Autobiography

  Sungwook Kim (1970 - )

  Graduated from Syracuse University, Ph.D in Computer Science.

  Professor of Department of Computer Science of Sogang university.

 

I can say that I have enjoyed my life. This is because of all the wonderful people I've been surrounded by. There are too many angels in my life that I need to give my thanks to, and I could not possibly give thanks to them all. Therefore, I would like to give my deepest and most sincere thanks to God, who kindly sent these angels to me.

                        in the acknowledgement of Dissertation, December, 2003

Sungwook Kim

 

 I was born June 13, 1970, in Korea, the second and last child and second son of Sangjoon Kim and Jungsun Shin. My family member is my dad, mom, my brother and me. My father is professor of Political Science and my mother is an artist (painter). My biggest thanks go to my parents, who always gave me their love, emotional support and encouragement for as long as I can remember. They have been there throughout every challenge in my life. I have a very joyful, lovely and happy childhood days. When I was a child, the family atmosphere was warm and supportive. I was a lovely son when I dance gladly to my parents.

 

 My childhood memory about my elder brother, Jungwook Kim, is most long and impressed. I had often fought with my brother. A major cause of fighting is eating. I had eaten slow. but my brother had eaten fast. He had eaten very fast his thing. then he had taken my thing. I was very angry and we quarreled. Our family had not moved very much. Until 1998, we lived in the same house. It is located near the mountain. It is very fresh air. We had lived in there for 28 years. 

In the 70¡¯s, there were many heroes for children. I had many TV stars, just to name a few. But my favorites were Atom - main character of TV comics. The characters of a TV show that I, like other children around the country, adored. At that time TV was my best friend. I learned a lot from that.

 

 During my elementary years, I used to go my maternal grandfather home every summer. When I was a child, I wished I might become a grown-up man as soon as possible. MY maternal grandfather, Sekyun Shin, was very generous even though I made some trouble. I was lost in memories of my childhood for a while. As I grew older, I became insensitive. So I look back on the good old days with nostalgia. I want to treasure it in my mind. As I received a great love and partiality from my grand father that I've frequently heard that I didn't have manners from my childhood. If it's possible, I want to go back to my good old days.

 

 Along with my brother, I attended public elementary, private middle and high schools -graduating from Dongkyo elementary and Kyungsung middle and high school in 1983, 1986 and 1989 respectively. Just before my high school graduation, I sent my paternal grandmother to heaven. She was always there for me throughout my life, who held my hand even when she couldn't remember my name. I just wish I could tell her how much I did love her.

 

 During 1989-1994, I would attend Sogang University. Initially, I specialized in computer science and mathematics, intending to become an actuary, and went so far as to take actuarial examinations, passing several but also failing several. Shortly, however, I became interested in network, computer algorithm and communication, and eventually ended with the equivalent of a major in these fields. 

Sogang University, founded by American Jesuit fathers and well known in Korea for its strict academic discipline and famous professors, mostly American trained. Sogang is noted for its strict grading system. We try to maintain Sogang's academic standard at international level. I dare say that Sogang has prepared itself to compete with any top the rate graduate schools in the United States.

 

 When I made my decision on my major, computer science seemed the most promising and exciting area. Having done research projects, I have become interested in computer architecture. During the Master's program at Sogang Univ., the area of my major interest was that of Parallel Architecture. At the moment, the area of my current interest is Computer Architecture, especially Parallel computer structure (Interconnection Network). I am of the opinion that Massively Parallel Processors (MPP) will be widely used in many areas, and that especially Interconnection Network(IN) is very important because the hardware configuration of MPP and the system performance depend on it. During my master' program I designed a new IN, Plane Cube, and evaluated it. My ambition was to design a new IN to be used in the popular super computer. However, I liked to do comprehensive researches in depth on many related areas of my interested without being tied up to a particular area.

 

 During my undergraduate days, I took many basic science courses, not required for my graduation. In my major area, I took courses of major areas of computer science, well above the requirement. I had 159 credit hours, well over 140 credit hours required for BS. I chose mathematics as my minor and took difficult courses offered for students majoring in mathematics. As a freshman at Sogang university I was chosen as a representative to travel abroad. At that time, our government sent student representatives to Communist countries to learn their realities and compare the merits and demerits of the capitalist and socialist systems. Under the program, I visited China, Taiwan, Hong Kong. In senior years, I was a team leader of social service activities, helping handicapped persons under the direction Father Jungtaik Kim, the superior of Korean Jesuit fathers.

 During my MS program, I was assigned to the Parallel Computer Architecture Laboratory. I worked on the development of the Score Recognition System. In this project my assignment was recognition part to enhance the recognition rate. I also joined a research team under Professor Takdon Han of Yunsei University doing research on the development of Massively Parallel Processor. This research project was sponsored by Samsung, Daewoo, Hundai, the big three Korean electronics companies ; and was a part of the research project to develop the next generation computers in Korea.

