Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Invited talk of Professor C. K. Toh at DGIST

Professor C. K. Toh
At the end of last month, I got a chance to attend to an interesting talk conducted by Professor C. K. Toh from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. In his visit to Korea, he conducted this invited talk at the DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbook Institute of Science and Technology) where I got the opportunity to attend with my lab mates. Professor C. K. Toh is a collaborator and an advisor to our Monet research lab and therefore he is more important to us. However it was the first time I met him in person. The topic of his talk was "The Green Internet" where he talked about the modern trends he observed in the Internet and how it is going to effect the energy crisis of our century. DGIST institute is located in a beautiful place in Daegu, far away from the main city area. It took nearly an hour for us to drive to their place. In addition to us from Monet lab in KNU, there were some other attendees mainly from DGIST itself.

My lab mates and me in front of DGIST building
In his talk, Professor Toh showed how our modern Internet is going to face a challenge from the energy crisis. The number of users of Internet is rapidly increasing and therefore the number of computers connected to the Internet is also increasing. Due to this always connected nature of the Internet, users expect all the network resources to be available anytime anywhere. Data centers has to run 24/7 making them consume power always. Almost all the networked devices including user PCs, routers and servers are powered on all the time even when nobody is using them. The ultimate result of this trend is a huge energy crisis in the near future due to the Internet. He showed that as the Internet bill, actually what we are paying is mainly an energy bill. When the energy consumed to run the Internet infrastructure gets increased, the cost for Internet access also can go higher. In conclusion, he suggests to take proactive actions to reduce the excess energy wasted on Internet related devices. One simple suggestion is to turn of the computers when not in use. He suggested some more interesting ideas as solutions for this issue.

After his lecture we all had lunch with him. He has got his PhD from  University of Cambridge. I didn't know that he is such a giant in the field until I read his profile. He has even worked on some DARPA research projects.

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