution between the Internet Service Providers. Also, the outcomes of performance analysis oftentimes lead to new algorithms enhancing the overall performance of communication networks. Having said so, my research style is not that different from other researchers in networking in that each and every researcher conducts analysis in his/her own style, except that I believe a bit more formal analysis sometimes provides the simplest explanation and insights behind the phenomena. To put it another way, I cherish the belief or the principle, so-called "Occam's razor". Lots of phenomena in communication networks, as it turns out after being investigated properly, ask for simplistic explanations.

I study the very networks you are using every day, e.g., Wi-Fi network, the network comprised of your smartphones and base stations, and the Internet. I can pass on some tips on how to make your Wi-Fi network faster. Briefly, I analyze and improve the performance of all kinds of networks.

Where did you work before coming to KTH?

- I have been so far working in a number of research areas and countries as well. I received my Ph.D. degree in 2005 from KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), South Korea and held researcher positions (postdoc) at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in the French-speaking region of Switzerland and NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) in Norway. I have a variety of backgrounds in different research areas. I have explored topics such as congestion control in wired network, scheduling in wireless networks, and medium access in Wi-Fi networks. Though I regard myself as a researcher primarily working in the field of networking, I also have some academic expertise in communication, which deals with technologies related with more physical or signal-level issues such as interference between mobile nodes. Though my doctoral dissertation addressed the congestion problem in wired networks, since then I have been focusing my attention on both wireless and wired networks. Lastly, while I worked in European academic atmosphere for years, I also have been affected by scholars who hold fast to their rather American principles. In summary, I have been living in four countries while working on diverse research topics in networking and collaborating with researchers following different academic traditions.

What is the most challenging thing about teaching at a university today?

- It is an undeniable fact the sets of knowledge demanded in academia and industry greatly differ. As a teacher, it is challenging to sort out the intersection of the two sets of knowledge and to identify an appropriate superset of the intersection which will comply with the requests from both sides. Another real challenge teachers are facing now is how to adapt the curriculum for the fast-paced change of technologies and theories in networking community and to cover and teach unchanging fundamental part of knowledge at the same time.

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