 

 

Professor Han was very much pleased with my work, commending me as the sharpest and the most outstanding research assistant. In this research project my assignment was the IN part and as a result of the research, I proposed a new IN, Plane Cube. This research became the basis of my Master Thesis entitled "Design and Performance Evaluation of PIane Cube Interconnection Network for Massively Parallel Processor" The faculty committee passed my Master's thesis without any revision, rating it "with distinction." The thesis advisor commented i t the best thesis he had advised and suggested me to patent it. The summary of the Master thesis presented at the annual convention of the Korean Parallel Processing System and published in its proceedings.

 

 During my graduate school days, I edited articles and materials on the parallel computer structure, developed a simulator for macro economic analyses using 00P concept. I worked also for a research project to develop a finger print recognition system. As a Teaching Assistant, I taught a 3 credit course completely under my responsibility. The course was for juniors and seniors who chose computer Science for their minor. I planned the lecture and gave the final grades. During my graduate student days, I succeeded to obtain the National Technical Qualification Certificate (First Class), passing the national examination. The certificate carries the privilege of being exempted from the obligatory military service i f employed at the government designated and defense-related companies.

 

 During my graduate school days, my strength is above all 1) the seriousness of academic endeavor on my past, and 2) "originality" in thinking. During my graduate schooldays, I was called the "idea bank" because of the creative thinking. Largely because of the atmosphere, I love learning and academic life. As for the merits in favor of my study in the United States, I can say I am persistent man, working hard to attain the goal I have set. If I fail, it is due to the limitations of my ability, but never due to the lack of efforts on my part.

 

 

 Since 1996, I have been working for a government designated computer company (A. I. Soft Korea, Inc.) to fulfill my military service obligation, which will end in March, 1997. During the first year at the company I worked for a project to develop an emulator to interface a IBM AS400 to personal computers. When our company started a multimedia database business, contracting with a American database company, Informix, I was chosen one of the two outstanding engineers and joined a new team with three newly recruited engineers, sent to California for further training in illustra ORDBMS, LIBMI, Web DataBlade, etc.

 

 Our team developed a Korean language DataBlade as a pilot project there. This product has been chosen by the Korean government as national public DBMS and are being used at present in ten Korean firms to assist on site DB construction and develop their organization and development. I also participated in the development of application programs both for BBS combined with DBMS and for Internet Web using Web datablade. I do technical consulting service for our customers in constructing and operating database ; and serves as a trainer for supervisors and developers of database in ORDBMS and LIBMI areas.

 

 My teachers at Sogang asked me to do my Ph.D. under their supervision. I did not think seriously about studying in the United States during my student days. Besides, the graduates of our department are sought after by the leading computer companies in Korea. However, my the weeks experiences at California when our Company sent me there for training have changed my perspective.  

 I had heard lots about Syracuse University. SU was fairly well known among students here in Korea and its computer science program was very highly rated by them. I had also read about SU in Study in U.S.A., a booklet published in Korea, that SU was noted for its attention paid to the needs of foreign students, providing good academic and social environments for foreign students. I had noticed that there were many Korean students enrolled there. These were main reasons I had selected SU to apply for admission.

 

 Since its founding in 1901, the LC Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (LCS) at Syracuse University has been leading the way in educating engineers and computer scientists, creating new knowledge and technologies and anticipating the evolution of the field. With a strong history of preparing leaders from around the globe, our research-centered college allows our students to take advantage of the breadth and depth of our engineering education and research.

 

 The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at Syracuse University embraces a wide range of academic programs and research areas in Computer Engineering, Computer and Information Science, and Electrical Engineering. They are connected by the technologies they develop and the mathematical methods they use to explore the spectrum of computing and electrical systems. The computer is not only an area of study, but also a design tool permitting visual representation of mathematical models. Moreover, communication and control are of major importance in computing systems, while digital devices and components have become a dominant factor in designing electrical systems.

 In Syracuse, I had the good fortune to be exposed to one remarkable man: Pramod K. Varshney, He shaped my understanding of academic research, introduced me to the highest scientific standards, and became a guiding influence on my subsequent career. He also introduced me to rigorous wireless communication theory, made computer science exciting and relevant, and encouraged me to go on to doctoral degree. On his recommendation, the CASE center offered me a tuition scholarship.

 

 Pramod K. Varshney received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering and computer science and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1972, 1974, and 1976, respectively. Since 1976 he has been with Syracuse University, where he is currently a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and the research director of the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Computer Applications and Software Engineering. His current research interests are in distributed sensor networks and data fusion, detection and estimation theory, wireless communications, image processing, radar signal processing and remote sensing. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and has received numerous awards. He serves as a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society. He was the 2001 president of International Society of Information Fusion.  

 In Syracuse university, I got a research assistant ship (January 2001 - December 2003). I was a research member of the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Computer Applications and Software Engineering (CASE). At that time, I designed the adaptive online bandwidth management algorithms for multimedia cellular networks and learned how to define the research problems, planned and managed the project. And also I developed the ability for real problem analysis, project planning and pragmatic management.

 

 My dissertation title is ¡°Adaptive On-line Bandwidth Management for QoS sensitive Multimedia Networks¡±. I am deeply grateful beyond my words to my thesis advisor, Dr. Pramod Varshney, for his invaluable advice, criticism, faith, encouragement, and above all his thoughtfulness, which has made my work finally complete. He has given me academic guidance and has stood by me each and every time.  In my dissertation, I propose new bandwidth management algorithms for bandwidth reservation, adaptation, extension and migration; and call admission and preemption. In addition, advance reservation strategies for applications requiring bandwidth at a future time are also proposed.  

 

These algorithms are combined in integrated frameworks where they are able to cooperate with each other to strike an appropriate network performance balance between contradictory QoS requirements for multimedia services. An important design principle underlying my frameworks is online decision making based on real time traffic estimation. This on-line approach gives adaptability and flexibility to solve a wide range of control tasks for efficient network performance. I compare the performance of our frameworks with several existing bandwidth management schemes.

 

Performance evaluation results clearly indicate that my frameworks maintain well-balanced network performance while satisfying contradictory QoS requirements in widely different and diversified traffic load situations. Other existing schemes can not offer such an attractive trade off. The main concept of my integrated online framework can also be applied beyond bandwidth management in communication networks to other resource management tasks, e.g., CPU scheduling, and disk and memory management.

 

 

 

After my Ph.D degree, I was spending a year (2004) as a post-doctor position with prof. Pramod K. Varshney. We researched power management in computer system based on on-line approach.  

 During 2005, I was full time faculty position at the department of computer science and engineering of the  Choong-Ang University  (CAU). Chung-Ang University is a major South Korean private university. It carries an enrollment of over 25,000 students. It has campuses in Seoul's Dongjak-gu. Just after one year, I moved to Sogang University, my Alma Moter. Now I hold the assistant professor and is academic director of the Internet Communication control Research Laboratory (ICC Lab.).

 My philosophy of teaching is perhaps summed up in just a few words: teaching is most successful when informed by the recognition of its human dimensions. Therefore, my teaching philosophy is founded on two principles. The first is that successful teaching is essentially an interaction rather than a transmission process. The second is that teaching without context is unsound.

 

I believe that we teach best when we connect, as human beings, to our students. In a technical field such as computer science this may be more challenging than in the humanities, but it is no less critical. Without this connection, we are at best lecturing our students (and they may indeed be learning something) but we are not teaching them. The process and outcome of a teaching attempt depend on the persons involved, more than on anything else. However, I do not accept that this necessitates adopting either of those extremes of teaching styles known as "teacher-centred" and "student-centred". I think a case for "subject-centred" teaching, as an alternative to either teacher-centred or student-centred teaching. In this model, which I consider to be highly effective, the instructor and the students are brought together by their common interest in the subject.

 

My research fields are Wireless Network Management, Online Management Algorithms, Adaptive QoS Control for Multimedia Communication.  My research can be extended to include dynamic QoS priority control in multimedia networks. I contend that future research will shift away from the fixed priority paradigm, and will focus more on dynamic priority mechanisms, which means that call priority can be changed based on online requests and current network conditions. I think that an adaptable QoS priority management will be sufficiently flexible to accommodate a variety of multimedia communication demands and will provide a useful framework to manage bandwidth in next generation network operations. My research can be extended to develop new bandwidth management algorithms based on an economic perspective. Game theory has been used for years as a tool for economic analysis. Based on this tool, one may design an economic-based online decision mechanism for developing dynamic QoS control and adaptive bandwidth management algorithms for multimedia networks.

This management strategy will be of interest to both end-users and commercial service providers. In addition, my methodology can be used to develop new adaptive online algorithms for other research areas. Control decisions in inter-process communication, disk and memory management, file and I/O systems, CPU scheduling, and distributed operating system also must be made before the entire input sequence is available. Therefore, the main concept is suitable not only for bandwidth management in multimedia networks but also for application requiring adaptive control algorithms.

 

 But this is not the end of the mission. This is just the beginning. You must continue on the path that you are on and remain productive. I know that you will work hard and continue to excel. Congratulations again and a job well done! 

                                               The letter from Syracuse, 2005

Pramod Varshney